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Book and Media Reviews
October 13, 2010

Anatomic Basis of Tumor Surgery

JAMA. 2010;304(14):1616-1617. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1470

In the preface to the second edition of Anatomic Basis of Tumor Surgery, editors William Wood and Charles Staley honor their colleague and fellow editor John Skandalakis “for holding aloft the torch of surgical anatomy with so many contributions over nearly ninety years of his life.” After a long, productive career, Skandalakis died as this book went to press in August 2009. Still, to the practicing general surgeon, Skandalakis' name is synonymous with surgical anatomy. As a general surgery resident training in the 1980s, my own introduction to this gentleman was through his book, Anatomic Complications in General Surgery. In that concise, 337-page text, Skandalakis and coauthors Stephen Gray and Joseph Rowe Jr presented the embryology, normal anatomy, and possible anatomical variations applicable to a broad general surgery practice. The authors felt that surgeons using this applied surgical anatomy could achieve better results and avoid potential complications. Two decades later, in 2004, Skandalakis expanded the scope of this initial work in the 2-volume, 1720-page Surgical Anatomy: The Embryologic and Anatomic Basis of Modern Surgery.