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Maharshi Shushruta, The Great Grandfather of Surgery!

by Ayurvedacharya Dr.Hitesh Jani

Dr.Hitesh Jani

In India, today, if we say, surgeries took place 125 years ago, that too plastic surgery in Gujarat that too in Saurashtra, anyone would seldom believe me and would say i am lying. Someone may even say i am describing a beautiful dream. But the fact is, history holds records of Dr TribhovandasMotichand Shah, as father of Plastic Surgery. He was deputed Chief Medical officer, Junagadh State. In Europe and America at the of world war 1931, plastic surgery came into official existence. During 1937 Plastic Surgery association were formed and the research work containing pictures and reports of 100 rhinoplasty plastic surgery was compiled in a book and printed and published by Junagadh State. This book till date has a place in British Library. Plastic Surgeons in America and Europe consider him as a great surgeon in history. Sadly Indians, especially Indian surgeons are unaware of the fact that the father of Plastic Surgery was an Indian !

Indian method of ‘rhinoplasty’ was recorded in Poona in 1793.

The first public documentation of the ‘Indian method of ‘rhinoplasty’ was recorded in Poona in 1793. A Parsee gentleman by the name of Cowasjee, a bullock cart driver in the English army,                  was captured by Tipu Sultan’s soldiers in the Mysore war of 1792. His nose and his hand were cut off. His four colleagues suffered the same fate. The man that Cowasjee consulted was not an Ayurvedic physician but a common brick layer or clay potter who had learnt the art from the Ayurveda. Cowasjee and his four associates were given new noses. The clay potter’s surgery was witnessed by Thomas Cruso and James Findlay, both British surgeons serving the Government of the Bombay Presidency. Their graphic description was published in the Medical Gazette and later reported in the October 1794 issue of the Gentlemen’s Magazine. Every step of the operation was described in great detail.

The story published in the Gentleman’s Magazine was then read by JC Carpue, a 30-year-old surgeon practising in London. He used the procedure for the first time in 1816, thus introducing the ‘Indian technique’ to the West.

Kathiavad, Saurashtra- Birth place of modern plastic Surgery&  – Dr.Tribhovandas Shah

Readers may find it strange to learn that history of plastic surgery in Saurashtra is connected to the looters of those times. During British rule, scenario in Saurashtra was different. Saurashtra was divided into small kingdoms. SorathZalawadHalarGohilwad and likewise Kathi Rajputs Muslim Nawabs ruled held friendship with Britishers and there also existed social fights between the rulers and the citizens due to this friendship.To express their anger towards such unreliable rulers, they revolted and harrassed the community of that rulers.

Kadu Makrani:

The writer is neither a historian nor story writer but to know and understand about history of Surgery its my duty to bring forth something which is a pride of our Nation. Kadu Makrani, a resident of faraway region of Baluchistan, called Makrana region, today’s Pakistan was appointed to fight along with his community against those revolters. Kadu and his team worked for Nawab of Junagadh to get hold of the looters. The looters did not harass common man but remained hidden. Kadu on the contrary harassed the villagers but cutting their nose just to express revolt against the rulers of kingdom. Cutting nose was considered as insulting someone openly and Kadu did it with the purpose of insulting the Kingdom. He continued with this act each day. Finally, then Chief Medical officer and Assistant Civil Surgeon of State came to help the Ruler. He took up the task of repairing the nose of all those who were attacked by Kadu. Every night Kadu cut the nose of people in their sleeping state and other day Dr Tribhuvandas would repair them and save the King from insult. In those times in 1890, it was nearly impossible to believe someone can repair the nose and make it as it was before with little pain. Experiments were carried out in Europe and Italy in many different ways. The doctors peeled skin from different parts of body and tried grafting it on nose but did match the facial skin giving bad results. Here Dr Tribhuvandasjust took pedical flap on face and grafted on nose and within few days it got normal.  (This method is same as Shalyakriya described by Sushrut about which we will talk ahead)

Dr.Tribhuvandas performed not 5 or 10 but 300 such surgeries and its a record in itself. Till date modern surgeons in America and Europe remember him with history of plastic surgery.

Great Grandfather of Surgery- Aacharya Sushruta

Indian Classical Discipline and Inherited knowledge is a boon to the world. Ayurveda is a great inherited knowledge, which whole world is trying to explore today owing to lifestyle diseases like Corona virus Heart problems obesity Diabetes Thyroid BP etc. Ayurveda is not just a therapy, its an Amazing holistic approach to health in terms of physical mental and senses. Ancient Sages like Maharshi CharakSushrut and Vagbhatta not only preached health but also conducted experiments and practised creative therapies to keep us healthy. Great works like Charak Samhita by Maharshi Charak, Sushrut Samhita by Maharshi Sushrut and AshtangHridaya by Maharshi Vagbhatta keeps serving mankind till date to maintain health.

Great literature for Surgery – ‘Sushrut Samhita’

If Charak Samhita is a great literature for Medicine than Sushrut Samhita is a great literature for Surgery. ShushrutKnown as a student of Maharshi Vishwamitra, Maharshi Sushrut studied in Kashi. Full curriculum for Ayurveda students is mentioned in Sushrut Samhita, which is followed till date.

