Although the editor's aim was to prepare a "practical manual for the general surgeon about to carry out an operation," he has generally failed because the book deals too superficially with the surgical problems it discusses. Most of the book is written in a pedantic, step-by-step, cookbook style that I found very tiring. It is obviously directed toward the house officer about to embark on his first operation. This is literally so, for the descriptions of "setting up an intravenous infusion," "appendectomy," and other procedures are described in simplistic detail, yet the text is so superficial and casual that it would have to be supplemented by information from other, better-written sources.
One pictures the house officer, with this manual propped on a Mayo stand, performing an operation for perforated peptic ulcer: "If you are inexperienced, are working at night with a junior anesthetist, favor the most conservative procedure. Should you
NANCE FC. General Surgical Operations. Arch Surg. 1979;114(8):979. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1979.01370320111028