Finding Information for Surgery

Finding evidence-based answers to clinical questions quickly and effectively

If you need:

An overview of a particular disease or condition or background information

An ultrasound indicates your patient has gallstones (cholelithiasis). Where can you find an overview of this condition, including its etiology, when surgery is indicated,  alternate treatments?

How will lung resection effect my patient's physiology? What perioperative care should I be prepared to order?



Access Surgery


Sabiston's Textbook of Surgery

Surgery:basic science clinical evidence

Surgical Oncology: fundamentals evidence-based approaches

UpToDate (seeeCommons)

Review Article (PubMed)

Perioperative Medicine - Just the Facts

Differential diagnosis decision support; diagnostic algorithms or pathways

You have a constellation of symptoms or suspect a certain diagnosis but need a differential structure.

I suspect my patient is in shock. What symptoms should I look for? What do I need to exclude? What tests do I need to order?

A 50 y.o. woman presents with angina, syncope upon exercise and dyspnea. Where can you find a DDX for these symptoms? When is surgery  indicated?



Dynamed DX

Ferri's Clinical Advisor

Drug Information

You're attending a woman recovering from hip surgery. What's the appropriate dose of cefazolin?


Clinical Pharmacology

John Hopkins ABX Guide

Pain Management and Sedation:
 A Quick Reference written for the ER 

Synthesis of best-practice recommendations / Critically appraised topics / EBM

When are surgical interventions appropriate for a woman with chronic pelvic pain?

What are the pros and cons of removing orthopedic metal work in children?

What is the most safe and effective way to prevent venous thromboembolism in neurosurgery?

When is surgery indicated for depressed cranial fractures?


Cochrane Database

TRIP database

PubMed Clinical queries

PDQ (Physicians’ Data Query) for cancer topics

Information for patients

What do I need to do to prepare for a mammogram? What will happen during the procedure? (In Somali, by the way.)

Where can you find material to give a low literacy patient explaining his diabetic diet?

Countway Consumer Health Links

Health Information in Multiple Languages

Evidence-based information on alternative therapies

Is the gingko my patient is taking safe before surgery ? What is the wash-out period?

Your patient takes quercitin, 1000 mg daily, for prostatitis. You want to prescribe Cipro for postoperative colorectal prophylaxis. Are there any concerns with this combination?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database


Critical Texts in Surgery

Quickly search across multiple trusted sources. Includes:
Schwartz's Principles of Surgery
Zollinger's Atlas of Surgical Operations

much more...

- Board Review tests
- Differential Diagnosis (DDx) tool
- Cancer Staging Tables
- Guidelines
- Videos and images
- Integrated drug database

Fischer's Mastery of Surgery
Step-by-step procedural guidance

Sabiston Textbook of Surgery
also in print on reserve and at WO 100 T3552

ACS Surgery
Evidence-based reference for general surgery. Not available online.

Available at Countway Reserve and at WO 500.3 A187
Also at Partners and BIDMC Libraries

Evidence Updates


Below are the latest "evidence-updates" for General Surgery courtesy of BMJ and McMaster University . Each entry includes a analytical synopsis of the study and rating of the strengh of evidence and its relevance to clinical practice. To view the update, either register for an account (this lets you set your personal preferences) OR just click NO and you will go right to the text of the update.