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Sushruta Samhita

A Book on Ayuredic Surgery

Sushruta Samhita is the most authentic text on the practice of ayurvedic surgery believed to have been written around the sixth century B C. Sushruta, renowned as the father of surgery, represents the Dhanwantari School of surgeons. His samhita discusses in minute detail how to perform prosthetic surgery to replace limbs, cosmetic surgery on different parts of the body, cesarean operations, setting of compound fractures, and even brain surgery.

The samhita discusses blood in terms of the fourth dosha, in addition to the tridosha. It is also the first to enumerate and discuss the pitta subtypes. Sushruta details about 125 surgical instruments used by him, mostly made of stones,wood and other such natural materials. Use of shalaka, meaning foreign body (rods or probe), is also mentioned by Sushruta. Some classifications found in the Sushruta Samhita are not even traced by modern medical science. He is the first surgeon in medical history who systematically and elaborately dealt with the anatomical structure of the eye.

Sushruta has discussed about 72 diseases of the eye. He has stipulated drug therapy for various types of conjunctivitis and glaucoma, along with surgical procedures for the removal of cataract, pterygium, diseases of the ear, nose and throat.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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