Although nothing can substitute for hands-on training and time in theatre, this book is about as close as any trainee wanting to make up for training time lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, will get. Whether bought as reading for a period of self-isolation, or, optimistically hoping that will all be long forgotten by the time this review is published, put on a Christmas wish list, this book is a must for all rhinologists.
Its strength is Prof PJ Wormalds’s outstanding building block description of frontal sinus anatomy. I certainly attribute my own confidence in the frontal sinus to the time spent as a registrar drawing out building blocks before and after each case – there is no better way to get to grips with the 3D anatomy in this challenging area. What has changed from the first to current edition is the development of a software programme, Scopis, that allows scans to be imported and the blocks superimposed on this, with a one-year licence included with the purchase of the book. Perhaps it’s a generational thing, but I personally don’t find the software to be as useful as having to draw out the blocks to cement the images of the scans, but the ability to combine with intraoperative image guidance certainly allows the concept to be incorporated into the surgical procedure. It’s very clever – but perhaps retaining the old-fashioned ‘drawing out the blocks’ concept would also have been worthwhile. I would strongly recommend that all trainees map out the anatomy before a case, and then revisit afterwards to see if they got it right.
The book does exactly what it says and focuses on surgical technique – and is all the better for it. If you are looking for updates on pathophysiology or medical management then this is not the book for you. What you will find is very clear step-by-step descriptions of surgical techniques. One of the great strengths of this book is the number and quality of the accompanying videos; 72 covering a very wide range of endoscopic procedures. A single author also leads to a very clear, consistent message throughout the book, which can sometimes be lacking in large textbooks with multiple authors.
If there is a ‘must-have’ book for rhinologists, I think this is it. In a crowded market, this stands out in its clear writing, quality of videos and value for money.