This handbook is compiled with sample dictations from fictional cases of classic patients receiving common operations. For the sake of brevity, the dictations begin and end with incision and wound closure. In addition, I offer you the general structure of an operative dictation as well as some obsessions and compulsions you may choose to include pre-incision and post-closure. There is room left after each sample dictation for personal notes. None of these dictations, obviously, should be read directly into the dictaphone without first thinking about how you did the operation rather than how someone else might have done the one presented. Remember that months or years from now, when your memory has failed you, this is your only record of what you did in the operating room, so be accurate and complete. That said, I do hope that the basic steps of the operation are outlined clearly enough to remind you of your operative goals before incision is made, and that enough terminology and common phrases are included to serve as a foundation for your own dictations.