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Year : 1955  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 81-82

Surgery of the eye, diseases


Correspondence Address:
Alston Callahan

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How to cite this article:
Callahan A. Surgery of the eye, diseases. Indian J Ophthalmol 1955;3:81-2

How to cite this URL:
Callahan A. Surgery of the eye, diseases. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1955 [cited 2023 Dec 8];3:81-2. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1955/3/4/81/33586

By Alston Callahan, B.A., M.S. (Ophth.), M.D., F.A.C.S. 447 Pages, 263 illustrations, 19 Colour-plates. Charles C, Thomas. Springfield. Illinois. Price Rs. 115/-.

This new book on Surgery of the Eye appears as a sequal to the author's previous volume on SURGERY OF THE EYE Injuries. A new book on ocular surgery must have a purpose and a project different to similar books already lying in our libraries and of these we have many. Alston Callahan's new book on the subject has that different purpose, and that is to present the steps of the operation in a style different to other books on the subject. A collection of figures illustrating the several steps is presented on one full page with the full explanation of these on the page opposite. Together with the abundance and clarity of these diagrams, this style of presentation leaves the least effort for the reader and the student to follow the different opera­tions, some of them too complicated to visualise otherwise. This sort of presentation needs planning and good tutorship, and so even the big size of the hook, abort 8" to 11", has been definitely planned.

Medical illustrating and medical photography have become specialities in the realms of art and medicine and the author seems to have tapped the right sources for this purpose for presenting the superb illustrations which Give a perspective effect. The excellence of these diagrams, however, give an air of simplicity to some of the steps which may be actually deceiving. The average operator knows well that many times the operation steps are not so simple as they appear on paper.

As in all things beautiful in science to-day, nothing wonderful can be achieved without cooperation and collaboration from a team, and the team spirit is seen fully exploited in the fact that the author gives due credit to the librarian, the artist, the photographer and the various masters who have offered suggestions and have done the editing of the chapters in subjects which belong to their own sub-speciality e.g. Schepiens in detachment surgery, Berke, Wendell Hughes and Reeh in different types of plastic surgery, Atkinson in anesthesia. and Burian and Fink in muscle surgery.

As regards the different chapters, most of the known techniques are presented with emphasis on the pitfalls at different stages of the operation. Language is simple, the style easy and like speech, brevity is the spice of the writing not a word more than what is needed. This makes the book com­prehensive, yet not too large and not boring.

To Indian Ophthalmologists the chapters on cataract and glaucoma will appeal the most. Most of the controversial points are introduced as ques­tions and answered without prejudice e.g. on the burning question, whether to use a knife-incision or a Keratone scissor one for cataract, the author's wise comment is "the extensive discussion sometimes spent on this argument is unjustified, because both methods are good". This sort of approach inspires confidence in the book and the author. Sometimes he is discreet as in the case of Ridley's acrylic lens implants where he dismisses the subject as fraught with greater complications to the old fashioned operation which itself has enough complications of its own. This is to be expected in the U.S.A. where this operation has not caught the imagination to the same extent as on the other side of the Atlantic. The chapter on post-operative complications is very interesting and useful.

In the section on glaucoma, with the advance of Chemo-therapeusis of glaucoma a very clean concept of treating the glaucomas with drugs and surgery has been presented. Moreover in the selection of operations for glaucoma some 25 indications and contra-indications have been precisely stated which makes the operative approach to this uncertain problem of glaucoma definitely more clear. However one misses the catechismal discus­sion of controversial points on glaucoma which the author has adopted in cataract surgery. There are probably as many controversial points which could have been interestingly discussed catechesmically as has been done in the section on cataract surgery.

This section on Retinal Detachment is brief and clear, so also the section on muscle surgery. It seems to be the special hobby of the author to indulge in operations of the orbit which again have been very clearly rendered. Altogether it is a very delightful book for the student and the practitioner, which is easily readable, with clear large print, lucid illustrations, and can serve as a useful reference book in the lesser-practiced type of surgery parti­cularly for Indian Ophthalmologists. The printing is beautifully carried out on, full art paper, and the several drawings in crayon and colour along with photographs of cases put the finishing touch.


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