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Book and Media Reviews
November 16, 2011

Operative Anatomy of the Heart

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston (crawfrdf@musc.edu).

JAMA. 2011;306(19):2163-2164. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1684

It is a well-recognized axiom that to perform a good operative procedure, the surgeon must first be thoroughly familiar with normal anatomy as well as common variants. In Operative Anatomy of the Heart, authors Denis Berdajs and Marko Turina provide this information as related to the heart through the use of 948 illustrations and accompanying text.

The illustrations consist for the most part of spectacular “dry dissections” of normal hearts. One can only speculate on the time required to prepare these magnificent specimens, which are further complemented by superb photography. The book is printed on heavy paper, which no doubt contributes to the accurate reproduction of the photographs. In many cases, the dissections are presented as series in which each successive dissection or illustration progressively uncovers another layer of the structure being discussed in the text. The dissections are extensively labeled and in most cases accompanied by a labeled schematic drawing of the photograph. Specimens are presented in the orientation that would be viewed by the surgeon. With rare exceptions, the dissected specimens and accompanying schematic drawings are on the same page as the appropriate text, so the reader rarely has to turn pages back and forth between text and illustration.