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It is certainn that watching a microneurosurgical operation on a dvd helps the observer to improve surgical skill and confidence. In many countries the young neurosurgeons of today do not have the opportunity to develop their skill by practice in the operating theater because if an increased number of trainees competing for experience.

Thus offering to trainees and young neurosurgeons the possibility to watch a large number of microneurosurgical operations on dvd provides a real training advantage. They learn the exact application of microsurgical instrumentation. It enables them to understand the concepts and tactics of microneurosurgery. In other words, being in the safe position of the “onlooker”, the viewer lives every operation, optically, a breath away from the magnified surgical field but without the opportunity to mark, criticize and subsequently avoid technical mistakes made by the senior neurosurgeon.

In our neurosurgical department (NIMTS), over the past 2,5 years, a large number of microneurosurgical procedures, have been recorded on dvd. Over a thousand recorded have been collected covering the entire spectrum of the surgical pathology of the nervous system.

It was obvious that this wealth material could be of educational use either because some of these operations were technically good enough to be used as examples or because in some cases we discovered technical and tactical mistakes which should be avoided. From this “seed” grew the idea for a compound book- dvd case, where written and audiovisual material could be harmoniously combined. To be acceptable the book had to be of normal shape, elegant enough to fit in the library and at the same time offered at a reasonable price. The result is already in your hands and waiting your well intentioned judgment.

In this volume the pathology of spinal canal space occupying lesions is described and the contents are organized into three major sections.

The first section (14 small chapters) provides a general review of the commonest space occupying lesions of the spinal canal and spinal cord.

The second (case study) section contains a detailed description of 35 representative patients whose operations have been recorded on dvd. In every case, we present a short history with the clinical manifestations, the diagnostic findings, description of the operation, the results and a comment on the correlation between the clinical manifestation and the anatomic position of the lesion.

The first and second sections are the essential introduction to the third section which is the core of the book. This third section is formed by by three dvds placed in a appropriately shaped cover of the book. In these dvds the main parts of the operations of the 35 representative cases of the second part have been recorded. The value of the surgical microscope, the laser, bipolar coagulation and other microsurgical techniques is clearly demonstrated in these videotapes.

The book is presented in two languages simultaneously, Hellenic and English. It is addressed:

• to trainees in neurosurgery, because in addition to the general information they have the opportunity to watch microsurgical operations through the eyes of the surgeon.

• to trainees in neurology who can refresh their general knowledge in the general section of the book and amlify their diagnostic ability watching the operation.

• to young neurosurgeons as a way to experience surgical operations that they have not the occasion to see every day.

• to orthopedic surgeons in case they decide to treat the pathology of the spinal cord.

• to radiologists as an occasion to verify in vivo the gross pathological anatomy of what they have diagnosed.

• to general practitioners for their extended education.

• to medical students as a complementary information and

• to everyone for an encyclopaedic education.

To provide a more pleasant, relaxing and less monotonous experience even for established neurosurgeons, Vangelis Papathanasiou has composed music for each one of the operations separately.

It is obvious that the accomplishment of the book could not have become a reality without the invaluable assistance of the contributors who honored the first section generously offering their time and expertise.

S. Tegos

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