The title of this book is misleading. Dr von Hippel has put together a collection of essays on the care of patients who have problems that require the services of a thoracic surgeon. These essays, largely anecdotal, represent the summation of his experience. As such, there is much of value, especially concerning the care of chest catheters and drainage systems. He makes the point that simple, relatively foolproof systems are the safest, and that surveillance is required for all available apparatus. In summary, use what you know well and with which you can do a good job.
In this manual of thoracic surgery, surgery itself is conspicuously absent. Although specific tips are offered in the pediatric realm, the bulk of the treatment of adult pulmonary and esophageal disease (such as cancer) is mentioned only casually. The surgeon in training will not learn when or how to do mediastinal node dissections