Head and neck reconstruction following removal of oncological disease or trauma is the most varied and challenging surgery performed in the world. Techniques range from rotational flaps to free tissue transfer and microvascular anastomosis. All are covered in this textbook. Chapters are organised on a regional basis and subdivided according to defect.

Whilst the author does assume a good level of knowledge about the subject the approach taken in explaining reconstructive techniques does make this a useful resource for surgical trainees. The full-colour photography throughout the book is both essential and plentiful, demonstrating defect reconstruction in every part of the head and neck in a stepwise manner (though the hand-drawn diagrams accompanying these photographs add nothing particularly to readers’ understanding). Novel chapters include reconstruction in children and reconstruction of the scalp. The most informative chapter may be the final one on the actual technique of microvascular reconstruction, which includes many pearls of wisdom on grafting and other nuances of successful tissue transfer.

The author has produced a book compiling the best demonstrations in the subject with good rationales of different reconstruction techniques. What are missing are summary boxes and a running theme of ‘hints and tips’ for surgeons. A DVD, at least demonstrating microvascular anastomosis with a running commentary, is essential but missing; edited footage of flap harvesting and grafting would be preferable in a further edition. Overall, whilst this may not be a useful investment for every oral and maxillofacial surgeon and plastic surgeon it is certainly an excellent reference resource for any department offering a reconstruction service, including revision cases.

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Miles Bannister

BSc(Hons), MBChB, FRCS(ORL-HNS), Consultant Otolaryngologist-Head & Neck Surgeon, Victoria Hospital, Fife, UK.

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