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It is a great honor for me to be chosen as one the people privileged to write a preface to the special supplement edition of Neurosurgery dedicated to the work of Dr. Albert L. Rhoton, Jr. As one of his first fellows in the laboratory at the University of Florida, I have personally witnessed Dr. Rhotons tireless commitment to achieving professional excellence. The old laboratory, today replaced by a fancy state-of-the-art facility, was the stage for the performance of many artists, sculptors of the naturally beautiful gem that is the human brain. Dr. Rhotons daily display of dedication, hard work, and persistence has made him a role model for the fellows. His inquisitive mind and diligent guidance has set the standards for the microsurgical laboratory to a level unparalleled in the world. This long-awaited supplement, although but a part of an endless collection of masterpieces of anatomic dissections, pays a long-due homage to the person responsible for showing the young and even the older generation of neurosurgeons that the answer to the majority of our surgical problems lies in knowledge of the basics of anatomy. Evandro de Oliveira Sa o Paulo, Brazil geon. I need not say more about Albert L. Rhoton as a man and as a neurosurgeon. This supplement to Neurosurgery will not join the other issues but will have a dedicated place in my library. Bernard George Paris, France Neurosurgeons all over the world await the compilation of the astounding anatomic encyclopedic work of Dr. Albert L. Rhoton, Jr., in volume form. The present study on the posterior fossa will be a ready reference in the library and surgical theater. Dr. Rhotons anatomic work is based on extensive, meticulous, and precise dissections of cadavers. His techniques of preservation of the cadaver head, injection of the arteries and veins, and depiction of the anatomic details will remain a landmark feature for a long time. His anatomic work has been oriented toward the surgical approach and has helped all of us in the formulation and planning of surgery. His concepts, ideas, and revelations will be a treasure for us all forever. On the personal side, he has guided me on innumerable occasions, nurtured me, and seen me evolve. On behalf of all his students, including many Japanese colleagues who have had a chance to work in his laboratory, I wholeheartedly welcome the publication of this magnificent special issue. Shigeaki Kobayashi Matsumoto, Japan

It is a wonderful idea to publish in a supplement to Neurosurgery the best of Dr. Albert L. Rhotons work on the anatomy and surgery of the posterior cranial fossa. Moreover, this publication will be followed in 2002 by another supplement, which will focus on the cerebrum and supratentorial areas. With the development of surgical assistance by endoscopy, computed imaging, robotics, and other techniques, many surgeons, especially the youngest, may wonder about the relevance and usefulness of a perfect knowledge of anatomy. Whatever instruments we use, however, the brain on which we work will remain the same, and knowledge of its anatomy will always have great importance. Someday, we may be able to integrate anatomic pictures into our surgical devices, in the same way that computed images are incorporated today. Moreover, these anatomic pictures could be modified according to the pathological features, based on the imaging scans. Thus, the surgeon might compare his or her real surgical field with the virtual anatomy of the same case. Whatever the future, comprehensive knowledge and understanding of what we are working on will be always essential. Dr. Rhotons work is a masterpiece that will help to acquire and maintain this knowledge. Every neurosurgeon in the world knows and appreciates Dr. Rhoton as a master of surgical anatomy. Many, including myself, have collected his wonderfully illustrated articles. Some societies, such as the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia, use Dr. Rhotons pictures on their examinations. Personally, I think that the incredible quality of these pictures reflects the quality of the man himself. During congress presentations, I often observe that, behind every nice and demonstrative operative slide, there is a good, honest, and experienced sur-

Dr. Albert L. Rhotons scientific work as a neurosurgeon his lifes workdemonstrates his dedication to topographic anatomy in neurosurgery. The exposure of anatomic details in the posterior fossa is unique in the history of neurosurgery. Dr. Rhoton is one of the most prestigious personalities within modern neurosurgery, because of his neurosurgical skill and his wonderful human qualities. For 30 years, I have had the privilege of knowing this wonderful person and admiring his inexhaustible talent, which enabled him to contribute to modern neurosurgery in a very meaningful way. He has mainly devoted himself to the field of topographic anatomy. His attention is principally focused on the surgical approaches to the different regions, particularly the posterior fossa. His intention is always to search for easier and more accurate surgical techniques, not just for selected experts but for all neurosurgeons. He has developed advanced technical standards for exposure of the cerebral vessels in beautiful color illustrations in cadavers. This contribution to the world of neurosurgery is unique and exceptional. Almost all neurosurgeons have benefited from his effort to achieve a better understanding of neuroanatomy. His artistic talent has made him an invaluable teacher and a great master of neurosurgery. This special supplement issue, The Posterior Cranial Fossa: Microsurgical Anatomy and Surgical Approaches, in 10 chapters S3

Neurosurgery, Vol. 47, No. 3, September 2000 Supplement


knowledge for neurosurgeons than Dr. Albert L. Rhoton, Jr. The microsurgical anatomic preparations from his laboratory have provided a whole generation of neurosurgeons with the anatomic armamentarium to reach every aspect of the central nervous system safely. This special supplement, The Posterior Cranial Fossa: Microsurgical Anatomy and Surgical Approaches, will provide life-sustaining sunlight to countless neurosurgeons and will thereby directly benefit their respective patients. Robert F. Spetzler Phoenix, Arizona

with more than 500 color illustrations, will be the highlight of every neurosurgeons study! Dr. Rhoton has given a great gift to all of us. Madjid Samii Hannover, Germany Anatomy to the surgeon is like the sun for our planet. Anatomy gives us the life-sustaining knowledge to traverse the intricate pathways throughout the brain. As our anatomic knowledge has grown, our entire specialty has evolved. No single neuroanatomist can lay greater claim to expanding this

Surgical instruments as shown in Joannis Scultetis Armamentarium Chirurgicum. . . . This limited edition of 2500 copies was bound in half leather and Hahnemu hle paper. From, Joannis Sculteti, Armamentarium Chirurgicum XLII Tabulis Aeri Elegantissime Incisis. . . . Ulm, B. Ku hnen, 1655. Courtesy, Rare Book Room, Norris Medical Library, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California.

Neurosurgery, Vol. 47, No. 3, September 2000 Supplement