International collaboration between surgeons with different backgrounds, practicing in different healthcare systems, has always spurred advances in our knowledge of colorectal disease and improvements in colorectal surgery standards. Today, like never before, the colorectal surgery community has gone global and the benefits of these collaborations are extended to every surgeon practicing our specialty. This is reflected in the sixth edition of Corman’s Colon and Rectal Surgery where Dr. Corman invited surgeons who have an international outlook such as Roberto Bergamaschi, Victor Fazio, and John Nicholls to contribute as co-editors. Most chapters have been thoroughly updated to reflect the technical advances, and the new literature that has appeared since the last edition of 2004, while other chapters have been completely rewritten.

The chapter on laparoscopic colorectal surgery, rewritten by Dr. Bergamaschi, contains an in-depth discussion of every aspect of laparoscopic colorectal surgery including some that are rarely found in books such as learning and simulation. The operating room descriptions are so exact, precise, and thorough that it feels like being there. The technical explanation touches on the most salient points of each procedure with a very experienced perspective and very rich details for a textbook. The parts on robotics and on transanal minimally invasive surgery are very current. A notable omission was the HALS approach to minimally invasive surgery, widely practiced throughout the world and just as difficult and challenging as the “pure laparoscopic” approach favored by the authors. John Nicholls has rewritten the chapters on fecal incontinence and constipation. The evaluation of fecal incontinence includes a discussion on MRI and 3D US. All modalities of treatment, particularly sacral neuromodulation which has been practiced in Europe for almost 10 years, are discussed and evaluated with a systematic approach and a deep personal understanding. The chapter on constipation is well organized and gives incredible insight into the management of this difficult patient population. Also the chapter on today’s management of complicated diverticulitis was rewritten by Nicholls in a methodical and clinically exceptional fashion. Among the chapters that were thoroughly updated a particular mention goes to the one by Dr. Corman on hemorrhoids. This chapter is a “classic,” with its in-depth discussion of the multiple modalities of therapy according to the multiple clinical presentations of this disease. Just recently, after this book was published, Ethicon has decided to withdraw the PPH stapler from the US market, while a slightly different Covidien stapler is still available to the American surgeons who use this technique.

Finally, while turning the pages, one cannot help gazing at the profiles of people who made a significant contribution to our specialty and be inspired by their gestes.

As in the previous editions, Dr. Corman’s knowledge, wisdom, and experience permeates this textbook and guides the new generation of colorectal surgeons. He not only provides an enjoyable learning experience but also exhorts us to think and to critically appraise the enormous amount of information available to us.