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Great Surgeon Of Ancient India: Father Of Surgery

Ancient Indian Surgeon:

Sage Sushruta

Sage Sushruta

Did you know the first plastic surgery in the world, was performed by an Indian surgeon whose name was Sage Sushruta? Nearly 2600 years ago. This Indian physician of ancient India also called the father of surgery invented nearly 300 surgeries and also taught them.

From where did Sushruta find his inspiration for surgery, and how did he manage these inventions? We'll find answers to such questions, in today's article.

Where Did Sushruta Live:

Nearly 2600 years ago, during the Vedic era, there lived a sage named Sushruta. Sushruta lived in the ancient and chaste city of Kasi of Western India, which today is better known as Banaras or Varanasi.

During those days, intellectual people were called Sages or Maharishi. One such intellectual person was Sushruta Sage. Sushruta acquired his knowledge of medicine from Kashiraj Divodas, the king of Kashi. And he became a physician.

How Sushruta Helped Soldiers:

Sushruta Helped Soldiers

Sushruta Helped Soldiers

As a physician, he treated soldiers who got injured on the battlefield. Looking at the condition of those soldiers, Sushruta found his inspiration for surgery. He would fix the broken parts or injury through surgery.

In those days, the punishment for any illegitimate crime was to chop off the criminal's nose. Sushruta invented rhinoplasty or nose surgery, through which he could reconstruct the broken nose. Sushruta was also the first cataract surgeon, who treated many eye problems.

Father of Surgery:

Sushruta who did his work with love and affection invented a scientific skill like surgery which was a new concept in those times. Due to these reasons, he is also considered the Father of All Surgery.

Surgical Instruments

Surgical Instruments

Along with inventing surgery, he realized that he'll need several surgical instruments. And necessity is the mother of all inventions. Keeping this necessity in mind, Sushruta invented 121 surgical instruments. And he was the first surgeon in the world to do this.

Sage Sushruta's Written Book:

These inventions prove that Sage Sushruta's knowledge has stood the test of time. Sushruta recorded his knowledge in detail in the form of a Sanskrit script, which is also called the Sushrut Samhita.

This Sanskrit script which explains the procedure of surgery is one of the three pillars of Ayurveda, as well as a chapter in the Atharva Ved. Sushrut Samhita explains that how Sushruta performed the dissection of a dead body and examined them without a knife.

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Sushruta's Learning Method:

His method of learning human anatomy was like this... He would keep the dead body in water and let it decompose. And he would study the decomposing body with passing time. This is how he examined the structure of the body layer by layer.

Sushruta Examining Body

Sushruta Examining Body

This method helped Sushruta invent complex surgeries like Caesarean, abdominal surgeries, and brain surgery. Chapter 1.16 of Sushruta Samhita explains nose reconstruction surgery or Rhinoplasty in detail. Sushrut is also known for Cataract surgery.

It's written in great detail in one of Sushrut Samhita's volumes called Uttartantra. This process looks like the extraction of extracapsular lens extraction to modern surgeons. But Sushruta performed this surgery without modern equipment, which defines his skills.

Sushrut Samhita Translations:

Sushrut Samhita was written in 600 BCE. This unique Sanskrit script about surgery and medicine was brought before the world in 800 AD in the form of Arab translation. And it was called KitabShah Shun Al - Hindi. And Kitab - I - Susurud.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Hessler translated Sanskrit script into Latin, and Muller in German. In this way, Sushrut Samhita and its author Sage Sushruta received worldwide recognition, but with time, his name and importance dissipated.

In 1907 Kolkata Kaviraj Kunja Lal translated Sushruta Samhita into English. But the translation didn't receive enough recognition.

Importance of Sushrut Samhita:

In the 20th century, when the world started looking at Ayurveda from a new perspective, they realized the importance of Sage Sushruta's medical science, and his contribution to surgery. Sushruta Samhita is believed to be one of the gems of ancient Indian medical literature.

One of the manuscripts from the Sushruta Samhita written on palm leaves is kept in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Sushruta gave a new meaning to the art of surgery in medieval India. The year 620 BCE is known as the golden age of surgery.

Respect Toward Sage Sushruta:

Statue of Sage Sushruta

Statue of Sage Sushruta

In 2018 the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons constructed a statue of Sushruta on their campus. Inspired by Sushruta's incomparable knowledge, American surgeon Allen Ripple said... "All in All, Sushruta must be considered as the greatest surgeon of the pre-medieval period."

Sushruta means one of good reputation. Sage Sushruta made his name proud. He became famous all over the world because of his work, but he also developed Indian medical knowledge much more as compared to others.

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