The Editors welcome topical correspondence from readers relating to articles published in the Journal. Responses should be sent electronically via the BJS website (www.bjs.co.uk). All letters will be reviewed and, if approved, appear on the website. A selection of these will be edited and published in the Journal. Letters must be no more than 250 words in length. Copyright © 2010 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.