Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1993 ; 105(9): 245-9.
Clinical and experimental results as a basis of surgical practice.
2nd Department of Surgery, University of Vienna.
Since John Hunter first applied the scientific approach to surgery in the late 18th century, it has been raised from the humble level of a handicraft to a highly experimental science. Although surgical research is essential, the practice of surgery has always been much influenced by the basic sciences. The clinical significance of experimental data has often only been recognized years later: research to no pre-defined end is also of utmost importance. Today, in a time of cost explosion and overabundance of information, cooperative and statistically well-planned studies are essential to optimize financial and physical resources. Fields of increasing interest such as gene technology, immunology and preventive medicine will influence surgery in the near future. Minimal invasive and interventional techniques have already started to revolutionize surgical practice. So surgical research today combines traditional medicine and modern techniques to put into practice immediately. If surgeons consider their field to be a unity of "craftsmanship, art and science"  and at the same time adhere to the rules of ethics, they will comply with the principle of "saluti et solatio aegrorum".