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Book Review
November 2000

The Art of Surgery: Exceptional Cases—Unique Solutions: 100 Case Studies

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by Michael Trede, MD, 224 pp, with illus, $125, ISBN 0-86577-845-0, New York, NY, Thieme, 1999.


Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Surg. 2000;135(11):1368. doi:

This work from its outset refuses to be categorized as a surgical textbook or a volume of artwork. Instead, this text reviews more than 100 surgical cases (histories, sketches, and operative drawings) outlined and recorded by not only a technically gifted surgeon and innovator but also an exceptional medical illustrator, all in the same person. This text acknowledges Dr Trede's training at Cambridge in England and subsequently his development and stellar career in Berlin and Mannheim, Germany. Although the book chronicles the review of only one surgeon's career, the subject is a worthy choice. These one hundred patients cover the breadth of the European term "visceral surgery," long since replaced in the American surgical literature and training by terms gastrointestinal and general surgery. Trede classically illustrates operations through old world–like sketches, reviewing standard and novel approaches to difficult operative problems, demonstrating his expertise in almost every area of gastrointestinal surgery (from the esophagus to the anus). Trede is best known as a pioneer of pancreatic surgery who has lead the way in demonstrating decreased morbidity and mortality for pancreaticoduodenectomy resections for periampullary tumors. This book eloquently demonstrates not only the full breadth of his pancreatic surgical skill but details the management of complex retroperitoneal tumors, esophageal, hepatic, and colonic disorders. Finally, these short patient vignettes and illustrations of operative techniques reveal the integrity of this surgeon's operative management and thought process (in which he also includes his complications and failures). Hence, I believe this monograph is a worthwhile purchase and would be a reasonable addition to any surgeon's library.

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