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Book and New Media Reviews
May 2002

Cosmetic Surgery: An Interdisciplinary Approach (Basic and Clinical Dermatology)

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edited by Rhoda S. Narins, 986 pp, with black-and-white illus, $250, ISBN 0-8247-0302-2, New York, NY, Marcel Dekker Inc, 2001.


Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002

Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(5):702-703. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.5.702

Cosmetic surgery cannot be learned from a book. As with all surgery, the complexities are in the detail, the precise execution of which determines safety and outcome. However, one has to start somewhere, and the volume edited by Narins is an excellent place to begin.

At almost 1000 pages, this is a startlingly large book. From relatively recent beginnings, the provision of cosmetic surgery by dermatologists has obviously mushroomed to the point where the collective repository of knowledge on the subject is formidable. Narins has recognized the difficulties inherent in understandably conveying this poorly cataloged knowledge. Rather than enforcing a rigid structure that would favor uniformity over expansiveness, she has given the contributors near autonomy. Thus, we have 41 chapters of varying lengths and quality by experts in different areas. Basic procedures such as chemical peels, sclerotherapy, and botulinum toxin and collagen injections are covered. So also are more invasive processes, such as laser surgery, liposuction, aggressive, soft tissue augmentation, resurfacing by different modalities, and hair transplantantion, which are accorded 1 or more chapters, as is appropriate. Some chapters describe surgical procedures, like blepharoplasty, abdominoplasty, face-lifting, and facial implants, that fewer dermatologists perform at present. These sections seem to have been commissioned for the sake of completeness, a commendable philosophy that may extend the useful life span of this book. Similar foresight has led to the several chapters that discuss cosmesis as it pertains to medically necessary procedures. Excisions of cysts and nevi, as well as flaps and grafts to repair cancer operations, are treated. The few remaining chapters focus on ancillary topics, including design of the surgical suite, analysis of the aging face, office photography, and handling of the dissatisfied patient.

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