This text was originally written (first edition) to "provide an initial basic background" for laser use in the field of surgery. The second edition has the same goal, but it has been expanded in several areas. The authors have clearly achieved their stated goal. The text is a concise collection of reports on the state of the art. The text is well written and the illustrations, which include 16 pages of color plates, are excellent. The authors frequently go beyond the basics to describe the specifics of technique or to provide an in-depth synopsis of the available data regarding particular procedures or methods.
A major weakness is the chapter on laser fundamentals. It is too superficial in comparison to the later chapters in the book. As mentioned, the other chapters provide more than a cursory overview despite their relative brevity, and they are well referenced with current citations.