The introduction of Lecture Notes on General Surgery, ed 4, explains the purposes of the authors, each a professor of surgery in an English medical school: We believe that there is a serious need in these days of expanding knowledge... for a book which will set out briefly the important facts in general surgery.... These lecture notes represent our own final year teaching; they are in no way a substitute for standard textbooks but are our attempt to draw together in some sort of logical way the fundamentals of general surgery.
For each surgical entity there is a brief description, in outline form, of cause, abnormality, clinical features, and treatment, with variations of this format as indicated by the subject matter. The book is written for the medical student, so only principles of treatment are presented, not surgical technique. There is minimal discussion of controversial theory. Presentation is straightforward, concise,