On first glimpse this 548-page A4 book looked like it was going to be a nightmare to review, but once I started reading, I was pleasantly surprised. This is the second edition of this American book with the first edition published in 1999. Having not read the previous edition, I can say that the second lives up to its name and is indeed ‘comprehensive’.
I often start a book by looking at the authors and contributors and their credentials. The majority of these contributors are all senior professors within various university hospitals in the US, and few quick literature and google searches indicate they are all highly respected within their fields.
The book itself is divided into seven parts and then further subdivided into chapters. This makes it very easily digestible and quick when looking for something in particular. The parts are sequential (like a patient journey) from anatomy to clinical evaluation, pathophysiology and treatment. The final part covers specialist areas such as paediatrics and critical care patients.
The text is very well-written in an easy-to-read format and, quite importantly, from a multidisciplinary team perspective. It is very evidence-based with all points referenced to relevant journal articles, which appear at the end of each chapter. There is not a huge number of pictures or photographs, but those present are very relevant e.g. barium swallow and endoscopic findings.
In summary, my short review is unable to do this book justice. I would suggest it is useful as background reading and a reference book for ENT trainees but a must-have for anybody with a ‘comprehensive’ interest in swallowing disorders.