This is a primer on technical surgery for medical students and junior surgical residents. The first half of the book is a discussion of the basic tools of the surgical trade. Their introduction is an excellent example of what is meant by a "technical misadventure." There are discussions of knot tying, suture material, and basic surgical instrument handling and maneuvers. There are chapters on history and on wound healing. There is an excellent essay on assisting in surgical procedures. A seven-page outline of surgical principles is a valuable summary.
The second half of the book consists of specific discussions of the major operative procedures in general surgery, including breast biopsy, basic abdominal operations, appendectomy, hernia, cholecystectomy, and small-bowel resection. Vascular anastomosis is also included, reflecting Dr Rich's major interest. No attempt is made to be comprehensive in these treatments. Rather, the authors present techniques that work for them. This section