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The Companion to Specialist Surgical Practice series aims to meet the need of higher surgical trainees and busy practising surgeons by keeping them up to date of recent developments in the field and consolidating our understanding on key topics. The first series of seven texts met with high critical acclaim and in the second edition of the series this has been expanded to eight volumes. The second edition of Gastrointestinal Surgery comprehensively covers the field of hollow organ upper gastrointestinal surgery. There are some minor omissions such as impedance assessment and management of gastric polyps. This however is only a minor criticism of what is otherwise an excellent text. The book occupies an important niche in the field of surgery as each volume is produced in a short period of time in order to ensure that it is up to date, in contrast with some of the larger texts in the field which by virtue of the time it takes to produce a new edition are already somewhat out of date at the time of publication.
The new edition benefits from an emphasis on evidence based practice with up to date key references, some of which include a short commentary. Unfortunately, there is a degree of non-uniformity among chapters, which would benefit from correction in the next edition.
The main contributors are all established figures in the field of upper gastrointestinal surgery and bring an authoritative viewpoint to each chapter. The format is pleasing with copious diagrams and tables. The use of a scalpel icon to highlight text and references associated with reasonable evidence based practice is a particularly good idea.
This is a welcome addition to what has become established, in a very short space of time, as an essential read. It will continue to appeal to surgical trainees and consultants alike, but will also be of interest to medical, radiological, and pathology colleagues who wish to have a broader understanding of their own area of expertise. I unreservedly recommend it.
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