This edition is different from the previous ones in many respects. In the first instance I have recruited a new co-editor, Professor George Hanna, a long-term colleague and friend who is deeply committed to surgical training and education and shares my views on the extreme importance of passing on one’s experience and practical clinical knowledge of surgical practice gained over many years to the next generation of surgeons. Between us we have decided to change the structure and content of Essential Surgical Practice directing it exclusively to trainees in higher surgical education in General Surgery. This decision reflects the changed scenario in higher surgical training over the past three decades, with the inevitable progress towards specialization in the various Surgical Specialties. Thus all the Specialty Sections included in previous editions (Neurosurgery Thoracic, Vascular and Urology) have been omitted as these are now distinctly separate from General Surgery, which by consensus includes the rest together with Trauma including Head Injuries.
This strategy has allowed us to provide a more detailed account of the various disorders and has enabled us to cover important surgical topics which were either not included in previous editions or were not covered in sufficient depth. We have for this reason recruited new authors, all of whom were carefully selected for their eminence in their respective fields. The 5th edition of Essential Surgical Practice is an almost complete rewrite in view of the considerable progress that has taken place in the past 10 years with respect to both pathology and management of the various surgical disorders. The same basic format of Essential Surgical Practice has been, however, retained, including highlights of core information for revision purposes and quick reference.