Textbook of Surgery for medical students by Prof. Ijaz Ahsan

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 Book Review

Textbook of Surgery for medical
students by Prof. Ijaz Ahsan

Simplicity, accuracy, easy to read quickly with
pleasure and satisfaction is the beauty of this book

LAHORE: Prof. Ijaz Ahsan, an eminent surgeon, former Principal of King Edward Medical College who is also former President of College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan has published his revised Third Edition of Textbook of Surgery. The first edition was published in 1991 and the Second Edition in 1997. Writing in the Preface Prof. Ijaz Ahsan says that a textbook of surgery for medical students should contain only that much information which the students need and it should be explained in an easy language. Since this the student’s first exposure to surgery, if you make it pleasant, the students will follow the subject. This was the main objective kept in mind while writing this book and he has admirably accomplished it. Extremely easy to understand language is the beauty of this book which the medical students will love and enjoy.

Yet another objective set forth for this book was that since a vast majority of the medical students are going to become General Practitioners and not surgeons, the book should provide them sufficient understanding of surgical illnesses and their management and this objective too has been achieved for which the author needs to be commended.

The book has been divided into two parts and six sections. Part-I deals with the introduction about the subject of surgery, wounds, trauma, burns, grafts and flaps, shock, hemorrhage and transfusion, fluids and electrolytes, preoperative preparation, anesthesia, critical are, surgery and diabetes, ulcers and sinuses, surgical infections, neoplasia, transplantation, imaging and endoscopy, surgical materials and other miscellaneous subjects.

Section one in Part-II deals with gastrointestinal tract and abdominal walls. The topics covered in this include esophagus, stomach and duodenum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas and peritoneum, spleen, small intestine, appendix, colon and rectum, anal canal besides hernia and abdominal wall. Genitourinary tract has been covered in section two wherein kidney and ureter, urinary bladder, prostate, urethra and penis, testis and scortum have been discussed in detail. Musculoskeletal system is covered in section three which features fractures and dislocations, injuries to the limbs and diseases of the bones and joints. Breast, thorax and heart have been dealt with in section four while section five deals with arteries, veins, lymphatics and lymph node. The last section six covers Head and Neck, endocrine and other related topics i.e. Brain, spine, spinal cord and nerves, face and mouth, neck, thyroid gland, parathyroid’s and adrenals besides skin. Many topics have been supplemented with colourful pictures which make the understanding of the subject still better.

Writing in the Foreword Prof. William V. McDermott Jr., MD from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States says that “It would be no exaggeration to say that this is a superb book, designed as an entry point into the broad field of surgery for students and nurses thus indispensable for medical students and nurses who are developing their careers in the area of surgery besides medical students and surgical residents in training.” He further comments that “The charm and appeal of the book lies in its simplicity, directness, accuracy and completeness. One can read it quickly, easily, with pleasure and with satisfaction.”

While revising and updating this third edition, Prof. Ijaz Ahsan has also benefitted from the knowledge and experience of a number of eminent medical personalities who have provided useful information in their respective fields of specialization. Prof. Ijaz Ahsan has generously acknowledged their contribution. Those who have contributed and their respective disciplines includes Prof. Abdul Majeed Chaudhry in Endocrines, Dr. Amjad Mahboob, Aun Raza, Faisal Sultan in infectious diseases, Dr. Arshad Taqi in Anesthesia, Dr. Athar Saeed Kazmi in oncology, Dr. Dilawaiz Nadeem in orthopedics, Dr.Farid Ahmad Khan and Ijaz Hussain Shah in plastic surgery, Jamil Sarfraz in imaging, Prof. Kamran Chima in Pulmonary Medicine and critical care, Dr. Khalid Durrani in G. I. Tract, Dr.Khurram Mir in Urology, Dr. Mohammad Asim Yusaf in Stomach and Duodenum, Dr. Mohammad Zia-ul-Miraj Ahmad in Pediatric surgery and paediatric urology, Dr. Parvez Raja in Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Saad bin Anis in Principals, Dr. Saeed Ahmed in Pediatric urology and images, Dr. Salman Shah in paediatric cardiac surgery, Dr.Samir Qazi in oral and Maxillofacial surgery, Prof. Tariq Salahuddin in neurosurgery and Dr.Zahid Niaz in Principles. Hence the medical students benefit from the knowledge and collective wisdom of all these medical personnel.

Prof. Ijaz Ahsan has also added a word of caution for the clinicians while dealing with patients that they should not rely on a diagnosis made elsewhere because by undertaking the patient’s treatment, it is they who are responsible for the correctness of the diagnosis and correctness of management. Hence, they have to be extremely careful at every stage. Moreover, while discussing the new treatment modalities, he has not forgotten to add the older methods of treatment as well.

He has also acknowledged his teachers Professors Amiruddin, Riyaz Qadeer and Sardar Ali Sheikh besides Prof. Saeed Ahmad, Anwaar A. Khan and many others who helped him in collection of information, photographs and images which have been used in this book. The 636-page book has been published by Paramount Books (Pvt) Limited and keeping in view the volume, colour photographs it is very reasonably priced at Rs. 995/- It is not only the medical students and young doctors but postgraduates, nursing and dental students who will also find it extremely informative and useful while the General Practitioners, Family Physicians will find it extremely easy to consult while dealing with any surgical case for management or timely referral to the surgeons. It will be a useful addition to any medical college, nursing school, college, dental college library or university library which will further enrich their existing rich treasure. Above all, Prof. Ijaz Ahsan needs to be commended for this untiring effort to compile a text book of Surgery because writing any book is never an economically paying proposition keeping in view the time and devotion it requires but it does offer professional satisfaction of having achieved something which many others could not dare. SAJ