Textbooks of General Surgery: A Comparative Review

Bailey & Love's Short Practice of Surgery 26E Cover

As a part of my comparative review series of all textbooks for undergraduate medical subjects, I am adding this article about Textbooks of General Surgery which are best content wise, most read by students, recommended by seniors and professors and are available in market. I have included books for both theory and practical/ clinical aspect of General Surgery in this article.


UG Level Books

Bailey & Love’s Short Practice of Surgery by Norman S Williams, Christopher JK Bulstrode and P Ronan O’Connell (Recommended)

This is most widely used book by all UG medical students for General Surgery. It is a detailed book which is good for understanding of the subject. Also gives latest techniques and treatment available and recommended for different surgical procedures. But this book is not very good on exam point of view, as topics are given like essay and it is difficult to recollect it at the time of the exams. But in an all a very good book which has to be read at least once by students who have enough time for exams.

A Concise Textbook of Surgery by S. Das

This is an alternative to Bailey & Love written by an Indian author. This is a much more detailed textbook and much superior to Bailey & Love when it comes to amount of content. Only and a big down side of this book is also a good side of the book, it huge amount of content. It is very difficult for any average student to fully read and revise this book. Especially for final year MBBS students who are very short of time. Should be used for reference and understanding for difficult topics if student needs.

Manipal Manual of Surgery by K. Rajgopal Shenoy, Anitha Shenoy (Recommended)

This is a total exam oriented book and should be read while preparing and targeting final university exams. This book gives it’s content in pointwise manner which makes it very easy to read and recollect at the time of the exams. Also content is just enough to write all questions asked in exams without any difficulty. A must read book for exam specific preparation.

SRB’s Manual of Surgery by Sriram Bhat M

I have not read this book, so would advise students to have a look at it to check if it fulfils their requirement.

PG Level Books

I am also going to enlist out here textbooks of General Surgery which are of PG level. These book should never be used by UG students for primary purpose of reading and should be used only for reference purpose.

Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice (Set of 2 Volumes) by TOWNSEN

Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery by F. Brunicardi, Dana Andersen, Timothy Billiar

The Washington Manual of Surgery by Klingensmith

Farquharson’s Textbook of Operative General Surgery by FARQUHARSON

Basic Surgical Skills and Techniques by David L Stoker, Sudhir Kumar Jain, Raman Tanwar




A Manual On Clinical Surgery by Das S (Recommended)

This is the best book for practical/ clinical aspect of General Surgery. Details of history taking,  signs & symptoms, examination and differential diagnosis given in this book of each topic/ system/ organ is excellent. A must read book for practicals. I used it as my primary reading books for my ward posting and practical exam preparation in my UG days.

Surgery Simplified For Practicals A K Gvalani (Recommended)

This is a book mainly used for surgical instruments and surgical procedure methods. A very good book and should be read for practical exam preparation for those specific topics. This book is not easily available online but can be found in book stores, especially Bhalani Book Depot as this book is published by Bhalani Publishers. A down side of newer editions of this book is that it has skipped many instruments which are no longer used in clinical practice but those instruments are asked in exam. So students are advised to take xerox copies of older versions of they could find an old book or take copies from seniors.


This is a book which is used as an alternative to A Manual On Clinical Surgery by Das S. Students should read it according to their personal preference.

If students have more recommendation or have points to add to those I have mentioned, please comment below.

Creator and owner of the A Doctor by profession and a techie by hobby.


  1. Hi, thanks for writing such an excellent blog.
    Since you’ve already listed a few recommended text for surgery, can you recommend some books for Medicine? Thanks

    • I have already written an article for medicine books. You can check it out.

  2. Thank you very much sir….for such a kind help

  3. Which book should I read srb or manipal or s das for theory….anyone of three..?

    • If you have lack of time and want to prepare for exams then Manipal. Otherwise S Das.

      • Thank you sir.

  4. Wch book to be used for clinics?
    Mhakan lal saha gives detail examination?
    Hws srb as alternative to das?

    • For clinics, Das is a very good book. About detailed cases in Saha, kindly check it in the bookstore. It’s been a while since I had a look at it. Also I have not read SRB so I cannot comment on it.

  5. If lack of time, there’s a book called arif Naseem surgery… Beats Manipal surgery hands down as its direct lines of Bailey, sabiston and amit Ashish. Even mcq points are underlined and marked and stupidly funny pnemonics given.

    • Sir, can you please say, is this book sufficient for prof exam in ug? And does it give info in point or prose format? Is it easy to grasp and develop concept for a mid-sincere student?

  6. Do I buy sabiston or Schwartz for ms general surgery….My one senior told me to buy both but Schwartz is bit expensive…..In pg is sabiston only sufficient or i have to buy other operative note books…

  7. I have a confusion..which book should i refer..bailey or s das?

    • S Das is a better book for Indian exams. Bailey is difficult to recollect in exams.

  8. If You’re more focusing your reading on neet preparation in the final year itself…which book you should read..??

    • Das is an extensive and a good book to read. But for specific preparation, Arvind Arora is a good option.

      • Thanks sir


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