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Edited by A B MacLean and L Cardozo. (Pp 458; £48, £36 to fellows and members of the RCOG.) Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Press, 2002. ISBN 1-900364-67-0.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have convened study groups to address important growth areas within the specialty. This volume has resulted from the collective opinions of an eminent international group.
The editors can be congratulated on achieving the objectives and providing an interesting as well as easy to read essential addition to every obstetrician and gynaecologist’s personal library. This is of particular note when the practice of the specialty is becoming more subspecialised.
Even the practitioner with an entirely obstetric based practice would find this book of interest. The chapter on prophylactic caesarean section is a particularly enjoyable and stimulating addition to a debate that focuses both lay and obstetricians’ minds. The suggestion of physiotherapists educating midwives in the management of the pelvic floor will lead to radical local discussion on the place of an integrated team approach to health care delivery.
For the trainee and MRCOG candidate this book is a must; it contains the experience of experts beautifully presented at a depth which will not only be adequate for their training but qualified by discussion from some of the most acclaimed opinions.
The book conveys sound common sense in the broadest of areas; risk management of the ureteric injury is dependent on the wording of the operative note as much as surgical skills when a successful defence is concerned. It is a sad reflection on the NHS to note experts contributing to the discussion commenting on inadequate surgical exposure secondary to the wrong operative facility being accessible. The current trend to a more litigious society will not be reversed but at least will be contained when experts state their case in a clarion clear fashion.
The repair of the anal sphincter and anal incontinence are explored. The diagrammatic illustration is a reminder that a pictorial representation of the tears is a useful adjunct to audit. Faecal incontinence has been a Cinderella subject in the specialty for too long; it is a worthy addition to the specialty to see that this book includes opinion on such.
The reviewers have been asked to rate these books in terms of four items: readability, how up to date they are, accuracy and reliability, and value for money, using simple four point scales. From their opinions we have derived an overall “star” rating: * = poor, ** = reasonable, *** = good, **** = excellent.