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September 15, 1969

Abdominal Operations

Author Affiliations

University of Colorado Denver


edited by Rodney Maingot, 2 vols, ed 5; 1,883 pp, with illus, $45.50, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1969.

JAMA. 1969;209(11):1723. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160240079035

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Surgical texts, like ICBMs, are getting bigger and more complex. Because of their escalating cost, they also are becoming a shared international responsibility. Their targeting has shifted from a single precise aim to a multi-impact spread. Rodney Maingot has thus altered the object of his classic, precise text on abdominal operations. The new edition contains several warheads aimed in many directions.

The fifth edition is big and expensive. Of the 82 authors, 52 are American. Proliferating targets in this edition include aneurysms, obliterative arterial disease, pulmonary embolus, and nonspecific areas such as metabolic response to trauma and selection of antibiotics. In some cases there is needless overkill, such as the duplicatory chapters by Turn-ball (new) and Ault (old) on no-touch removal of colon cancers.

Format differs for each subject, as we would expect with so many contributors. A few (and they are best) make no apology for the work's being