1st Edition

Surgical Philosophy Concepts of Modern Surgery Paralleled to Sun Tzu's 'Art of War'

By Hutan Ashrafian Copyright 2016
    162 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    168 Pages
    by CRC Press

    Treating disease can be considered a combat between curative therapies and pathological afflictions. As such, the action of achieving a cure can be likened to successfully waging war on sickness and bodily disorders.

    Surgical Philosophy applies the core principles derived from Sun Tzu’s timeless book Art of War to combating disease through surgery. Its goal is to offer principles, strategies and leadership guidelines for surgeons at all levels and other healthcare practitioners who carry out interventional procedures for the ultimate aim of defeating illness and enhancing the care of patients. In providing a novel and exciting perspective on this ancient text, the book will also be of interest to students of leadership, Eastern philosophy and Chinese history.

    The book follows eleven sections of the Art of War. Each section reflects the messages in the Art of War, but with a modern surgical point of view. In the book, the role of the surgeon is equivalent to that of a leader or military commander, and the lessons offered in the Art of War are expanded to identify surgical principles and practice.

    The Aims of Operative Surgery

    Performing Surgery

    Surgical Strategies

    Surgical Decision Making

    Operative Methodology


    Approaches and Leadership


    The Nine Elements of the Surgical Sieve and Surgical Specialities

    Firesticks and Haemostasis



    Hutan Ashrafian , MBBS, PhD, MRCS, is a clinical lecturer in surgery based at Imperial College London in the UK. His work focuses on the surgical resolution of metabolic syndrome- and obesity-related diseases ranging from cardiac dysfunction to diabetes and cancer. His PhD on the global metabolic signature of bariatric surgery received several prizes including an Academy of Medical Sciences award. Dr. Ashrafian's research interests include the development of state-of-the-art approaches for bio-inspired regenerative technologies, the application of artificial intelligence and robotics to modern surgical practice, the enhancement of evidence synthesis in healthcare and the development of novel models of innovation and economics in health policy. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and been awarded various research fellowships.

    "What appeals most is the way the author presents the link between a military strategy treatise and surgical procedures, finding perfectly matching surgical correspondences and equivalents for every aspect of warfare."
    —Researcher in the History of Medicine, University of Bologna, Italy

    "… an excellent new insight into surgical philosophy and the strategies underpinning current practice."
    —Consultant Surgeon, St. Thomas’ Hospital, London UK

    "This book will be a great addition to any surgeon’s library as well as having a much wider appeal to the general population."
    —Clinical Research Fellow, Imperial College London, UK