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The Pioneer of Surgery in ancient India – Susruta
Susruta, an Ayurvedic physician of the 6th or 7th century B.C. known as “Father of Indian Surgery” learnt the art and science of Surgery from Dhanvantari in the Himalayan region.
The term ‘Susruta’ literally means ‘to listen well’, i.e. he has learnt his subject after listening to experts in the field.
Wealth of Scientist Susruta
Scientist Susruta designed his instruments on the shape of birds’ beaks (viz. to hold firmly); Susruta – Swastika type: beast faced; bird faced; Susruta – Salaka type: rod like; Susruta cutting type, etc. Thus they indicate shapes and their function.
Scientist Susruta Medical Knowledge
Principles of Medicine, Surgery, Midwifery, Pharmacology, Human body (anatomy) Surgical instruments used by Susruta
Scientist Susruta Botanical Knowledge
Some generalia, Medicinal plants, Flora of Susruta, Botanical identification — Pharmacolinguistics.
Scientist Susruta Samhita is his master piece — this book describes all his surgical skills :
i) Transplanting viable skin flaps, say from neck to face etc., — forerunner attempt of the present day plastic surgery.
ii) Plastic surgery to reshape the nose which has been cut off.
iii) The art of crouching a cataract. At that time, this was unknown in Greece or Egypt.
iv) He devised a novel method of ligature using ant’s head , as the suturing material.Boldness, quickness and immediacy in action, sharpness of the instrument, non-sweating and non-trembling, and lack of confusion— these are what are praised in a surgeon’s act. — Susruta Samhita Su 5.10
Past generations, through their work, struggles, failure and success, laboriously laid the foundation upon which the material and intellectual structure of modern societies could be erected. — Ramstad, E. Modern Pharmacognosy
Ancient Hindu/Indian medicine, as we find in Atreya and Susruta, is like the Hippocratic medicine of Cos and Cnidos.