I enjoyed reading Middle Ear and Mastoid Surgery by Sanna et al. The authors are to be commended on the excellence of the illustrations within this text, both in schematic line drawings and operative images. I found both to be complimentary, and in surgery, more than most disciplines, a picture tells a thousand words.

The book starts with a detailed description of middle ear and mastoid anatomy, followed by general principles of middle ear surgery. Subsequent chapters then detail specific operations in more detail. The chapters follow a format of description with schematic drawings, followed by pictures of cases. Finally hints and tips are offered, which are very insightful and the result of significant experience on the authors’ behalf. The authors present a clear strategy for the management of a range of middle ear conditions in their hands.

I found all chapters thought provoking, and particularly enjoyed the level of detail described in managing external ear canal conditions and tympanic membrane perforations. These both indicate a meticulous approach to problems which are often regarded as trivial, or simple to manage. This level of detail is continued throughout.

This book offers valuable food for thought for anyone with an interest in middle ear surgery, from a budding otology trainee, to an established practitioner with several years of experience.

My only criticism is that no audiology results are shown for any of the reconstructive techniques shown. I think this would add value and credibility to the authors’ management strategies.

At £220 this book is not cheap, but would be a valuable addition to a department library, or an individual’s collection.

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Andrew Marshall

BSC, MBBS, FRCS, sits on the council of the section of Otology at the Royal Society of Medicine; past treasurer of the British Cochlear Implant Group; sits on the Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Ear Surgery and Ophthalmology.

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