Australian Journal of Oto-Laryngology

Otologic Surgery: Manual Of Oto-Surgical Techniques

Otologic Surgery: Manual Of Oto-Surgical Techniques

Beaumont, G Dean

Michel Portmann and Didier Portmann (Translated by Anthony E.S. Richards MD)

Hard cover, 1998, 286 pages

Singular Publishing Group Inc.

ISBN 1-56593-939-5

Originally published as Manuel pratique de chirurgie otologique (Masson, Editeur, Paris, 1997), this book has been translated into English by Anthony Richards, consultant ENT surgeon at Charing Cross Hospital, London, and published by the Singular Publishing Company which is starting to produce Otolaryngological books of interest and high quality. It will be welcomed by the vast number of otologists who have followed the Bordeaux school, whose contribution to world otology has been enormous.

It is not, however, a reference work. Apart from 2 chapters there are, indeed, no references supplied. The work is in the nature of a manual of practical technique based on the principles elaborated by several generations of specialists since the foundation of the Bordeaux school in 1880. Accordingly, over 100 years of experience and surgical attitude is found here compressed into 286 pages, with the main body of the text being related to the past 40 years of microsurgical experience in otology.

Some fundamental rules are espoused – such as “for a skin surface to remain in a state of good biological equilibrium there must be a correct relationship between the volume of air circulating over its surface (V) and the surface area of the skin in contact with that circulating air (S) as expressed by the ratio VIS.” It is further stated that anything that changes this relationship … is likely to lead to the transformation of squamous epithelium into “cholesteatoma matrix”. Simplistic? Perhaps. But the surgical practice of the school is governed by this concept.

Not all of the techniques described will meet with universal approval. For instance the often counterproductive location of the superior vertical counterincision at 12 o’clock extending to the sulcus, the technique of removal of bone with a curette working from deep to superficial, the so-called trench technique for a grossly obliterative otosclerotic focus, the curious sonoinversion operation, the interposition procedure using the posterior crus, the one-stage tympanoplasty with ossicular reconstruction – and others.

However, the classic Bordeaux techniques are all there. Not exhaustively, but certainly as a carefully interrelated, clearly organized group of procedures, focussing on surgery for deafness and infection, together with surgery of the facial nerve, vertigo, and tumours. Neuro-otologic surgery is thrown in for good measure, as is plastic surgery of the pinna. A neat package of “how-I-do-it” information from a masterly school of otology.

This will be a “must have” for those of the BordeauxPortmann School, and a “should have” for those who have always wondered what the Bordeaux school has been about. It is clear, precise, and unashamedly didactic. A technical manual with intensely practical advice based on enormous experience. Could one ask for more?



Aust. J. Otolaryngol.

Copyright Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery Ltd. Jan 1999

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