This is a multi-author comprehensive plastic surgery textbook that comes in three volumes with 175 chapters. Most authors are based in South Asia and take the reader through a journey of patients in the developing world, their priorities and challenges.
It gives the reader a sound account of plastic surgery in the developing world with a heavy focus on innovative reconstructive surgery. Every chapter is well written, with algorithms and comprehensive references at the end. The textbook is a product of the authors’ attempts to address the vacuum for a plastic surgery textbook for trainees in the Indian sub-continent.
The first volume focuses on principals and advances in plastic surgery. The first chapter is on history of plastic surgery, describing skin grafting all the way to complex craniofacial surgery. This volume also touches on repair and healing of dermis, fascia and fat grafts with good illustrations. There are two chapters on anaesthesia alone. One on general anaesthesia and their challenges and secondly, on the role of regional anaesthesia in plastic surgery. The nerve block illustration and techniques described would be particularly useful to junior plastic surgery trainees performing trauma surgery. A chapter on photography focuses on consent and the ideal views that are needed for still photograph illustration.
The hand and upper extremity volume is divided into two sections: development and degenerative disorders, and trauma. This volume is well illustrated with clinical and radiological images as well as schematic diagrams that are easy to understand. The salient facts are boxed for easy referencing by the reader such as the points to be kept in mind during decompression of the hand. Ischaemic conditions and vascular anomalies of the hand are striking chapters for me. They are well illustrated with clinical photographs and classifications. I enjoyed reading about fingertip reconstruction and soft tissue coverage of the skin. The flaps are featured with illustrations of their blood supply. Adult and paediatric brachial plexus surgery are described in two chapters separately. I found the algorithm for management of early birth brachial plexus palsy very valuable.
The head and neck volume is divided into three sections: cleft, craniofacial surgery, and head and neck reconstruction. There is a chapter on how to set up a craniofacial unit: how to build a team, the theatre requirements, goals and challenges of a craniofacial unit. This volume is not short of algorithms; the simplified algorithm on managing scalp defects is useful to any plastic surgery trainee. Many conditions described here are specific to South Asia, such as facial deformities in leprosy.
Overall, this is a comprehensive, well-written textbook that keeps South Asian readers as the authors’ primary focus. I have no doubt that this will be a valuable textbook in every plastic surgery trainee’s library around the world, due to the content illustrations and the simplified algorithms in managing common plastic surgical conditions.