Day Case SurgeryI. Smith, D. McWhinnie, I. JacksonOxford University Press, November 2011 ISBN 978-0-19-958433-8 , 448 pp . , Price £39.99

This pocket-sized book is useful both as a reference and as an easily portable guide to the everyday problems that occur in day surgery. It is aimed as an update for medical and nursing staff involved in day/short-stay surgery, and is written in the style of all the Oxford Specialist handbooks with concise chapters with bullet points, making it easy to read. References are included to access further information if required. A comprehensive index ensures that topics are easy to find.

The book works through the patient pathway from pre-operative assessment to discharge, including chapters on selection criteria for day surgery, general anaesthesia, spinal anaesthesia, local/regional anaesthesia, sedation and analgesia. It also includes a chapter aimed specifically at paediatric anaesthesia.

There have been many new advances in minimally invasive surgery and anaesthesia, with increased opportunities to perform surgery on a day-case basis. The book subsequently goes on to cover specific specialities including: breast; general; ear, nose and throat; thyroid; orthopaedic; gynaecological; and emergency surgery. These chapters have been commissioned from recognised international experts who base their views on their practical knowledge and a current review of the literature. Although written mainly from a UK perspective, it also considers North American and European practice and thus is an extremely helpful guide for day-surgery worldwide.

Finally, chapters on outcome measures, patient safety, patient experience and teaching/training in the day-case unit are particularly useful for staff involved in managing or leading day-surgery centres.

In summary, I would recommend this book to all professionals involved in day surgery.