2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 Surgical practice and training are undergoing a worldwide revolution, with increased 3 super-specialisation, at the expense of the generalist, giving rise to much heated debate. 4 The pathway towards specialisation has been accompanied by an increase in inter- 5 disciplinary care, with the development of the multidisciplinary team approach. This 6 has included expansion of diagnostic imaging, and of medical, chemotherapy and radio 7 therapeutic regimes. The introduction of minimally invasive techniques and image 8 guidance, have increased surgical precision and re?nement, while in other areas 9 interventional radiology has become the treatment of choice. 2011 Training and assessment have followed these trends, but often in a disorganised 1 fashion, without due concern for curricular development and adequate integration of 2 basic and advanced educational requirements. 3 Regardless of these arguments, all surgeons working in a ?eld require appropriate 4 skills and the best available information to deliver optimal care; the Springer Specialist 5 Surgical Series addresses these needs. 6 This volume considers the upper gastrointestinal tract, from the oesophagus to the 7 small bowel. The liver, biliary tree and pancreas make up a separate volume, but 8 the spleen, that orphan of the upper abdomen, is expertly covered, providing the reader 9 with an added bonus.