ACS Surgery is designed to support surgeons in their daily practice of general surgery. Thus, our focus is on information essential to the practicing surgeon, particularly diagnosis and treatment of surgical disease and care of critically ill surgical patients. Accordingly, we address basic perioperative considerations (bleeding, infection prevention, etc.); surgery of the head and neck; surgery of the breast, skin, and soft tissue; surgery of the alimentary tract and abdominal organs; and surgery of the vascular system. Trauma and thermal injury are covered in detail, as is critical care. We also include areas not commonly addressed in surgical textbooks (e.g., patient safety, elements of cost-effective surgery, and strategies for protecting against malpractice claims). [Click here to see our Table of Contents.]
ACS Surgery is continually updated each month with new and revised chapters.
Our chapters are typically written by one of the leading authorities on their topic and are organized with the practicing surgeon's need for decision-making in mind. Thus, diagnostic and treatment recommendations are easily found and clearly stated, and technical issues are lucidly addressed.
To help the reader focus on the tasks at hand, the editors have devised several types of chapters. Problem-based chapters address the recognition and diagnosis of surgical disease and the choice of appropriate treatment strategies. Technique-based chapters address the details of operative or interventional therapy, often breaking procedures down into discrete steps for easy comprehension and providing valuable troubleshooting tips. Review chapters address topics of more general interest, some of which are not strictly clinical but nevertheless have a significant impact on the modern practice of surgery (e.g., socioeconomic issues).
We have always been known for our rich illustrations and graphical material and are often able to describe complex information (including details of highly involved procedures) through lucid figures in addition to text. Of particular value to readers are our technical illustrations, which depict the key steps in operations, and our decision-making algorithms, which clearly and concisely illustrate the process by which the surgeon deals with a presenting symptom or disease.
[Click here to see a sample chapter.]
Continuing Medical Education
Our CME program provides up to 60 Category 1 credits. Each month, we publish a new set of case-based, self-assessment questions derived from new and revised chapters in ACS Surgery. Registered users have up to one year to complete each set of questions. A full 60 Category 1 CME credits are available on our site at any given time. This activity is accredited by the University of Alabama School of Medicine and Medscape, both of whom are accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Payment of an annual processing fee is required.
[Click here to learn more about our CME.]
What's New in ACS Surgery
In order to help readers keep on top of the latest findings and recommendations published in our chapters, we have created a newsletter called, What's New in ACS Surgery. The newsletter provides not only key highlights from each chapter but columns from our editorial board and invited guest contributors as well. We distribute What's New via email for subscribers and nonsubscribers alike. Anyone can sign up for free at http://www.deckerpublishing.com.
[Click here to see this month's newsletter.]
As has been true since its inception in 1989, the first step in quality assurance for ACS Surgery rests in the selection of its editorial chair-currently Wiley W. Souba, MD, ScD, FACS-and the associate editors. [Click here to see our Editorial Board.] The expert ACS Surgery Editorial Board then calls upon the leading authorities in their fields (many of them department chairs and other thought leaders) to write chapters for their sections. [Click here to see our Contributors List.] Upon submission, each chapter is carefully reviewed by the appropriate Editorial Board member for currency, accuracy, appropriateness, and completeness before being approved for publication. Each chapter must reflect the state of the surgical art at the time of submission. When an existing chapter is updated some time after its original publication, it is again reviewed with equal attention to detail and currency. Whether a submitted chapter is updated or completely new, the questions asked in the course of review are the same:
» Is all important new material included?
» Has the evidence base been rigorously evaluated?
» Are the indications for diagnosis and management highlighted?
» Are the technical descriptions accurate and useful?
» Are the illustrations appropriate and well chosen?
Our Evidence Base
While the preparation of each problem-based chapter includes an extensive literature search, we rely on the expert judgment of our editors and authors to review the most recent and pertinent studies and to put them into perspective for our readers. Our authors rely on the highest quality evidence available (following the criteria described by groups at McMaster University and elsewhere), with preference given to randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials over studies without rigorous statistical analysis. We often cite the type of study for important studies (e.g., randomized trial, case-control, cohort).
Continually Updated ACS Surgery has always been different from standard textbooks. It is current and timely, with replacement chapters appearing on a frequency closer to that of a journal. This aspect is especially evident in the Web version, where we publish first so readers can get information most rapidly. (Some professional references publish their print version first, and then only publish on the Web later.) Now, as before, such frequency of change has made it possible for our authors and editors to respond readily to queries from readers and to the publication of new developments pertinent to the practice of surgical. We also publish quarterly and annual CD-ROMs.
In print, we publish a new bound edition each year-a frequency that surpasses that of any other comparable surgical textbook.
Disclaimer ACS Surgery receives no commercial backing or sponsorship from any organization.
ACS Surgery is written by individuals who are recognized experts. The text represents the authors' approaches to clinical problems and to other important issues in surgical practice. It should be used as a general reference with other sources in the formation of an integrated care plan.
The authors, editors, and publisher have conscientiously and carefully tried to ensure that recommended measures and drug dosages in these pages are accurate and conform to the standards that prevailed at the time of publication. The reader is advised, however, to check the product information sheet accompanying each drug to be familiar with any changes in the dosage schedule or in the contraindications. This advice should be taken with particular seriousness if the agent to be administered is a new one or one that is infrequently used. ACS Surgery describes basic principles of diagnosis and therapy. Because of the uniqueness of each patient and the need to take into account a number of concurrent considerations, however, this information should be used by physicians only as a general guide to clinical decision making
ACS Surgery is published by Decker Intellectual Properties in partnership with the American College of Surgeons (www.facs.org). This arrangement, which has been in place since the inception of the publication in 1989, reflects a shared and long-standing commitment to helping surgeons achieve excellence in clinical practice.
The earliest incarnation of what is now ACS Surgery was Care of the Surgical Patient, first published as a loose-leaf reference in 1989 under the aegis of the American College of Surgeons. In 1995, the publication was renamed Scientific American® Surgery, and in 2002, the long-standing partnership with the College was explicitly recognized and highlighted by renaming the publication ACS Surgery. In its original loose-leaf form, "COSP"-and later "SAS"-was the most up-to-date reference in general surgery. The extensive citations from peer-reviewed literature allowed our sophisticated readers to examine primary sources for themselves, and the textual and illustrative coverage of developing procedures allowed them to stay on top of technical advances. Our early commitment to electronic publication, first via CD-ROM then via the Internet, made possible the expansion from what began as primarily a perioperative care manual into what is now a modern and practical general surgical textbook. Throughout the evolution of the publication, our constant search for best evidence made-and continues to make-ACS Surgery the most soundly based source in the field.
We consider the sense of investment and ownership by our authors, editors, and readers to be one of this publication's greatest and most unique strengths. We would welcome feedback and suggestions from any of our readers.