With the literary sophistication anticipated from these authors, this is a surgical atlas in the classic tradition. Unlike more recent surgical texts billed as an atlas, this one sticks to its objective, which is to illustrate and explain how to perform noncardiac operations within the chest. Similarly titled recent texts scatter their discussions among preoperative care, postoperative care, and pathophysiology, with the result that the compromise satisfies no one. This book avoids such diffusion.
Ravitch and Steichen's thesis is that general surgeons should perform noncardiac surgery within the chest. They maintain that only the chance embryologic placement of the heart within the chest links cardiac surgery with operations performed on the lungs, esophagus, chest wall, and diaphragm. It is specifically for the general surgeon skirmishing for territory along the thoracic frontier that this book allegedly is designed. In fact, the readership will certainly include almost every cardiac surgeon who, after