04 May 2010 (online)
Clinical Problem Solving in Plastic Surgery by Peter J. Taub and R. Michael Koch uses a fairly novel, problem-based approach by presenting the reader with various clinical scenarios commonly encountered in the plastic surgery practice. The book consists of 52 chapters, 26 of which are devoted to facial plastic surgery. Each chapter starts with a clinical photograph and a one sentence description of the problem in question. The reader is then taken through a concise patient history, highlighting the most important points with a brief explanation of their significance. This is followed by a physical examination section that details the important findings one should be familiar with when dealing with the problem and explaining the rationale behind each finding. Indicated radiologic work-up and required consultation services are then reviewed. The final two parts of each chapter go over available treatment options and their potential complications. In addition, each chapter provides the reader with a “thought process” algorithm and “clinical pearls” highlighting the most important take home messages.
Chapters of special note are two chapters separately covering upper and lower lip reconstructive algorithms. These chapters review the most commonly encountered malignancies of the lips with required preoperative work-up and recommended surgical treatment. All of the commonly used surgical options are reviewed and the indication for each is discussed. The chapters are accompanied by schematic representations of various surgical flaps. The book would, however, benefit from intraoperative photographs supplementing the schematic drawings. The two chapters on craniosynostosis are also worthy of mention. These chapters are not intended for craniofacial surgeons accustomed to treating patients with craniosynostosis; however, they provide most facial plastic surgeons with a comprehensive guideline on proper management of these rare conditions.
Clinical Problem Solving in Plastic Surgery is very easy to read, and patient-based problem solving brings a reader to the bedside of clinical decision making. Even though not all aspects of facial plastic surgery are covered in the book, most of the commonly encountered clinical problems are presented. The list of contributing authors is extensive and impressive, consisting of numerous nationally and internationally recognized leaders in the field of plastic surgery. Clinical Problem Solving in Plastic Surgery would serve well as a great overview source for medical students and residents rotating through the field, plastic surgery fellows in preparation for oral board examination, and practicing physicians as a refresher of the clinical decision-making algorithms.