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Wikisurgery is a free surgical encyclopaedia for surgeons and their patients. It has been set-up by Surgical Associates Ltd, owners of the International Journal of Surgery. Contributions in the form of new articles and editing can be made by anyone at anytime anywhere in the world. The site is totally upfront about the possibility of vandalism, and in the ‘About Wikisurgery’ section it says:

“older articles tend to be more comprehensive and balanced, while newer articles may still contain significant misinformation, unencyclopedic content, or vandalism. Users need to be aware of this in order to obtain valid information and avoid misinformation which has been recently added and not yet removed (see Wikisurgery:Researching with Wikisurgery for more details).”

There is an interesting Basic Surgical Skills Program. Authored by Michael Edwards, the program begins by checking the trainee’s aptitude for surgical handicraft, learning ability profile, suitability for surgery, attitude and preparedness. It then provides 15 surgical sections, progressing through putting on gloves, swabbing, using suckers, retracting, and using haemostats, to excising a mole from simulated skin and suturing the wound. The program starts at

If, like me, you have lesser ambitions, take a look at . Forget about ‘how to cut’, how to hold scissors was a real eye-opener for me. I have now tried the techniques suggested and found that I have lot more control over the scissors when tackling our very fluffy, long-haired cat’s matted fur!

January 15, 2008 - Posted by | wikis | , ,

1 Comment

  1. Hello Karen,

    Many thanks for your kind words.

    I hope your cat’s coat is now immaculate after using scissors the surgical way.

    As well as the Basic Surgical Skills program, Wikisurgery contains operating instructions in the form of unique surgical scripts.

    These scripts aim to provide all the information that an expert surgeon uses when operating, including all the “what ifs”.

    I call the scripts PANTOGENS (all the gen). They contain 5-10 times the information provided in operative textbooks, videos or DVDs.

    I call each item of expert information a PANTINO.

    For the non-surgeon, the scripts may be of interest in displaying the different types of pantino that a surgeon may use when performing any particular step in an operation.

    Basic pantinos (Acronym http://WWW.WIMBLEDON)
    Why do this step?
    What are the anatomy/ physiology/ pathology in the
    What does it (eg the organ))look like/ feel like/ smell
    What does it do? (eg the ureter will contract when
    End point
    Do it this way
    Other ways

    Problem-avoiding pantinos (Acronym DITCHES)
    (eg If a happens, then do b)
    (eg If you can’t do b, then do c.
    If c doesn’t work, then do d, etc.)
    (eg If e and f and g happen, then probably do h)

    Problem-solving pantinos (Acronym SUPERMAN)
    Surprises (i.e Possibly the opposite to logic.)
    Unpredictable (i.e. No way of working this out from
    basic principles)
    Rectifying errors
    May day (eg.When to call a more experienced surgeon)
    Anything else
    Notable cases

    Variants of surgical pantogens may be applicable to any procedure universally.

    I should welcome feedback.

    Best wishes,


    Comment by Mihael Edwards | January 19, 2008

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