General surgery consists ofa main corpus of propaedeutic elements and clinical problems, which has been modified over the years by the separate development of numerous sub-specialistic branches. Although a common basis on the physiopathology of surgical trauma and post operative complications persists, as a result of general knowledge of surgical diseases, there is no doubt that in the spheres of doctrine and application, both research and clinical medicine have distinguished themselves autonomously in many surgical fields (orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery, thoracic surgery, urology, etc.). It is therefore difficult to define the present configuration ofgeneral surgery, but without question abdominal surgery occupies a position of pre-eminent importance within the general framework. We are dealing, in fact, with pathological pictures which occur in a section ofthe body ofvast proportions, in which structures, organs, and morphologically complex spaces are arranged to carry out important functions. They are, therefore, subject to considerably complex pathological alterations, such as to establish an interesting field of diagnostic discussion and an exciting training-ground for surgical activity. It can be affirmed that the diagnosis and cures ofabdominal surgical diseases constitute a test ofthe surgeon’s experience. Diagnosis is often entrusted to a differential process, the results ofwhich may be confirmed today by complementary diagnostics. This, however, must be guided by predominating clinical considerations, the exaggerated use of diagnostic techniques, detached from clinical examination, being the cause of very serious errors, which can mislead decision making and human contact, which is the basis ofcorrect medical practice.
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