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Embryology for Surgeons: The Embryological Basis for the Treatment of Congenital Defects

John G. Raffensperger, MD
JAMA. 1972;222(10):1314-1315. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210100062040.
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For many years I have been searching for an authoritative textbook on embryology. The quest is now over, because Dr. Gray, an anatomist, and Dr. Skandalakis, a surgeon, have produced a really fine volume on the subject.

It is remarkable how embryologists, by studying the static anatomy of thousands of embryos and fetuses, can describe for us the dynamic rapid changes which take place in human organogenesis. In Embryology for Surgeons the authors provide us with a background of normal embryology for the gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and cardiovascular-pulmonary systems. They then systematically review the congenital defects that can arise in these areas. The authors not only skillfully relate individual defects to stages in normal embryology, but estimate their frequency and distribution within the population. Embryologists who worked extensively with human and animal fetuses in the early part of this century made many fine detailed studies. These historical observations together with current


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