About this Manual

“We will build a community that uses its own experience, knowledge, and resources to create a high quality, open-source, online, low bandwidth Manual for surgeons practicing in resource-limited environments, including a surgical atlas.”

Welcome! This is a work in progress. We are surgeons with experience in resource-limited settings. Many of the authors of this Manual live in such settings, in places like Sub-Saharan Africa. We face difficult situations every day, having to make decisions and perform surgery without advanced tools, sometimes well outside our comfort zone. 

We have noticed that there are very few well-written and clearly illustrated instructions for people in our situation. Sadly, most high quality surgical atlases are behind a paywall. And  yet, the majority of the world’s population is cared for by surgeons like us- surgeons who, at times, are forced to do an operation that would elsewhere be done by a specialist. 

Rather than wait for someone else to come to our rescue, we decided to put together this website for surgeons such as ourselves. With our knowledge, using smartphone cameras and open access materials on the internet, we have written chapters that focus on decision-making, steps of surgery, and potential pitfalls. We hope these chapters are helpful in your practice or learning of surgery. 

We also hope to inspire other surgeons in resource-limited settings to contribute- it is surprisingly easy to write down the steps of a surgery that you perform frequently. We use Google Drive for all of the word processing, graphics work and editing for these chapters (except when the internet is slow, which happens often- then we do the work on our computers and upload later!) We have templates to help you write. We can also help with the illustrations, including finding open-source illustrations or photographs, and modifying your own photos (adding arrows and other illustrations as we have done in the Manual.) 

We hope this resource is helpful to you, wherever you work. Please contact one of us at the email address below with comments or further questions. We would love to hear from you!

Richard Davis MD FACS FCS(ECSA)
Kijabe, Kenya

Rondi Kauffmann MD MPH FACS
Nashville, Tennessee, USA