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Surgery of the Liver, Bile Ducts and Pancreas in Children
  1. D Lloyd

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This excellent volume builds on the success of the first edition published a decade ago by the senior editor (ERH). Inevitably it is bigger, and, yes, better too. The contributors, drawn from across the world, have been chosen for their expertise and this is apparent in their respective chapters. A major beneficial innovation is inclusion of an editor and other contributors from the USA; sadly, for an inherently English book, English spelling has been sacrificed in the process.

All chapters have been rewritten in response to the significant developments in hepatobiliary surgery over the past decade—for example, in our understanding of the anatomy of the liver and in liver transplantation (now up from 14 to 98 pages). The chapter on “portosystemic shunt surgery” has given way to “surgery for portal hypertension”, reflecting the development of alternative strategies for this condition. As before, detailed and informative chapters on anatomy, physiology, and preoperative management complement the core “surgical” chapters, and there are new chapters on embryology, anaesthesia and perioperative care, nutrition, and the psychosocial aspects of childhood liver disease, which will be of interest to gastroenterologists and surgeons alike. Another innovation is the inclusion of a section on “surgical” paediatric pancreatic disorders, including chapters on embryology and anatomy; this is a logical development that enhances the value of this volume.

The scientific standard is high throughout the book. Each of the topics has been well researched by its author and (with only one exception), chapters are well referenced. Of course one can find omissions but these are minor and very infrequent. The text is easy to read and the editors have ensured that the content is clinically relevant. Each chapter concludes with a useful table of annotated key references, and in some chapters a recommended management strategy is summarised in a box. The book is liberally illustrated with line drawings and both black and white and colour figures, which generally are informative and clearly reproduced. The index is good; I was able, without difficulty, to locate a variety of topics. Overall, the quality of the production is excellent, with very few typographical errors. Although this is a comprehensive book, it is not a large tome, but is comfortable and easy to read.

This book will serve as an invaluable resource for gastroenterologists, paediatricians, surgeons, nurses, and others involved in the surgical care of children with liver, biliary, or pancreatic disorders, whether at a specialist children’s centre or a district hospital, and will appeal to trainees, whose exposure these days to complex hepatobiliary surgery is limited. In addition, gastroenterologists and surgeons treating the increasing number of adults with disorders of childhood will find this book a most helpful companion.

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