Whereas modern readings on reconstructive surgery impress by their high-quality graphic illustrations on heavy glossy paper next to lengthy discussions, this book has a remarkably unpretentious appearance. At first glance it becomes clear that the reader should not expect a comprehensive treatise on reconstructive surgery. The title also distracts from the fact that the vast majority of cases presented concern the region of the face and scalp.
This medium-sized book is densely packed with coloured case-illustrations, most of them confined to one pre and postoperative photograph of a surgical site. It is indeed striking to recognise that most of the book’s content comes along with nearly no text except the legends to the photographs that fill the pages of the book. This book is in fact an extensive atlas of local skin flaps used in surgery of the face and the scalp.
But as such, Friedman and Saadat’s book is a veritable think-tank for the clinician confronted with various defects of the skin in face and scalp. The authors illustrate their great experience by a sheer number of cases: at a quick glance the clinician can check possibilities and results of various skin flaps on the same regions of the face. Following this logic the authors group the cases into three sections: cases in section one are organised by anatomic location. Section two is organised according to different flap types.
In the third section sub-optimal results are presented and finally there is a condensed chapter with surgical pearls in text form. To make it clear: the flaps illustrated are purely local skin flaps. There is no chapter on alternative methods such as direct closure and secondary intention closure, nor on grafts as the book does not have the intention to be a comprehensive textbook on defect reconstruction.
As this book has the format of an atlas it is certainly not meant to be read from the first page to the last. Nevertheless when doing so (let’s say because you are reading the book as a reviewer!) one feels as if a year or more of observing with Drs Friedman and Saadat just passed in a flash. Reading the last chapters on sub-optimal results and the surgical pearls shared by the authors further enhances the impression that this atlas better reflects the true and realistic outcomes of skin-flap surgery than the shiny reflections of so many other textbooks. The book is therefore a unique and useful resource for anyone interested in the field and a trusted companion in everyday clinical work. It is a pity that the printed quality of many of the pictures has to be qualified also as ‘everyday use’.