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Surgery of the Brainstem
Spetzler RF, Kalani MYS, Lawton MT. Surgery of the Brainstem. New York, NY: Thieme Medical Publishers; 2020 (492 pages) ISBN 9781626232914
The book “Surgery of the brainstem” is a richly illustrated book, covering almost every aspect of surgery in and around the brainstem. The first two sections (Chapters 1–4) of the book cover the history of brainstem surgery and the complex anatomy. Section III (Chapters 5–7) deals with the neurologic examination of patients with brainstem pathology, imaging, and intraoperative electrophysiologic monitoring. Surgical approaches to the brainstem, thalamus, and pineal region are explained in great detail in Section IV (Chapters 8–12). Section V (Chapters 13–22) deals with the management of tumors, whereas Section VI (Chapters 23–32) deals with the management of vascular pathologies in and around the brainstem. In the last section with the heading “Implants and cranial nerve repair,” the role of auditory brainstem implants in treating hearing loss is discussed.
Many authors contributed to the voluminous work, among which are some of the masters of complex microneurosurgery. As a consequence, some chapters are too long and more a demonstration of what could be surgically possible in very experienced hands, thereby limiting the usefulness of the book for the “normal” neurosurgeon and lacking in parts the discussion of meaningful nonsurgical alternatives.
But at the very end, the book by Spetzler, Kalani, and Lawton is a beautiful piece of work for all neurosurgeons who are already operating in and around the brainstem and are looking for tips and tricks, as well as for those who aimed to reach that expertise.
Article published online:
03 August 2021
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