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Reconstructive Surgery of the Esophagus
  1. A Watson

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Oesophageal disease brings together many disciplines within the field of gastroenterology and the book is aimed primarily at the specialist oesophageal surgeon. Reconstruction of the oesophagus following resection for benign or malignant disease is one of the most challenging surgical procedures currently performed, and the oesophagus being such an unforgiving organ increases that challenge. Rather surprisingly, this is the first truly authoritative and evidence based volume to be devoted completely to this topic.

Mark Fergusson was trained at the University of Chicago under doyens of oesophageal surgery including Skinner, Belsey, and DeMeester, and has continued the tradition of that fine school. He is therefore well qualified to write this specialist tome. The historical chapter regales the courage of the pioneers of oesophageal surgery in the first half of the twentieth century, in which great British oesophageal surgeons including Grey Turner, Ivor Lewis, Allison, and Belsey are afforded due prominence. Following general sections on the philosophy of and indications for oesophageal replacement and the choices available of the oesophageal substitute and route to bridge the gap, a chapter is then devoted to each of the principal reconstructive techniques using stomach, colon, and jejunum, as well as the use of prosthetic tubes. Each of the chapters goes into considerable detail about relevant surgical anatomy, physiology, operative technique, and complications and their management.

Reconstructive Surgery of the Esophagus is clearly and succinctly written. While it draws heavily on the author’s considerable experience, one of the attractions of this book is that it is clearly evidence based, and as well as being liberally referenced, the key references and their conclusions are highlighted in tabular form in each chapter. Another strong point for its predominantly surgical audience is the wealth of line drawings, which clearly depict surgical anatomy and technique. Overall, this is an excellent book, which takes its place well between existing tomes on oesophageal disease. I can recommend it wholeheartedly as an essential reference volume for both trainees and consultants in oesophageal surgery and indeed gastroenterologists might usefully dip into it occasionally so as to appreciate the many challenges facing their oesophageal surgeons in this fascinating branch of gastrointestinal surgery.