1.  Dead body Dissection – Dhanvantry Ghatat banks of River Ganga, Varanasi is a live evidence.

2.  Shalya – Extraction of extraneous matter from body (using pointed stone, knife, arrow, spear, thorne, etc. or unpointed objects like hammer, baton,etc.

3.   Cuts and Wounds

4.   Piercing – cut split open or such process to remove stone etc.

5.   Various types of stitching – Internal skin, external skin, intestine, ear, uterus, urinary bladder, etc

6.  Fracture – 12 types of fracture, various plasters, etc.

7.  Shalakya – Surgeries of eyes nose ears tonsils lips etc

8. Dantotpatan – Tooth extraction with Jalandhar bandh without pain and bleeding.

9.  Mutra stravan – Catheterization

10.  Marmavigyan – While performing any type of surgery, Knowledge anatomy / physiology of preserving arteries or veins from getting cut.

11. Udarpatan – Cesarean for several reasons

About 300 different surgeries are mentioned in it elaborately by Acharya Sushrut. 120 types of surgical instruments should be of which type of metal and what size is mentioned in detail in Sushrut Samhita.

Rhinoplasty (Plastic Surgery), speciality of Acharya Sushrut

During the times of War, injured nose and ears of soldiers, knowledge and procedures of its surgery and repairs and its SOP were first given by Acharya Sushrut. Works of Vedic era describes joining of Head arms legs etc, known as organ transplant by Vaidyas of Lords but no procedure is mentioned there, but the procedure is mentioned only in Sushrut Samhita which the world agrees to. Be it British encyclopedia or History of Surgery American and European chapter, It clearly mentions Sushrut as Father of Surgery.

Inherited Indian Literature of Ayurveda Well preserved

After Maharshi Sushrut, Maharshi Vagbhatta preserved the literature in 4th century. Europe was in dark. America was still unborn. Later on Sushrut Samhita was translated in 12th century by Unanis in Arabic named Alb AnbiUsayabia, in 14th century by a German writer Hesslar, in 1844 in Latin. Indian Vaidyas kept doing surgeries, Dr.Tribhuvandas continued the tradition, then in Pune, Nepal, Kangiras in Kangra and many more Vaidyas in Indian continued to perform surgeries.

Greatful to Govt. for new notification on Surgery

As per new notification of Govt. MS in Ayurveda can perform surgeries. Through this, Govt has greatly served the Nation. It has recognized Ayurvedic literatures, Vaidyas and the Nation in big way. But Indian Medical Association IMA has opposed the notification which is disheartening. Without the knowledge of heritage of Nation and Acharya Sushrut, what else can be expected from them.

Innovative Surgeons of Ayurveda

In the decade of 1980, our Mentor Dr. Kulwant Singh in our university in Jamnagar and Dr. Deshpande in Hindu Banaras University performed Ayurvedic Kshar Sutra Surgery for Piles Fissure and Fistula and made it famous while our Gynaecology  professor Pratibha Deshpande and Parimala Sharma performed Delivery  by episiotomy and  through DNC  to treat uterus. Dr Gadhia and Dr Trivedi repaired damaged ears.

Ayurvedic Surgery is well practised today also

My senior study mate Dr Harshvardhan Jobanputra did MD in orthopaedics Surgery. My Student and then a Teacher Late Dr Parul Pandya, and nowadays, Dr Pashmina Joshi doingPiles Fistula surgery or Dr Joy Patel correcting Urinary Stricture, Dr Rajeshreeand Dr Achyutafor various procedures for eyes and having hold on surgeries, Dr. Shilpa Donga or Dr. Karishma Narwani doing intrauterine procedures in Gynae and many more on list. If you really wish to see how all this is done, one must visit them in Jamnagar!

Dant Vidya -Ayurvedic  Dental Surgery

Late Dr LabhubhaiShukal can’t be forgotten while talking about Dant Vidya. Inherited by Dr Jaysukh Makwana removing 16 teeth of an old man at a stretch without anesthesia pain or bleeding with Jalandhar bandh process, seeing this, Late Mayor Sarlaben Trivedi was astonished. Yes, Sandransh Yantra for   removing teeth given by Maharshi Sushrut which is called Universal Tooth foreshape has remained unchanged and even after 2400 years no one is able to innovate the same. In Gujarat as well as country many such Vaidyas are performing different kinds of Surgery and its time to recognize them as Indians are yet to know about them.

Ayurveda syllabus by Central Council and new notification

Surgery in Ayurveda? People ask us at times. But when Doctors ask us, it surprises us!

Truly speaking, according to Syllabus by Central Council of Indian Medicine Act 1979, Ayurveda Graduates and specially post Graduates are taught this in university, post Graduates in surgery does 3 years of house surgeonship, before presenting the degree of MS. But this fact is not known to many. With the announcement by Govt. our Ayurveda Surgeons have thus got a boost and people a good option.

The author is  former Principal, Gujarat Ayurved University

Source pninews.com

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