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Colour atlas and text of ocular plastic surgery

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    Colour atlas and text of ocular plastic surgery. By Jacques C van der Meulen, Joseph S Gruss. Pp 311. £120. London: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996. ISBN 07234 19248.

    The title for this work might mislead one into thinking that it is ‘just another book’ describing oculoplastic reconstruction, although nothing could be further from the truth. Written largely by craniofacial surgeons, this magnificent book is a treasure trove of ideas and illustrations.

    Many of the procedures described and vividly illustrated would not be performed by ophthalmic plastic surgeons, but the principles of the described techniques can be applied to other areas of oculoplastic surgery. Just as it is possible to learn from observing an experienced surgeon operating, this book—with its largely non-ophthalmic view of periocular reconstruction—provides a wealth of new ideas and will broaden the horizons of the ophthalmic plastic surgeon.

    The anatomy of the orbit is presented very much from the developmental viewpoint and this is followed by coverage of three dimensional computed tomography scanning of the orbit. The chapter on three dimensional computed tomography imaging is of limited applicability to ophthalmic surgeons being, in reality, a series of fascinating cases with congenital anomaly, acquired disease, or trauma to the facial structures. The chapter entitled ‘Orbital surgery’ covers the principles of both reconstructive flaps and osteotomies very well, but does not give detail of intraorbital surgical techniques. Three chapters cover the treatment of anophthalmia, microphthalmia, and cranio-orbital maldevelopments in detail.

    The sections covering blepharoptosis, facial nerve palsy, palpebral anomalies, and malpositions are well illustrated and of particular relevance to an oculoplastic surgeon, as are the sections on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of eyelid tumours and socket surgery. For such a common problem, the coverage of age related lid malpositions is, however, rather limited. Although reconstruction of the lacrimal drainage system appears to be an afterthought in this book, basic lacrimal surgery is covered very well in the last chapter.

    The management of orbital tumours, vascular anomalies and neurofibromatosis, and trauma (both primary and secondary repair) is very much the province of a craniofacial surgeon and not the type of case typically managed by an orbital or ophthalmic plastic surgeon; likewise, the extensive facial reconstructions described—after excision of major facial tumours, with trauma or after burns—are largely the province of the facial plastic surgeon.

    The quality of presentation, printing, and binding is excellent and the number of errors is relatively few. There is no doubt that this book is a delight to read and to repeatedly browse. It is a must for a medical library and for the craniofacial surgeon, but perhaps not essential to the personal library of an ophthalmic plastic surgeon.

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