ophthalmic-surgical-procedures-2nd-editionEditors: Peter S. Hersh, MD; Bruce M. Zagelbaum, MD; and Sandra Lora Cremers, MD
Medical Illustrator: Laurel Cook Lhowe
Publisher: Thieme – 382 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

The first (1988) edition of this book is described by the Foreword writer Dr. Claes H. Dohlman as a “concise and richly illustrated guide for residents and beginning surgeons.” He was Chief of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston when the lead author and editor of this book Dr. Peter S. Hersh began his three-year residency program there in 1982. “He was exceptional, particularly in surgical skills coupled with mature judgment.”

The first edition became “very popular,” and years later, Dr. Hersh’s “reputation as a surgical teacher has truly become international,” Dr. Dohlman writes. Fast forward 21 years and this current (second) edition appeared in 2009. Like the first edition, the current one provides numerous illustrations, “with many excellent line drawings of the basic procedures in a step-by-step format,” Dr. Dohlman points out.

Fifteen ophthalmologists from around the country – professors, physicians, and surgeons – have authored or coauthored the 68 chapters on various how-to techniques when operating on and around the eye. Those chapters are organized around these nine Sections named below:

  1. Introduction to Ophthalmic Surgery
  2. Cataract
  3. Cornea
  4. Refractive Surgery
  5. Eye Trauma
  6. Glaucoma
  7. Pediatrics and Strabismus
  8. Oculoplastics
  9. Vitreoretinal

The three lead editors write in their Preface that there are two distinct ways that beginning and experienced ophthalmic surgeons can learn new techniques. One way is to watch accomplished surgeons operate based on their compounded knowledge and expert skills. The other way is to research for information on the numerous topics one is seeking, which can be very time consuming and not easy to find. This book combines these two ways of learning and gives you the best of both worlds!

You can use this book in several ways:

  • As a concise, speedy, frequent, reference resource for active use
  • As a guide to a broad range of various ophthalmic surgical procedures
  • As a highly visual step-by-step, how-to-do manual to do a specific procedure

Each chapter in this book contains brief sections on:

  1. Indications
  2. Preoperative preparation for surgery
  3. Instrumentation required
  4. Postoperative care
  5. Complications

The first Section – Introduction to Ophthalmic Surgery – is a highly important one as a key to preparing for surgeries of all types found in this book. This Section is a must-read simply because it contains text and images showing what is essential to know and use in all ophthalmic operations including instruments, sutures and needles, adequately preparing the patient for surgery, ophthalmic anesthesia, patient draping and surgical prep work, and postoperative care of and instructions to the patient before he is discharged from the hospital.

In summary, this is a highly useful book. It has succinct instructions and consistent, easy-to-follow presentation enabling rapid reading and review. It also contains more than 600 expertly- drawn illustrations, along with lucid text that enables quick comprehension of each surgical step. And lastly, it offers a fairly broad range and variety of surgical procedures for the eye.



Peter S. Hersh, MD, FACS is Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, and Chief of Cornea and Refractive Surgery in the Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey. He is also with the Visiting Research Collaborative at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, and Director of Cornea and Laser Eye Institute – Hersh Vision Group in Teaneck, New Jersey.


Bruce M. Zagelbaum, MD, FACS is Associate Professor of Ophthalmology in the Department of Ophthalmology at New York University School of Medicine in New York, New York., and Attending Ophthalmologist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York.


Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS is Instructor of Ophthalmology in the Department of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, Massachusetts, at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.




Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS

Peter S. Hersh, MD, FACS

Bruce M. Zagelbaum, MD, FACS


Section Editors:

Neelakshi Bhagat, MD, MOH, FACS

Alan S. Crandall, MD

David A. Lee, MD

Peter S. Levin, MD\

Mariana D. Mead, MD (deceased)

John Tong, MD, FACS

Marco A.E. Zarbin, MD, PhD, FACS



Nathalie F. Azar, MD

Teresa Chen, MD, FACS

Bonnie Ann Henderson, MD

Howard A. Lane, MD

Andrea Lora, MD