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Katowitz JA, ed. Pp 694; £297.50. Berlin: Springer, 2002. ISBN 0387949615.
The foreword of this book describes the evolution of paediatric oculoplastics as a subspecialty in its own right, an inevitable consequence of the trend towards ever increasing specialisation. The reaction might therefore be that it is suitable material only for the minority of ophthalmologists who subspecialise in this field. In fact, the book should appeal to a far wider readership, and would be of use to all ophthalmologists with any oculoplastic or paediatric interest. It has a strong multidisciplinary input, yet remains coherent as the content is always directed to ophthalmic practice. This is reflected in the introductory section which includes contributions from other specialties, such as dermatology, plastic surgery, and otolaryngology. This gives a broad overview which is lacking from many ophthalmic texts, and is difficult to acquire from the literature written for other specialties.
There are comprehensive sections on eyelid and nasolacrimal conditions, with the largest section dealing with orbital disorders. There is wide ranging coverage from simple, common conditions such as dermoids to complex craniofacial disorders. The systematic approach to the craniofacial disorders is particularly helpful, providing a useful tool in the management of this difficult area. It makes no claim to be a detailed surgical atlas, but rather is comprehensive in its account of the diagnosis, assessment, and management of each condition, with good illustrations and descriptions of the more common surgical procedures. The text is laid out logically, and is generally well written and easy to read. The authors have managed to combine an explanation of the principles of management, providing a general understanding, with more in-depth discussions of the details when appropriate. As the editor stresses, children are not just little adults, and this book has excelled in demonstrating the importance of managing children with oculoplastic and orbital diseases appropriately.