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SURGERY

Surgical complications tend to be obvious. Unlike the complications of medical therapy, which often mimic underlying disease processes, surgical complications are usually different from the patient's presenting condition. Surgery is frequently performed on persons who are basically in good health and in whom death or permanent injury is unanticipated. The errors of surgeons are often the sins of commission, which are more difficult to defend than errors of omission. The inherent risks of surgery are exacerbated by the weak physician-patient relationship between surgeons and their patients. Patients who have been referred to a surgeon for the correction of a specific problem may see the surgeon for only a single visit before the surgery. In some cases, such as trauma, the patient may never have met the surgeon.


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