This single 600-page volume is one of relatively few books that draws together all of the current knowledge and understanding of lymphoedema, its pathogenesis, investigation, staging and management.

The book’s authors are well known for their expertise in the field and the experienced editors have produced a consistently clear, well-structured and educational presentation. The book is very well written and appropriately illustrated with many colour diagrams and photographs. The subject matter is dealt with comprehensively whilst still providing an enjoyable and informative read.

The first chapter sets the scene with a brief instruction to lymphoedema, covering the basics all plastic surgical trainees would be expected to know. This is followed by two chapters exploring the impact that the condition has on an individual’s quality of life and how this can be assessed.

Part two delves into the finer detail of the embryology, anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system and associated malformations. Parts three and four explore the pathophysiology, presentation and diagnosis of lymphatic disorders and the outcome of sentinel lymph node biopsy and include a chapter looking at the risk factors for lymphoedema associated with breast cancer. Part five describes the conservative and particularly the surgical treatment options in greater detail, enhanced by the addition of several videos on the DVD provided, which demonstrate the surgical techniques nicely. There is an interesting comparison of treatment approaches, both past and present, in India and China where filariasis is prevalent. The final part of the book explores the state of current research and future possibilities including stem cell treatments.

The book is available online through VitalSource™ and access comes ‘free’ with the purchase of the hardcover book.

Overall I think this is an excellent, inclusive account of the current understanding of lymphoedema and a worthy addition to any plastic surgery library, although it may be too much for an individual trainee or consultant to have a personal copy unless they have a subspecialty interest.

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Patrick Addison

St John's Hospital, Livingston, UK.

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