Book review

Media Type: Textbook (2-Volume set with DVD and Expert Consult: Online and Print)

Synopsis: The tomes CORNEA: Fundamentals, Diagnosis & Management and Surgery of the Cornea & Conjunctiva , originally published in 1997, and hailed by the Archives of Ophthalmology as one of the 100 important ophthalmology books of the 20th century, is now in its third edition. The first two editions were widely-considered authoritative corneal texts and the third edition is a major update and should be a compelling purchase to even those who own previous volumes. The substantial additions to this edition include 25 new chapters covering the latest information in the field, a DVD containing over 2 hours of surgical videos, and most significantly, online access to the full text from any Internet-enabled computer or handheld device.

Target Audience: Cornea and anterior segment specialists, general ophthalmologists, and all ophthalmic trainees and students

Review: For the last 15 years the 2-volume textbook CORNEA, edited by Krachmer, Mannis & Holland has been widely hailed as a definitive comprehensive source of clinical and surgical corneal knowledge. For many of us it has been the authoritative reference for the most basic to the most challenging clinical corneal questions. Unlike some new editions which contain few actual additions, this 3 rd edition is a hefty major update that not only includes 25 new chapters of cutting-edge scientific content, but also new features such as a surgical video DVD and free online access to the complete text and illustrations. Full online access is a tremendous technological advance and, considering the books together weigh 15 pounds, also a tremendous convenience. Calling this simply a textbook underscores its vast utility, instead it should be called an all-encompassing multimedia package . Within the 25 new chapters and 43 new videos is up-to-date information on novel surgical techniques such as femtosecond laser assisted keratoplasty, lamellar keratoplasty such as DALK, DSAEK, DSEK & DMEK, phakic IOL’s, novel applications of anterior segment OCT and the new corneal dystrophy classifications among many others.

The textbooks themselves are a massive 2080 pages between the 2 volumes and encompass, well, literally everything in medical and surgical cornea as well as additional chapters on the ocular adnexa, conjunctiva and even anterior uveitis. The DVD contains over 2 hours of high quality narrated surgical videos, 43 in total, and exquisitely complements the surgically-oriented text from the second volume. The videos are highly edited, on average running between 2 and 3 minutes, but despite brevity, effectively illustrate the key surgical steps. The entire 2-volume set including all text and illustrations, but not the videos, is available online at no extra cost and is accessible from any web browser via (a unique activation code is included via a scratch-off label inside each purchased book). The convenience of having this definitive comprehensive resource available at all times from anywhere cannot be overstated. The multimedia package, which makes up this third edition, is a no-brainer for all cornea and anterior segment specialists but should also be appealing to any general ophthalmologist, optometrist or trainee looking to expand their knowledge of corneal disease and management.

The editors, Krachmer, Mannis & Holland, are familiar names to most ophthalmologists as they are all widely recognized giants in the field. The author list is also quite distinguished with, to my count, over 20 past and current academic chairmen as well as a multitude of current thought leaders. With a goal of encompassing literally every conceivable topic in cornea it should be no surprise that the chapters are fairly short and concise. That being said, the depth and sophistication within each topic, albeit brief, is more than adequate to satisfy even the most academic of cornea specialists. With the adoption of advanced technology such as online access and DVD’s comes inevitable technological ‘issues.’ In the case of the online edition, as thrilled I was to have access to the entire book on my iPhone, browsing on a cellular network, while possible, was quite slow and a bit frustrating. Accessing it from a computer browser with a more speedy broadband connection was much better but still somewhat buggy and with slower page load times than an average website. In my estimation this is a small consolation for the very large convenience of having this definitive resource available in my pocket at all times. Another technical issue was encountered with the DVD, which would not play on my Mac computer running the latest operating system (it did run successfully on an older version of Mac OS X however).

With the third edition, this seminal authoritative reference tome has become even better, not incrementally but substantially. In addition to the new cutting-edge content, the addition of the surgical videos DVD and online access to the full text makes this perhaps the most complete and versatile corneal text available today.

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Jan 12, 2017 | Posted by in OPHTHALMOLOGY | Comments Off on Book review

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