By Raymond Fonseca
This detailed, comprehensive collection of textbooks is aimed at those involved or interested in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Each textbook is in the region of 700 pages long, with many clinical photographs and diagrams throughout. Each volume covers three broad themes and is further divided into multiple chapters. In total, there are 42 chapters which traverse the wide remit of oral and maxillofacial surgery, authored by 69 contributors.
Volume 1 encompasses a mixture of topics including professionalism and practice, anaesthesia and pain control, and dentoalveolar and implant surgery. The chapters regarding practice discuss career options in OMFS and detail aspects involved in setting up a surgical practice. I felt these initial chapters would be more applicable to OMFS surgeons based in the USA; however, they offered useful insight into differences between the US and UK. The same is true of the analgesia and anaesthesia sections as these services are run differently dependent on which part of the world one practises in. The chapter discussing dentoalveolar surgery also covered paediatric procedures, which I thought was a useful addition as this area is at times only covered in separate paediatric texts. A section on complications of dentoalveolar surgery followed, including trigeminal nerve injuries and also a chapter on lasers. Following this was a comprehensive section on implants including restorative aspects, discussion of grafts, imaging, patient assessment and surgical planning. I felt this first volume was extremely interesting but the topics were perhaps a little disjointed. This is likely because the other volumes contain topics very much related to each other and so the contents of Volume 1 are topics that did not tie in with the themes of Volumes 2 or 3. Overall, however, I felt the detail in Volume 1 was comprehensive and useful with more aspects of each topic covered than I have seen elsewhere.
Volume 2 moves onto trauma, surgical pathology and temporomandibular disorders. The trauma section discusses a range of head and neck injuries: presentation, examination and their subsequent management. The surgical pathology section includes a comprehensive guide to diagnostic techniques, cysts, odontogenic and non-odontogenic tumours, rare pathology of head and neck, vesiculobullous disease, and malignant conditions including skin lesions. Of particular interest is the molecular biology of cancer chapter. I appreciated the comprehensive nature of this surgical pathology section, touching on common and rare pathologies and detailing the signs, symptoms, histology and management (surgical and non-surgical). The temporomandibular disorders section discussed historical approaches to TMJ, surgical and non-surgical treatments, controversies in surgical management and ended with a chapter on chronic facial pain and management of muscular disorders.
The final volume focused on orthognathic surgery, aesthetic surgery, and cleft and craniofacial surgery. Again, this volume follows the same framework as the preceding volumes with a discussion of historical aspects, diagnosis, planning and surgical management. There are a large number of clinical photographs and digital planning images in this section which are incredibly illustrative, particularly as many different osteotomy techniques are discussed. The aesthetic surgery section is smaller than the two other sections in this volume and detail common surgical procedures, for example, blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty etc. This section also includes a further discussion on the use of lasers which is also touched upon in Volume 1. The cleft and craniofacial surgery section details embryogenesis and development of clefts, surgical management and timing of procedures, common craniofacial syndromes, speech and language considerations and surgical techniques.
In general, throughout the volumes there is some repetition and overlap between similar topics. This is expected to occur given the large amount of detail included in each volume, and offers the additional benefit that each chapter can function as a stand-alone source of information on a given topic. I very much enjoyed the detail throughout and the appreciation of the multi-disciplinary nature and non-surgical management involved in this field, particularly evident in the vesiculobullous diseases and chronic facial pain chapters. Each topic had a background section, examined historical aspects, clinical signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options and any controversies within the topics. Additionally, there was evidence quoted throughout with statistics for treatment and prognostic factors. Personally, I felt the oncology chapters in particular were extremely well laid out and informative. Overall, I was impressed by the holistic nature of this book, covering topics of surgical management without neglecting non-surgical and adjoining specialties.