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Journal Information
Vol. 92. Issue 7.
Pages 504-505 (August - September 2014)
Vol. 92. Issue 7.
Pages 504-505 (August - September 2014)
Book Review
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Principles and Practice of Surgery, 6th ed. and its Spanish translation, principios y práctica de cirugía, by Elsevier España, SL (2014)
Luis Grandea,b
a Servicio de Cirugía, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
b Profesor Titular de Cirugía, Universitat Autònoma, Barcelona, Spain
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When we mention the Principles and Practice of Surgery, we are talking about the most popular textbook at medical schools in the United Kingdom, with almost 30 years in publication and 6 editions in English. Likewise, when we talk about Principles and Practice of Surgery, we are talking about the sister edition, if not the identical twin, of one of the most widely acclaimed textbooks in medicine: Principles and Practice of Medicine. Moreover, when we mention Principles and Practice of Surgery, we are talking about a series called the Companion to Specialist Surgical Practice, which has also been on the market for 15 years with 5 different editions, and they both have a good number of authors and concepts in common.

With such a letter of introduction, it is clear that this text is a classic in surgery. The book's main target audience is medical students, although it is also undoubtedly useful for surgery residents and even for medical or surgical specialists who need a reference for quick consultation. With good reason, Elsevier has taken on the translation of the sixth edition from English to Spanish, especially when we consider the serious difficulties that our students and specialists still have to understand English. The Spanish edition strictly follows the format and philosophy of the English edition (Fig. 1).

The current editors are James Garden, John Forsythe and Rowan Parks from the University of Edinburgh, and Andrew Bradbury from the University of Birmingham, with the collaborations of 37 other authors, all of whom are well known in their respective areas. As in previous editions, Principles and Practice of Surgery provides concise information that is put forth in a clear manner, with a profusion of tables, algorithms, diagrams, figures, photographs, etc. that make reading easy and pleasant. In addition, interspersed throughout the text there are textboxes that further summarize the information and highlight the most important messages for the reader, while there are other textboxes that compile the best current scientific evidence regarding certain points.

The sixth edition has introduced noticeable changes over the earlier editions. The first is that it has changed from 5 to 3 sections, with restructured chapters. Thus, the text currently has a section on the principles of perioperative treatment (10 chapters), another on digestive surgery (7 chapters) and a third on the surgical specialties (10 chapters). The first section analyzes the steps to follow for the treatment of surgical patients, from nutrition to perioperative care, or in polytrauma patients. The second deals with the surgical pathologies of the digestive tube and abdominal wall, from the anatomic and physiological basis to indications and technical options. The third section is perhaps the weakest from a teaching standpoint at our surgical schools, but it is undoubtedly interesting for those who want to go into plastic surgery, breast surgery, endocrine surgery, vascular or cardiothoracic surgery, urologic surgery, neurosurgery, transplantation surgery, otorhinolaryngology or orthopedic surgery and traumatology, where it describes the processes with greatest incidence and their main surgical procedures.

The second change in this edition is that some aspects have been reorganized. There are 2 new chapters about the metabolic response to lesions as well as the ethical aspects and preoperative considerations, and they compile information that, in other editions, was dispersed and even repeated.

The third very evident change is the effort that has been made to renew and improve the images used. In addition, the textboxes with evidence-based medical concepts have been updated with proven information. In these textboxes, bibliographic references have been added to support the information. Websites are also given in order for the reader to be able to find additional information when interested. Obviously, as it is a textbook written for British medical schools, many of the references used are from this setting in particular, although care has been taken to offer more references in some chapters and in certain pathologies.

Also of relevance is the fact that the original edition can be accessed, searches can be performed about any topic, images can be downloaded from the original book and comments can be added or annotations made all through the StudentConsult© website, which is accessed with a code included inside the cover of the book.

In short, this is a textbook with clear, precise information intermixed with diagrams, figures and textboxes in an attractive manner. It should be in the libraries of our medical schools and hospital teaching units. Those of us in teaching positions should probably consult this text, particularly when we consider our tendency toward providing information that is geared more toward specialists than toward students.

Please cite this article as: Grande L. Principles and Practice of Surgery, 6th ed. and its Spanish translation, principios y práctica de cirugía, by Elsevier España, SL. Cir Esp. 2014;92:504–505.

Copyright © 2014. AEC
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