Unlike traditional textbooks of hand surgery that dedicate opening chapters to the discussion of theory and principles, Operative Techniques immediately invites readers into the operating room, serving as one of the most practical guides to hand surgery available. By page 13, the reader imagines sitting opposite Dr. Kevin Chung, learning from one of the current masters of hand surgery. Building on the success of the first edition, a text that has been adopted as an essential reference for budding and seasoned hand surgeons alike, the second edition provides an even more impressive compilation of nearly every common procedure encountered in the clinical practice of hand surgery. The authors have not only expanded the number of procedures included, but have also updated previously described cases, reflecting a dedication to the advancement of hand and wrist surgery.
Although the book spans almost 900 pages, the reader is provided an organizational scheme that facilitates rapid and facile navigation. The text is organized by sections that are defined by the anatomical structure that is to be surgically addressed. A number of additional sections, such as those entitled “Congenital Conditions” and “Tumors,” are also included. Each section is then subdivided into individual procedures, each elegantly illustrated and described in a step-by-step fashion. In bullet-point format, Dr. Chung and contributors outline the indications, anatomical background, diagnostic tests, and clinical examination findings pertinent to each case. Where appropriate, disease classification systems are also defined. By synthesizing all of this information, the reader is provided with an efficient review of a specific patient problem. Furthermore, for each surgical problem addressed, multiple approaches for surgical repair are presented, sequentially arranged from less to more invasive interventions. In deciding which operation is most appropriate for a patient, one need flip only a few pages to compare the indications for each. In the page margins, surgeons will find “pitfalls” and “pearls,” valuable tips garnered from Dr. Chung’s career of experiential learning.
Perhaps the greatest improvement and unique feature of the book is access to a compilation of over 70 well-executed videos. In a time when the value of simulation in surgical education has never been greater, the online materials serve as a virtual operating room that may be accessed from anywhere at any time. The videos are succinct but comprehensive and include details of preoperative planning, intraoperative technical execution, and postoperative care. In preparing for the operating room and after reading the corresponding chapter of text, a resident or fellow in hand surgery is then provided the opportunity to look through the eyes of the surgeon and imagine performing each step while listening to Dr. Chung’s instruction. This will be a highlight for the new generation of learners.
Operative Techniques is a modern text that unites traditional teaching with progressive methods of surgical education. In this format, the most complex of surgical problems become clear. Dr. Chung and his team not only improved on the first edition of the text, but also embarked on an extraordinary endeavor to compile the most comprehensive video library of surgical procedures for the hand and wrist. His unparalleled dedication to the field and effort to advance education in hand surgery are reflected in Operative Techniques. Surgeons will be inspired by this book and will find it to be one of the most frequently referenced and used texts in their daily practice.