Views And Reviews

Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6964.1311a (Published 12 November 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1311
  1. R S Dhillon,
  2. C A East

    It is ironic that I, the author of a BMJ paperback on this subject, directed at the same readership of medical students, general practitioners, and nursing staff, should be asked to review Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery, which will clearly be a competitor. The unworthy hope that it might be exposed as a poor imitation, vulnerable to a destructive review, was fleeting and rapidly disappeared as I saw how attractive and excellent a contribution it is to the genre.

    It is interesting to see how the quality and style of this kind of publication have improved in the 13 years since the BMJ initiated its paperback ABC series. The A4 size was not uncommon even then, nor was the abundant use of simple line diagrams, but their enhancement with the simple application of plain pastel colour blocks improves them out of recognition. Coloured boxes, deriving their style and inspiration from the icon usage of modern computer screens, now replace the earlier bullet lists. Running heads within pastel coloured frames are different for each of the four main heading groups - blue for the ear, mauve for the nose and paranasal sinuses and so forth. Colour photographs are abundant and informative. The first impression then is of an attractive book, clearly made in the 1990s, and one that entices the reader.

    But what of the content? This cannot be faulted. Reviewers would find some points with which to quibble, but I cannot raise any serious objections. This is a rapidly changing specialty, and the two enthusiastic otolaryngologists who have produced the book show their familiarity with the way it is going by including among its many topics computed tomography and magnetic resonance images of acoustic neuromas, descriptions of cochlear implantation, and accounts of bone anchored hearing aids. The use of endoscopes for the advancing form of nasal surgery sometimes called functional endoscopic sinus surgery is described, together with computed tomography coronal pictures of the sinuses needed for these techniques. There is a well balanced description of snoring and sleep apnoea, and an apposite chapter on HIV.

    This is an elegant and clear contribution exhibiting the best of modern teaching and publication techniques.

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