When we think about the ancient surgery, the name Sushruta, one of the founding fathers of surgery and plastic surgery, will come into our minds. He lived in India between 600 to 1000 B.C. His famous book called "Sushruta Samhita "(Sushruta's compendium). This book one of the great landmark about Indian medical literature. He lived, taught, and practised in what presently corresponds to the city of Varanasi which is situated in the present Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Sushruta was well known for his innovative method of rhinoplasty. He also, described on diabetes, referring to it as madhumeha.
According to Sushruta, the surgeon should be equipped with 20 sharp and 101 blunt instruments of various descriptions to perform the surgery on his patient's body. There are different types of surgeries performed in ancient India by surgeons. Main surgeries they executed are excision of tumours, incision and draining of abscesses puncture to release fluid in the abdomen, extraction of foreign bodies, repair of anal fistulas, splinting of fractures, amputations, cesarean sections, and stitching of wounds.
You can refer the below-mentiond books to know more about Susruta and his works.
1. A short history of medicine written by Ackernecht EH.
2. The Story of Wound Healing Repair written by Whipple AO
3. An outline of the history of medicine in India by Johnston-Saint P
4. Studies in the medicine of ancient India by Hoernle AF
5. Commentary on the Hindu system of medicine by Wise TA
6. A history of rhinoplasty by Eisenberg I
Charaka, a noted physician also lived in ancient India. His noted book "Charaka Samhita" given some light about the surgery methods along with many other subjects.
One can easily say that apart from these, the ancients Indians didn't have any great knowledge about surgery and anatomy. This is because Hindus were prohibited by their religion from cutting the dead body. The Sushruta-Samhita recommends that a body be placed in a basket and sunk in a river for seven days. On its removal the parts could be easily separated without cutting. As a result of these crude methods, the emphasis in Hindu anatomy was given first to the bones and then to the muscles, ligaments, and joints. They know very less and imperfectly about the nerves, blood vessels, and internal organs. This is a crucial point to be noted even if we boasting about Susruta samhita.
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