Book Review: Atlas of Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery

| June 16, 2010 | 0 Comments

Reviewed by Edward L. Felix, MD

Bariatric Times. 2010;7(6):19

Bariatric surgery is a rapidly evolving discipline that now includes procedures for the treatment of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, as well as the treatment of obesity and related comorbidities. Surgeons are modifying older operations and developing new, minimally invasive procedures that might be more readily adopted by patients. Progress has been so rapid and widespread that a variety of subtle differences between approaches utilized by different surgeons for the same basic operation have arisen. There are many bariatric and laparoscopic atlases, but few have managed to cover the wide range of procedures being performed while still giving attention to the individual surgeon’s modifications of each procedure. The Atlas of Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery edited by Daniel B. Jones, MD, MS; Torsten Olbers, MD, PhD; and Benjamin E. Schneider, MD, attempted to fill this void and succeeded.

Although the atlas is not easily carried in a brief case or back pack because of its size, I would highly recommend it for the library of any aspiring bariatric surgeon or an established surgeon who wants to continue to learn from a variety of experts. The format of the book is simple, consistent, and complete. When necessary, a variety of approaches to each procedure are illustrated.

One highlight of the atlas is the beautiful color illustrations that accompany a variety of procedures. After each set of illustrations are commentaries by several different surgeons. These are comments about the main authors’ technique along with tricks and tips to help the reader better understand each procedure. I found the commentaries to be honest and helpful. The authors were frank to admit which opinions were based on hard scientific data and which were based on just surgeon preference.

Not only does this text cover well-established procedures, but it also manages to cover those that are on the cutting edge. The atlas clearly demonstrates how to perform a gastric bypass in five different ways and then offers additional tricks, such as anastomotic reinforcement and omental buttressing. When it comes to adjustable gastric banding, nothing is missed. Traditional approaches as well as the controversial single-incision techniques are included. Different band types are discussed and an important part of band success—adjustments—is even presented. As a bonus, a clinical pathway for each of the major procedures is outlined.

In addition, The atlas finds time to cover the complications of bariatric surgery—something not usually seen in an atlas. The complications and the appropriate remedial treatments for each are clearly illustrated in color. Everything from leaks and marginal ulcers, to band erosion and esophageal dilatation are covered. There is also an objective discussion of pulmonary embolus and prophylaxis.

A chapter on revisional procedures includes banding the failed gastric bypass, mini-gastric bypass revision for bile reflux, converting a failed band to bypass, and revising a vertical banded gastroplasty. A chapter on investigational procedures covers a broad range of procedures, from intragastric balloons to robotic surgery. The section on metabolic surgical procedures is especially well done with a wealth of background material and simple art work. Like all of the chapters, these chapters are followed by a set of suggested readings for those who wish to learn more.

Overall, I recommend this atlas to anyone who is serious about bariatric or metabolic surgery. It is perfect for established surgeons, fellows, or those responsible for teaching the surgeons of the future. The publisher does make the illustrations available for lecturing or teaching to surgeons that have that added responsibility. Unfortunately, this is one book, because of its size, you might have to leave behind in your library when you head for the operating room. As a reference text, however, you will not go wrong with this atlas for you or your students.

Atlas of Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery Book cover
Edited by Daniel B. Jones, MD, MS; Torsten Olbers, MD, PhD; and Benjamin E. Schneider, MD
• $285; $195 for residents
• 526 pages
• Published by Ciné-Med Inc.
• color illustrations
To place an order, call Ciné-Med Inc. at 800-253-7657 or visit

About the reviewer
Dr. Felix is Director of the Clovis Hospital Bariatric Center and Assistant Clinic Professor of Surgery, University of California,San Francisco, Fresno, California. As one of the leading surgeons in the nation for bariatric surgery, Dr. Felix was the first surgeon in central California to use advanced laparoscopic surgical techniques to treat patients. As the director of an advanced laparoscopic center in Fresno, California, specializing in minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Felix has performed more than 2,000 gastric bypasses, 97 percent laparoscopically. The center treats more than 600 patients per year and offers full service bariatric care including a dietitian and fitness practitioner.

Category: Book Reviews, Past Articles

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