Sushruta—Father of Surgery

By the sixth century BC, Sushruta, a surgeon, and Ayurvedic teacher, was thriving in the Indian city of Kashi.

In Kashi, where he worked as a surgeon, Sushruta studied medicine and discovered the causes and cures for various illnesses. He is well known for his novel approaches to rhinoplasty, cataract surgery's extracapsular lens extraction, anal surgery, and dental surgery.
However, little is known about his vivid descriptions of obesity, angina, and diabetes (madhumeha), among other conditions (medoroga).
He studied under Dhanwantari, the revered Lord god of the Indian medical system known as Ayurveda (the science of life). He was revealed to be Visvamitra, a Vedic sage.
He is credited for compiling the Vedic Sanskrit medical text Sushruta Samhita. The eight Ayurvedic medical branches are discussed in the Sushruta Samhita. Six sections and 184 chapters make up the work.
He is credited for compiling the Vedic Sanskrit medical text Sushruta Samhita. The eight Ayurvedic medical branches are discussed in the Sushruta Samhita. Six sections and 184 chapters make up the work.
650 medications with animal, plant and mineral origins are described in detail by Sushruta. Additionally, it lists over 300 different operations that need 121 different instrument types and 42 different surgical procedures.
The importance that Sushruta places on children's and expecting mothers' welfare is made abundantly obvious in subsequent chapters. Compared to Charaka, Sushruta covers toxicology (the study of poisons) more thoroughly and goes into great depth about symptoms,
short- and long-term treatments, poison classification, and techniques of poisoning.
His Samhita goes into great depth on how to carry out procedures including compound fracture setting, caesarean operations, prosthetic limb replacement, aesthetic surgery on various body parts, and even brain surgery.
Sushruta provides information about 125 surgical tools he used, most of which were constructed of wood, stone, and other organic materials. Sushruta also makes note of the use of shalaka, which is Sanskrit for "foreign body" (rods or probe).
Some of Sushruta Samhita's classifications cannot even be traced by contemporary medicine. He is the first surgeon in medical history to have worked with the anatomical makeup of the eye methodically and intricately.
According to Sushruta, diabetes (madhumeha) is a condition marked by the production of copious amounts of sweet-tasting urine; therefore, the name "madhumeha" — urine that tastes like honey.
He continues by saying that sedentary, fat people are the group that are most affected by diabetes, and he emphasizes the importance of physical activity for treating diabetes.
Although William Harvey is credited with discovering circulation, it is significant to note that Sushruta was aware of a structure like the heart and its function in the circulation of "vital fluids" through the "channels."
Even though he did not use the exact term for angina, his description of the condition ("hritshoola," which translates to "heart pain")
in vivid detail is wonderful. It embodies every crucial element of the definition used today, including site, nature, aggravating and alleviating variables, and referral.
He defines angina as chest discomfort that is precordial, transient, emotional, burning-like, caused by exercise, and eased by rest. Additionally, he connected this type of pain to fat (medoroga).
In addition to these, he also discussed "vatarakta's" symptoms, which are comparable to those of hypertension.
Sushruta depicts the routine of a doctor in ancient India who visited patients' homes and also kept a consulting room in his own home, complete with a storeroom of medications and medical supplies.
He claimed that although doctors may make a decent living, they might also provide free care to priests, knowledgeable brahmins, and the underprivileged. Sushruta outlines the desirable characteristics of a nurse and speculates that doctors may have needed licenses.
Sushruta extols the virtues of moral behavior, righteous thought, excellent habits, consistent exercise, particular diets, and medicinal formulations.
Soma, a plant that is mentioned in ancient scriptures but whose identity has never been established, was advised as a remedy for reviving the body and the intellect.
Sushruta states that all living things require sleep and dreams as a result of two mental principles that offer hints of past lives or foreshadow impending illness. Coma happens when both principles are compromised.
Sushruta is also regarded as the founder of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery since the forehead flap rhinoplasty method he developed to replace amputated noses is still used today virtually exactly as it was in ancient times.
Due to Sushruta's rising fame, his writing was initially translated into Arabic. Later, it traveled to Europe via Latin and English.
Sushruta had travelled a great distance ahead of the rest of the world of medical practise and training before the so-called modern medicine and its surgical branch developed its professional dimensions.
He is also referred to as the "Father of Surgery" due to his significant and numerous contributions to the science and art of surgery.
As accurately stated in "Legacy of Sushruta" (by Dr. M.S. Valiathan) and in announcing the greatness of India's magnificent heritage of its culture, Sushruta's name is synonymous with India's surgical inheritance.
Source: Sanskriti Magazine

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