Sushruta was known as the “father of Indian medicine” and the “father of surgery” because he wrote the earliest works on surgery and medicine in the world. During the 6th century BCE, Sushruta was the ‘Indian Physician’ of ancient India.
Time and Place of Birth
Born in around 800 BC in the Kingdom of Kasi now also known as Banaras or Varanasi in the northern part of India.
Sushruta’s work on “Sushruta Samhita” which was also known as Compendium of Sushruta is one of his pioneering operations and techniques for his influential work or the main source of methods of surgery in ancient India.
The earliest works in the field of medicine the Sushruta Samhita goes back to the times before Christ which was written in Sanskrit. This text was highly known as the Great Trilogy of Ayurvedic Medicine. Sri Dharacharya Indian mathematician, Sanskrit pandit and philosopher.
Great Trilogy of Ayurvedic Medicine
The term ‘Ayurveda’ means ‘life science’ or ‘life knowledge’ which includes medical knowledge, herbal remedies, spiritual concepts, etiology of more than 1,120 diseases. It also describes the diagnostics techniques, instructions for surgical procedures, treatments for all kinds of injuries and illnesses.
The Sushruta Samhita recorded all about how a physician practices the art of surgery and follows all the procedures which include performing plastic surgery and the removal of cataracts. Baudhayana (800 BC – 740 BC) is said to be the original Mathematician behind the Pythagoras theorem
Sushruta the Physician
A little bit is known about the life of Sushruta’s life in his career his work has focused on the topics of all the medical application techniques, uses of hundreds of medical plants, etc. all that which is known about him is in the northern regions of India in Benares (also Varanasi) he used to practice all about the topic of ‘medicine’ near the river Ganga. Varahamihirawas an ancient Indian astrologer, astronomer, and polymath who lived in Ujjain.
Sushruta was considered a great healer and a sage and people believed that his power in medicine was gifted by God to him.
Origin of Rhinoplasty by Sushruta
Rhinoplasty is a technique that is still being used to reconstruct a nose and Sushruta’s treatise provides the first-ever documented write about Rhinoplasty. Sushruta said that he used a flap of skin called a pedicle from the forehead to form a new nose. Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaja
The nose has remained a sign of dignity and respect in Indian society. As punishment for war prisoners and criminals, the amputation of the nose was done quite frequently in Ancient India and that’s when the practice of Rhinoplasty came in handy for the reconstructing of the external nose.
Ancient India & Plastic Surgery
In Ancient India at that time also plastic and dental surgeries were practiced. All the students interested in these subjects were given proper training and models.
At that time those students had to study for at least six years and then they started their training. Sushruta used to teach all the students about his surgical skills with proper experimental models.
Cutting through the vegetables and fruits like cucumber or watermelon were some of his instances in his experimental studies. Iriññāttappiḷḷi Mādhavan Nampūtiri known as Mādhava of Sangamagrāma was a Hindu mathematician and astronomer
Sushruta is also considered one of the first people in history who came forward with the idea of how a student of surgery can learn about the human body’s organs by dissecting a dead body for more practical knowledge.
‘Here we should note that at that time the dissection used to happen by a knife’.
Some more Contributions by Sushruta
- Apart from contributing to the field of physician he also mentioned principles about stabilization, apposition, postoperative physiotherapy, traction, and also manipulation.
- Apart from the involvement of trauma in general surgery Sushruta also contributed and gave in-depth knowledge in the field of 12 varieties of fractures and also 6 types of dislocation.
- Sushruta entreated surgeons to try and achieve perfect healing which has been characterized by any insulation, swelling, elevation.
- Sushruta also introduced measures on how to bring out the growth of hair loss and the removal process of unwanted hair.
Sushruta Samhita was translated into Arabic in the 18th century AD and before that, it was preserved exclusively in the Sanskrit language. Sushruta as known had taken surgery in the medieval period which took a lot of heights and that era eventually was known as the “Golden Age of Surgery”. Srinivasa Ramanujan FRS was an Indian mathematician who lived during the British Rule in India
All in all, if we say Sushruta had been considered the most hard-working and greatest surgeon of the pre-medieval period. And this was the end of this article. I hope the article was informative for all of you. Thank you!