Introduction: Colorectal Surgery – The Specialty

  • Nigel Scott
  • Lars Påhlman


Four generations ago, a practical textbook of operative surgery instructed the “general surgeon” in the techniques of abdominal, orthopedic, neurosurgical, ophthalmic, and faciomaxillary surgery [1]. In the intervening years, there has been a progressive evolution of distinct surgical specialties from this historical body of surgical technique. Although this process has been partly compelled by development in technique, the overwhelming driver for specialization has been the need for the “surgical physician” to become expert in disease management. The demands of doing a specific procedure according to constantly revised guidelines have made each surgical therapy more specific, and for this reason alone it is obvious today that all surgeons cannot cover the whole spectrum of “general surgery.” Thus, any surgeon can be taught how to operate, but a specialist knows when and when not to operate.


Rectal Cancer Rectal Surgery Colorectal Surgeon Colorectal Cancer Surgery Good Patient Outcome 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Colorectal SurgeryRoyal Preston HospitalFulwood, Preston, LancashireUK
  2. 2.Department of Surgical SciencesUniversity hospitalUppsalaSweden

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