(Last Updated on : 23/05/2013)
In India the practice of surgery is very ancient that dates back to around eight hundred BC. Surgery was termed as 'Sastrakarma' and was one of the eight branches of Ayurveda
, which is the ancient Indian system of medicine. Sushruta Samhita is one of the oldest book in Ayurveda that was written by Sushruta, the legendary Aurvedic Physician
of ancient India. The Sushruta Samhita is the complete book that deals with the practical problems of surgery and midwifery or obstetrics. Sushruta was the first person who studied human anatomy. In the Sushruta Samhita this detailed study of anatomy is described. Sushruta was the specialist of rhinoplasty or plastic surgery and opthalmology or the elimination of cataracts.
There are eight main divisions in Sushruta Samhita namely Chedya (excision), Lekhya (scarification), Vedhya (puncturing), Esya (exploration), Ahrya (extraction), Vsraya (evacuation) and Sivya (Suturing).
The greatest contribution of Sushruta was the Rhinoplasty operation in which he tried to restore the mutilated nose by plastic surgery. There is a detailed description of this rhinoplastic operation in Sushruta Samhita, which is very meticulous and comprehensive. There are evidences that prove that he got success in these kinds of surgeries. People even from outside of India visited Sushruta for their treatment. Sushruta was famous for his great humane approach to life. He was equipped with excellent surgical skills and elevated the practical science of surgery to the level of art. Sushruta Samhita recorded the detailed description of the steps of operation and most amazingly the steps are followed in the modern plastic surgery even today.