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Authors of surgical textbooks choose a variety of approaches in the design of their work. On one end of the spectrum is an exhaustive, all-inclusive approach to diseases and their surgical solution. In the very title of Smith's Practical Techniques in Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery, the authors have indicated this is not the intent of this gem of a little book. In the words of the prefaces to this and the first edition, they state their "desire to give the technical details of a limited number of surgical procedures they use frequently" and to "crystallize the technical details and minimize the possibilities of complication and failure." To this end, they succeed very well indeed.
The details of instrumentation and suture and technical maneuvers are supplemented by the simple, yet elegant, artwork of Virginia Cantarella. Most surgeons will agree with the authors that it is easier to "draw diagrams of operations than