Glimpses from the journal of an NHS consultant surgeon. What is it like to be the senior surgeon when a young woman is brought to casualty with a life-threatening bleed? What does the fear of cancer do to a person? Is it ever best not to tell the patient everything? Tender is the Scalpel's Edge draws on Gautam Das's real-life experiences working in Britain's busy NHS hospitals, from the plunging depths of a patient dying on the operating table to the euphoria of a life saved by teamwork and skill. Described in exquisite detail and with extreme sensitivity, Gautam shares his journey from a medical student fighting his own inner demons to a senior NHS consultant surgeon. Shards of his earlier life in India add to the richness of the narrative in tales that observe life with all its contradictions, like the little village boy with bone cancer. While other anecdotes take in the lighter side of life, Tender is the Scalpel's Edge is written to inform and engross the general reader, as well as those with a curiosity of life behind the surgeon's mask. Written in a manner similar to other medical biographies including Henry Marsh's Do No Harm, Atul Gawande's Being Mortal and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Tender is the Scalpel's Edge is a moving collection of true stories from a professional at the frontline of medical care.
Gautam Das qualified from Medical College, Calcutta in 1975, completed Master of Surgery, and came to England in 1979. He was admitted to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1981. Gautam was awarded the Surgeon-in-Training Medal of the College in 1988, before going on to obtain the Specialist FRCS(Urology). In 1990, he was appointed Consultant Urological Surgeon in Croydon until his retirement in June 2016. From 2005 to 2010, Gautam was also a Pelvic Cancer Surgeon at St George's Hospital, London. He remains a Trustee-Director of the South East England Cancer Help Centre.