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Book Review
October 2001

Surgery: Basic Science and Clinical Evidence

Author Affiliations

Not Available

Arch Surg. 2001;136(10):1208. doi:

Jeffrey Norton, MD, and his editorial board (Drs Bollinger, Chang, Lowry, Mulvihill, Pass, and Thompson) have ushered in a new and significant era of currently available surgery textbooks. During a period of numerous adventures into the textbook arena, this is different in focus and quality. The 130 contributors constitute an excellent group of current young surgeons, who, along with the editors, have stayed the course with this interesting format. There are 966 figures in this massive undertaking of 2100 pages.

This offering is divided into 8 sections: (1) Care of the Surgical Patient; (2) Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Diseases; (3) Endocrine; (4) Vascular; (5) Cardiothoracic; (6) Transplantation; (7) Cancer; and (8) Associated Disciplines. Each chapter is functional for the reader and practitioner. In today's environment of managed care, the authors recognize the need for cost-effective surgery and the maximization of results while preserving surgical judgment and quality patient care.

Dr McLeod sets the tone in chapter 3 on evidence-based surgery. The authors offer methods of formulating decisions not "based primarily on anecdotal information and experience," but data. The levels of evidence have received the modern designations as level 1, 2, and 3. Of particular merit are new developments and strategies in the chapters on multiple endocrine neoplasia (42), transplantation (61-70), gene therapy (86), and cancer genetics (73). A CD-ROM is included with the book as a problem-mediated database.

Surgery: Basic Science and Clinical Evidence is reader friendly with excellent illustrations and 200 evidence-based tables. Both new and old topics are effectively covered to avoid redundancy. Carefully reviewed historical summaries of the particular discipline involved are carefully crafted by the authors.