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Operative Strategies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Operative Strategies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Edited by Michelassi F, Milsom JW. (Pp 515; illustrated; £114.50.) New York: Springer-Verlag, 1999. ISBN 0 387 94966 6.

I enjoyed looking at this book. The editors' intention is that “at a moment's notice any surgeon may open it and consult an authority on a particular topic related to IBD surgery”. They have assembled an international group of contributors and there are excellent sections on history, surgical pathology, pouches, and Crohn's surgery. There are some surprising omissions, however. A chapter on revision surgery for pouches that have gone wrong would have been timely, and a more thorough review of balloon dilatation and stents would have provided a look to the future. I think the sections on septic complications of pouches and Crohn's disease should have been kept separate.

I was irritated by the lack of uniformity in the illustrations and drawings of procedures, and in places the text is very dense, for example, in the section on ileostomy.

A final point: there is only one chapter on medical management just when there is an explosion of new medical therapy. Joint physician/surgeon management is seen by many as the ideal, and surgical treatment cannot be viewed in isolation. Nonetheless, this is a comprehensive and well illustrated book that will be a welcome addition to the shelves of specialists in IBD surgery.