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 Table of Contents     
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 226-227

Surgical gastroenterology (Second Edition, 2014)

Department of Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery, Belle Vue Clinic, 9 Dr. U. N. Brahmachari Street, Kolkata - 700 017, West Bengal, India

Date of Web Publication23-Sep-2014

Correspondence Address:
B Ramana
Department of Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery, Belle Vue Clinic, 9 Dr. U. N. Brahmachari Street, Kolkata - 700 017, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Ramana B. Surgical gastroenterology (Second Edition, 2014) . J Min Access Surg 2014;10:226-7

How to cite this URL:
Ramana B. Surgical gastroenterology (Second Edition, 2014) . J Min Access Surg [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Nov 29];10:226-7. Available from:

Author: Dr. Sanjiv Haribhakti

Edition: 2 nd Edition

Published in 2014

ISBN: 8181913981

Publisher name and address: Paras Medical Publisher

Pages: 1450

It was with much interest and excitement that I started on Haribhakti's new magnum opus on gastrointestinal surgery. How often do we find Indian surgical textbooks of international level?

I was well aware of the reality in today's world where a textbook often contains information that is back-dated already because of the time lag for publication (in the context, in one chapter the authors say that 'hand assisted laparoscopy is a newly developed technique'. In the lights of 'scientific facts' published in today's journals that are promoted vigorously before falling by the wayside in the calm, cold light of reason and experience, one might say that is a good thing. The latest, greatest, shiny new factoid or device is unlike a false-positive pregcolor test: It usually disappoints, rarely relieves.

To come to the point, this is a great effort led by the editor, who has assembled a Forbes list of surgeons who are well recognized in their subjects. This is not your slim, handy pocket book of Indian surgery. It is more of a tome, with two full volumes reminding you of the Harrison and Maingot of yore. Don't let the volume put you off. You might be like me, and want your ready-to-use surgical pearl in a post or video not wearing out a cerebrocortical battery life of 2 min. However, even in this era of instant factoids that one can share on Facebook or Pinterest, the slow, organic way of learning has much to teach us. It tells us to yield, get serious, engage with the author, take out those old pencils and highlighters, and become students all over again. Talking of students, this book seems to be designed for them, and they would be well advised to get their hands on it.

Precise, evidence-related information on relevant surgical topics is delivered consistently with minimal frills and fanfare. Indications, contraindications, causes, complications, and other relevant exam related information are often formatted in points, for easy memorisation. To the experienced surgeon, this format is somewhat off-putting. One's soul thirsts for the wry wit and humor of the old Bailey and Love. Why can't we Indians let go of our perpetual seriousness and write with a little levity? I acknowledge a personal bias for that style here, and it clearly need not be anyone else's take on this book.

Part one is relentless in the hammering of dry facts into our brains, but this is actually a favor to us. Many of us old farts need to know about the basics of the positron emission tomography computed tomography, or the vaguely familiar bugbears of electrolytes, sepsis, and other brain-searing subjects. Thank God (or the Flying Spaghetti Monster) that we now have internists and intensivists to handle those things for us surgeons!

Part two is very well run, and flows from chapter to chapter. Take the anorectal and colorectal segments, for example. The chapters read easily enough, and even leave you disappointed when they end. It's like when you wanted Rowling to continue the Potter saga a few more pages!

One of the minor criticisms of this book would include the numerous typographical and formatting errors, something which a perfectionist would wince at. Most people, however, may not notice. In addition, the editor has been indulgent in the odd chapter in permitting authors to boast of whatever they do as 'the best' in the country.

One final unique feature of surgical gastroenterology is the last part of the book containing chapters on evidence, accreditation, insurance and even spirituality.

It is quite an achievement for an Indian author and editor, something to applaud, but like the faint aftertaste of tannin in a full-bodied wine, it leaves you hoping for an even better experience in the next vintage.


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2004 Journal of Minimal Access Surgery
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