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……on writing my textbook


In an earlier post, I described the work involved with writing a major cosmetic facial surgery text.  I literally spent 3-4 hours a day (and sometimes up to 11 hours) writing chapters on common topics of cosmetic facial surgery.  Being a major text from one of the best known medical publishers (Elsevier Saunders) there is no room for short cuts or nonfactual information.  Undoubtedly, young surgeons will use this text (and others) to learn how to do cosmetic facial surgery.  This means that everything has to be correct and referenced.  For the past quarter of a century, I have been a photography addict and it has paid off.  My text will contain several thousand images in a “step by step, how to do it” format.  Currently I am reviewing proofs (see picture) of all the pictures in each chapter.  Each image has to be rechecked for accuracy, clarity and to check that the captions are correct.

I am also knee deep in videos.  Contemporary textbooks contain DVD’s in the back cover that provide multimedia instruction on the various procedures.  Again, no room for amateurish movies.  I purchased a high end, high definition digital camcorder and although I already have movies of all my surgical procedures, I am remaking them in high definition to compliment this detailed book.  This is a task of awesome proportions.  Doing surgery and doing surgery for a movie is very different.  I have to narrate each step during the procedure and make sure that bloody gauze, drapes and instruments remain clean.  The videographer must focus on the key aspects of the procedure.  It is a lot of work but just the beginning.  The next step falls on my shoulders.  I must take all the raw video clips and assembly them into a movie.  This takes significant editing to makes sure that the movie flows properly, has transitions between scenes and the audio is acceptable.  Once this is put together, the movie must be rendered, or formatted to work on the average DVD player.  This editing process takes many hours but when I view the final product it is a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Having done most of the heavy lifting for this book, the next task will be to review all the text that I wrote and I hate that part.  It is hard for an author to go back and reread hundreds of pages (probably over a thousand) that he or she already wrote.  I am told by the publisher that the book should be available by July 2010.  Too long for me, but because the unusually large amount of color pictures, the book must be prepared overseas and shipped back and forth during production.  I am really excited to get that first copy as this project reperesents the most comprehensive and intense project that I will ever embark upon.

To find out more about cosmetic facial surgery and facial plastic surgery in Richmond, Virginia visit

Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Office Address

Joe Niamtu III, DMD
11319 Polo Place
Midlothian, VA 23113

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

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