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February 1996


Author Affiliations

DeMotte, Ind

Arch Surg. 1996;131(2):128. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430140018003

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Some writers seem to have forgotten that there is more to surgery than what happens in an operating room. Surgery is not synonymous with operation.

In a manuscript I edited recently the author wrote, "The patient is seen several weeks before the proposed surgery...."What is "seeing" the patient if not the provision of surgical care? This writer had focused on the operation he would perform rather than on the person seeking treatment.

When I edit a manuscript, I use the following guidelines: (1) Surgery is surgical care, surgical treatment, or surgical therapy, ie, the care provided by a surgeon with the help of nurses and other personnel from the first consultation and examination, through the hospital stay, operation, and postoperative care, until the last follow-up visit is complete. Surgery can last for years. (2) An operation is what happens between induction of and emergence from anesthesia—incision, dissection, excision, and closure—the

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