Shushruta, known as the father of surgery, practised his skill as early as 600 BCE. He used cheek skin to perform plastic surgery to restore or reshape the nose, ears and lips with incredible results. Modern plastic surgery acknowledges his contributions by calling this method of rhinoplasty as the Indian method.
125 Types Of Surgical Instruments
“The Hindus (Indians) were so advanced in surgery that their instruments could cut a hair longitudinally”.
Shushruta worked with 125 kinds of surgical instruments, which included scalpels, lancets, needles, catheters, rectal speculums, mostly conceived from jaws of animals and birds to obtain the necessary grips. He also defined various methods of stitching: the use of horse’s hair, fine thread, fibres of bark, goat’s guts and ant’s heads.
300 Different Operations
Shushruta describes the details of more than 300 operations and 42 surgical processes. In his compendium Shushruta Samhita he minutely classifies surgery into 8 types:
Aharyam = extracting solid bodies
Bhedyam = excision
Chhedyam = incision
Aeshyam = probing
Lekhyam = scarification
Vedhyam = puncturing
Visraavyam = evacuating fluids
Sivyam = suturing
The ancient Indians were also the first to perform amputation, caesarean surgery and cranial surgery. For rhinoplasty, Shushruta first measured the damaged nose, skilfully sliced off skin from the cheek and sutured the nose. He then placed medicated cotton pads to heal the operation.