[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Citations 0
Books, Journals, New Media
February 2, 2000

Tumor Surgery: Anatomic Basis of Tumor Surgery

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 2000;283(5):675. doi:10.1001/jama.283.5.675-JBK0202-3-1

Surgeons, especially those in training, often consult a number of printed resources to prepare for an operation, commonly a surgical atlas, surgical textbook, and sometimes an anatomy text and atlas. A few excellent texts combine features of a surgical text with those of a surgical atlas, but until the appearance of this book, none has combined all four resources in a single volume.

This outstanding book provides a wealth of information in both printed and graphic form combining all four genres: anatomic drawings and excellent illustrations of surgical techniques—most muticolored—and text that describes diseases and surgical approaches. The work is the result of the editorial and artistic skills of Dr William C. Wood, a preeminent surgical oncologist, and Dr John E. Skandalakis, a superb anatomist and professor of surgery, both from Emory University.

True to the title, chapters are arranged by anatomic region rather than by tumor type, including oral cavity and oropharynx, neck, breast and axilla, abdominal wall, stomach, liver, etc. The organization of each chapter is nearly identical, giving the book a consistent look and feel, despite the multiple contributors. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the epidemiology and etiology of the tumors in that anatomic area. Outstanding color plates illustrate the descriptive anatomic material. For example, the chapter on the oral cavity and oropharynx separately describes the anatomy of the tongue, floor of the mouth, buccal mucosa, lower alveolar ridge, retromolar trigone, hard palate and upper alveolar ridge, soft palate, tonsil, base of the tongue, and parapharyngeal space. Anatomic variations are nicely illustrated, such as those in the hepatic circulation and biliary tree. Photographs are often placed alongside anatomic drawings to provide the actual intraoperative appearance of an area.

After the reader has reviewed the anatomy in text and drawings, the next section deals with "Surgical Applications," in which many types of resections are described and beautifully illustrated. Several approaches are often given for a particular area. Consistent with this being a contemporary text, laparoscopic approaches are included in detail, such as laparoscopic splenectomy and adrenalectomy. The authors wisely did not include techniques like laparoscopic colectomy that remain unproven in the treatment of malignancies. Lastly, each section contains a discussion of "Anatomic Basis of Complications" and a number of key references as well as suggested readings. The material on surgical complications is extremely valuable, emphasizing their anatomic basis. The key references are accompanied by useful short reviews explaining their significance.

It was often considered unlikely that a single text would provide sufficient information to the surgeon or surgical trainee to give the required detail about any given operation. Yet, this book is probably as close as one can be to a single text providing all the necessary anatomic and technical information for a wide range of tumor resections. It yields a wealth of information on anatomy and surgical technique and the interplay of these two disciplines. This book truly lives up to its title and gives "equal weight to anatomic knowledge and a contemporary understanding of the techniques of surgical extirpation of malignant tumors to help prevent the anatomic complications associated with surgical resection." The book is well constructed with glossy paper that does justice to the beautiful illustrations within. The combined skills of Drs Wood and Skandalakis and their outstanding contributors have resulted in a unique textbook that belongs on the shelf of every senior-level resident and anyone who performs or teaches surgical oncology procedures. Despite the large number of surgical texts on the market today, this book truly stands alone as a singular reference source for the surgical oncologist.