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This is an extremely comprehensive and well illustrated reference book for experienced endoscopists wishing to extend their area of practice to include the very latest diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. It comprises seven sections covering areas that the average UK gastroenterologist would not normally enter. As a reference book for physicians, surgeons, and radiologists, I have not come across a more complete presentation of up to date techniques. The seven sections comprise upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy as well as small bowel, pancreatobiliary, laparoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound, and developing imaging modalities. The editors have enlisted contributions from many well known names from around the world and the target audience is clearly global.
Who should buy this book? The answer must be any large multidisciplinary endoscopy unit already offering a full and comprehensive service to patients but with aspirations of providing leading edge endoscopic facilities and practice. All of the significant recent advances are covered in the seven sections and it is a timely reference book for clinicians wanting to be at the forefront of gastrointestinal endoscopy. It is also a book which will educate the experienced endoscopist about the current frontiers and future direction of endoscopy, as viewed by the editors. Clearly, some sections will not be relevant to UK endoscopists which is why a department should purchase this book rather than an individual clinician.
The book has many strengths, including the written detail of procedures that clinicians aspiring to be advanced endoscopists need to know in order to safely perform the latest techniques. It is not a substitute for attending workshops and courses but it does give the reader more insight into the nuances of a new procedure, which often cannot be obtained from reading scientific journals.
Although the list of contributors is formidable, I found it slightly surprising that some areas of expertise were not covered by those most qualified to write about it. For instance, the chapter covering endoscopic mucosal resection was not written by any of the Japanese endoscopists who have pioneered this procedure but by three authors from Germany. The same is true of other areas, but this must not detract from the fact that, as a reference book with multiple authors, the editors have done a magnificent job of making it easy to read and relevant to the practise of present day endoscopists. Such a book fulfils a valuable role and I am sure that I will be referring to it many times during the next few years. It will of course need to be kept up to date and I look forward to the next edition in five years time.
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