The first edition of The Anesthesiologist's Manual of Surgical Procedures was published in 1994 and became an instant classic, fulfilling a major need among anesthesiologists for a textbook which allowed them to provide optimal care for the extensive range of procedures which are performed daily in the operating room. Although an individual anesthesiologist may have expertise in one or more subspecialty areas, it is common for that same individual to provide anesthesia for general surgery, thoracic surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, pediatric surgery, obstetric and gynecologic surgery, vascular surgery, and even cardiac surgery in his or her normal practice. Since each of these subspecialty surgery areas has an array of different procedures with unique anesthetic challenges, the individual anesthesiologist needed an easy method for preparing for this wide range of cases. The first edition of The Anesthesiologist's Manual of Surgical Procedures fulfilled that need, providing expert advice on the anesthesia issues relevant to each case that an anesthesiologist might encounter throughout the year.
Fifteen years after publication of the first edition of The Anesthesiologist's Manual of Surgical Procedures, the need for such a textbook has only increased. Although there has been a trend towards increased subspecialization within anesthesia, the majority of anesthesiologists continue to provide anesthesia for multiple subspecialty areas. The field of surgery has also advanced, with many procedures having new anesthetic implications and new procedures being developed. The anesthetic challenges have only increased during the past 15 years, both with the development of more complex surgical procedures and with development of “less invasive” surgical procedures (such as robotic surgery, video-assisted thoracic surgery, and off-pump coronary artery bypass procedures) which pose unique anesthetic challenges.
In the current age of information technology, it is reasonable to ask whether a textbook such as this one is needed since primary and review articles are readily accessible from any computer. I believe that The Anesthesiologist's Manual of Surgical Procedures fulfills a need which is not normally met by these other sources. The book is unique since each chapter is written jointly by a surgeon and an anesthesiologist who both have knowledge and experience in that surgical area. In contrast to many published articles, this book focuses on the information which the anesthesiologist needs to know. For each procedure, the surgical considerations, the procedural issues, and the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative anesthetic considerations are reviewed in a concise, easy-to-follow manner. This consistent format throughout the entire book allows the reader to develop a rapid approach to finding the information that is most relevant to a specific procedure. In my experience, such critical information takes much longer to identify or is often not included in published articles.
The Fourth Edition of this now classic textbook is again extensively revised and updated, while still continuing the format which has been invaluable for anesthesiologists during the past 15 years. This edition includes almost 40 new surgical procedures and demonstrates the advances in laparoscopic surgery and the increased use of regional anesthesia. Anesthesia has advanced since the prior edition was published, and these changes can be seen in the descriptions of anesthetic management for many specific procedures.
For the past 15 years, The Anesthesiologist's Manual of Surgical Procedures has been the textbook which I have used most extensively in my practice. Similar to the way propofol has replaced pentothal, each edition has replaced the prior one, documenting the advances which have been made in anesthetic management throughout this time. The new Fourth Edition now replaces the dog-eared Third Edition on my bookshelf, providing me with invaluable assistance as I contemplate the challenges on the daily anesthesia schedule.
Ronald G. Pearl MD, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine