Essentials of Robotic Surgery is an ambitious attempt to educate the readership on the history and current applications of robotic surgery in today’s operating theatre. Aimed at primary care providers and other health care specialists, it provides an overview on the common operations in the fields of cardiothoracic surgery, urology, colorectal surgery, gynaecology, ENT and paediatric surgery.

With such a large undertaking in only 224 pages, the detail to each individual field would be insufficient for a consultant surgeon with a specialty interest. There is however a broad base of knowledge that would benefit a resident working at a robotic centre or operating theatre staff.

The descriptions of the operations and set up are clear and concise, however the accompanying images taken as screen shots from the console are small and difficult to follow. I had great difficulty following the images in particular for the robotic partial nephrectomy, despite having experience doing this operation.

There is some discussion on the benefits and cost-effectiveness of robotic surgery, but this is again not in detail and some key references relating to robotic prostatectomy in particular are absent. For the urology readership, robotic partial nephrectomy (transperitoneal only) and robotic prostatectomy are discussed in separate chapters, providing a useful overview for someone naïve to these procedures. I thought the omission of adult robotic pyeloplasty and robotic cystectomy may decrease the value of this book for a urology trainee as these are considered routine procedures these days.

In short, this book makes a good read for someone interested in the basics of robotic surgery, but falls short for a consultant already working in the field.

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Conrad V Bishop

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, London.

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