The Laparoscopic Surgery Revolution
Finding a Capable Surgeon in a Rapidly Advancing Field
by David W. Page, MD, MFA, FACS
February 2017, 284pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4477-5
$53, £40, 46€, A72
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4478-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

“Minimally invasive” or “no incision” surgery sounds attractive, but laparoscopic operations involve their own risks and disadvantages.

Written by a surgeon with 40 years' experience in practice and instruction, this book provides vital, up-to-date information that explains the strengths and weaknesses of the laparoscopic surgery field to enable potential surgical patients to make the best decisions and choose a surgeon wisely.

More than 30 years ago, laparoscopic or “keyhole” surgery suddenly appeared as an operative technique. Laparoscopy quickly grew in the U.S. surgical field, where now more than two million operations annually use the technique. But is the training surgeons receive in laparoscopy sufficient to ensure patient safety? What are the specific situations where laparoscopy is beneficial and justified, and when is it ill-advised due to the additional complexity and risk factors? This is the first book written for general readers—avoiding medical jargon wherever possible—to expose the gritty history and downsides of “minimally invasive surgery.” Additionally, it provides the perspective and insights of an esteemed surgeon who was working at the inception of laparoscopy and has a full understanding of this now widely popular procedure across its development and lifespan.

Readers will learn about the emergence of laparoscopic techniques in the 1990s, understand how minimally invasive surgery has been a boon to the business of surgery and to patient health and recovery overall, appreciate how the complexity involved in laparoscopic surgery has led to a higher incidence of surgeon “incompetence,” and grasp the responsibility of a patient to take steps to assure that the surgeon is qualified before going into the operating room. Examination of eye-opening statistics on the outcomes of laparoscopic procedures documents the high level of capability of most surgeons, as well as the lack of appropriate ability with certain laparoscopic operations in the hands of some surgeons. The author also spells out how informed patients can be prepared to discuss and consider all aspects of an operation—and the surgeon’s training and experience—to assure the best outcome for their health.


  • Presents balanced, unbiased information that identifies the tremendous advantages of less invasive operations using specific examples of laparoscopic techniques and discusses the serious risks and concerns that exist for surgical patients
  • Provides specific, actionable guidance for choosing a surgeon that identifies what questions to ask and explains how to ensure that a surgeon has enough experience with the particular operation you need
  • Explains how the success of the laparoscopic revolution that began in the late 1980s has resulted in a new definition of surgeon capability—and how the more complicated education, training, and technology that laparoscopy entails has set the stage for a perfect surgical storm
David W. Page, MD, MFA, FACS, is a board-certified surgeon and professor of surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine and director of Undergraduate Programs in Surgery at Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Springfield, MA. He also holds an MFA from the University of Southern Maine, Stonecoast. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, the Association of Surgical Education, the New England Surgical Society, and the American Hernia Society, and he is a founding member of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists. Page has 40 years of experience teaching and performing surgery and doing research in surgical anatomy and surgical simulation, has completed several surgical education research projects presented at local and national meetings, and has published more than 30 scientific papers on surgical topics and numerous lay articles. His published work includes the reference books Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries and Code Blue: A Writer's Guide to the Modern Hospital, three surgical textbook chapters, and a self-published novel. Page has received more than 15 "Excellence in Teaching" awards from Tufts University medical students in the past. In 2010, he was one of three surgical educators in the United States to receive national recognition from the Association for Surgical Education by being named the recipient of the 2010 Philip J. Wolfson Outstanding Teachers Award. In 2011, he was awarded the Dr. Jack Mitus Special Faculty Recognition Award by the Tufts University School of Medicine's graduating class and an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Class of 2012. In 2013, Page received the Dean's Outstanding Mentor Award from the Tufts University School of Medicine's graduating class of 2013. His website is


“Dr. David Page has carefully documented the unforeseen consequences of the introduction of 'band-aid' gallbladder surgery in the late 1980s. In the rush by surgeons and device makers to be able to offer the procedure, the traditional methods for training surgeons were ignored and many patients suffered the consequences. Surgical educators have looked hard at our system of training as a result and have found it wanting. Many good improvement efforts are underway, but the introduction of new technology in surgery is still a risky proposition. Surgeons and patients would be well advised to read Dr. Page’s account of this illuminating episode.”—Richard H. Bell, Jr., MD, Past Chair, Surgical Council on Resident Education; Adjunct Professor of Surgery and Senior Surgical Educator, Lewis Katz School of Medicine of Temple University
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