General surgery is not considered to be a very high risk specialty but the number of claims emanating from it has increased rapidly in recent years. The identity of general surgery is changing and many claims are supported by expert opinions from surgeons who specialise in one part of what was once considered to be a general discipline. They state mostly that a sufficiency of skill is only acquired by those who regularly undertake their particular procedures. This causes difficulty in the defence of the general surgeon concerned if he admits to only performing a certain operation three or four times a year. In the emergency situation general surgeons are expected to tackle all kinds of problems on an occasional basis. The specialisation within general surgery already exists, but is likely to progress further over the next few years with inevitable medico-legal consequences.


Hernia Repair Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Bile Duct Injury Varicose Vein Saphenous Nerve 
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Further Reading

Specialisation in general surgery

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Re-operation on post-operative acute abdomen

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Endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract

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Varicose veins and nerve injury

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Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury

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Splenectomy post-operative prophylaxis

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Testicular atrophy after hernia repair

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Retained swabs

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Keddie

There are no affiliations available

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