This book was conceived as a simple study guide / aide memoire for those sitting the American board exams in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and indeed was largely written by residents approaching these exams, on the premise that they would have a vested interest in ensuring comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date content. The editors acknowledge that this may also have resulted in some variability in the style of each chapter, but they anticipate that as each chapter is reviewed and edited by future generations of senior residents, the text of further editions will develop into the ideal exam prep. The four sections cover the basic principles, reconstruction, congenital malformations and aesthetic surgery specifically of the face.

The text includes topics such as cleft lip and palate and facial reanimation but does not drift into the realm of ENT or OMFS surgery. It is written more or less as a series of notes designed to jog or test the reader’s memory rather than as a definitive educational text. It therefore assumes a significant degree of baseline knowledge from the outset. As with any textbook that attempts to condense a vast field of information into a portable form, there are several areas where potentially relevant content is omitted or is relatively sparse. Illustrative diagrams are few and far between and this is a pity. Nevertheless, the text is clear and concise and serves its purpose well. Each chapter finishes with a few multiple choice questions that help focus the mind. Overall, a relatively short and worthwhile read / reference, especially for those in the run up to the FRCS exams.

Patrick Addison

St John's Hospital, Livingston, UK.

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