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Lasers in Facial Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery

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    Lasers in Facial Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery. Ed Brian S Biesman. Pp 124, $120. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 1998. ISBN0-683-30414-3.

    This text has a significant span of excellent contributors who bring a substantial amount of experience to this textbook, then encompass all the relevant specialties one could expect in oculoplastic surgery and orbital surgery.

    Despite the array of talent and the glowing foreword from Richard Gregory, there appears to have been a distinct budget limitation on the production of this text. Therefore, the goals of the book which were to provide a guide that will be useful to students, residents, and practising physicians, only perhaps meets the criteria for the first two groups. It does seem to give an overview that is credible but, at times, appears to be more of an advertisement for the company Coherent Medical who have supplied many of the figures within the text, particularly technical specifications. This support from Coherent Medical is acknowledged in the text but, by definition, detracts from the independence of the overall production. Where there has been finance for technical details the budget appears to have varied quite significantly throughout the textbook on clinical matters. The first three chapters are relatively well illustrated with the exception of the final illustrations in chapter 2 which come as a surprise considering the expressed intent for quality. Chapter 3 is excellent with colour histology slides and complementary line diagrams that illustrate every point made in the text. The remaining chapters fluctuate in their intensity but are consistent in their brevity. Every point illustrated in colour emphasises the loss when black and white or line diagrams are used elsewhere in the test.

    The brevity of some of the surgical descriptions for either incisional surgery or resurfacing would, I think, have been complemented by more illustrations. However, only line diagrams of some of the surgical theory are evident.

    The benefit to the profession or any interested party will eventually be dictated by the price. The main author has compiled a fairly concise review of the scope of laser surgery and the majority of the theory applicable to this modality. Therefore, all the facts are present and the chapters are well referenced.

    The book is heavily subsidised by Coherent Medical and therefore illustrations continually remind us of this fact. The student and the resident are allowed a brief overview of the practising position but may wish for more detailed theory and instruction from other text.