Sushruta

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Suśhruta, an ancient Indian sage, was a principal contributor to the art and science of Ayurveda
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Introduction

See also Hildegard of Bingen | Hippocrates | History of medicine portal | Hua Tuo | Maimonides | Andreas Vesalius

Suśhruta (सुश्रुत literally means "well informed") (600 BC — 800 BC?), Indian physician, scholar and father of plastic surgery, practiced medicine during the 5th century B.C. He described the basic principles of plastic surgery in his famous treatise the 'Sushruta samhita' (literally Sushruta's compendium). The treatise was written in Sanskrit nearly 150 years before Hippocrates and 8oo years before the birth of Christ. Sushruta was the first physician to describe eight different operations for surgery such as cutting, opening, scratching, piercing, inserting etc, and finally stitching up. His contributions to Indian medicine, Ayruveda and surgery included other books such as a complete volume of his experiences with ophthalmological diseases. Notable among his achievements is a classification of eye diseases that includes signs, symptoms, prognosis, and medical/surgical interventions. Sushruta describes the first cataract surgery using a sharp instrument with a handle, and is said to have performed the first caesarean and nose surgeries (rhinoplasty).

In his books, Sushruta describes more than 300 kinds of operations that call for 42 different surgical processes and 121 different types of instruments. Sushruta recommended using leeches to keep wounds free of blood clots. Leeches have recently had a resurgence and are used in plastic surgery to help reduce congestion in tissues and wounds. Sushruta put a premium on the care and well-being of children, and on expectant mothers. His coverage of toxicology (the study of poisons) is extensive and provides a list of symptoms, first-aid measures, and long-term treatment, as well as classification of poisons and methods of poisoning. In keeping with Ayurveda, preserving life and preventing infirmity, Sushruta extols the benefits of clean living, good habits and regular exercise, special diets and drug preparations. Before starting his training, Sushruta took a solemn oath which was comparable to the Hippocratic oath.

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