The Temporal Bone: Anatomical Dissection and Surgical Approaches does exactly what it says on the tin. It is an excellent combination of anatomical atlas and dissection manual for temporal bone surgical procedures, designed to be kept open at the benchside of those working their way through temporal bone dissections on courses or in the lab.
As such, it fulfils its brief wonderfully with a comprehensive coverage of procedures delegates might want to perform. As with temporal bone courses, there is something useful in the manual for trainees at every level, from the novice driller to those who have performed anatomical and clinical dissections on multiple occasions.
The first chapter sets out how to successfully set oneself up in the lab, invaluable for the first-timer, followed by sensibly laid-out step-by-step procedural chapters that increase in complexity as the book progresses. Each chapter begins with a brief ‘elevator pitch’ summary of the clinical indications for each procedure, which would be useful soundbites in a viva scenario. The dissections are beautifully and systematically presented with great full-colour, high-definition pictures, sensible labels and judicious use of schematics to explain the underlying anatomy. Endoscopic views are particularly beautiful and helpfully labelled, which is invaluable given the relative lack of exposure UK trainees might have had to endoscopic ear surgery. Each chapter concludes with a thoughtful ‘hints and pitfalls’ section, full of excellent pearls to keep in mind when translating one’s temporal bone lab experience into the clinical setting. These would serve as useful discussion points with clinical trainers.
This book is exceedingly good value for money, which is helpful given the high costs involved in attending temporal bone courses. This small additional investment would continue to pay off long after courses are completed, as later review of the pictures would greatly aid learners’ memory recall, confidence and independence prior to assisting or performing cases in theatre. This book will be a useful companion particularly for the trainee and the practising otolaryngologist.