Various individuals have advanced the surgical art and, as a result, have been called the father of surgery by various sources.
Sushruta, or Suśruta (Sanskrit: सुश्रुत, IAST: Suśruta, lit. 'well heard') was an ancient Indian physician. The Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta's Compendium), a treatise ascribed to him, is one of the most important surviving ancient treatises on medicine and is considered a foundational text of Ayurveda. The treatise addresses all aspects of general medicine, but the impressive chapters on surgery have led to the false impression that this is its main topic. The translator G. D. Singhal dubbed Suśruta "the father of surgery" on account of these detailed accounts of surgery.
Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi
The Arab physician Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (936-1013) wrote Al-Tasrif (The Method of Medicine), a 30-part medical encyclopedia in Arabic. In the encyclopedia, he introduced his collection of over 200 surgical instruments, many of which were never used before. Some of his works included being the first to describe and prove the hereditary pattern behind hemophilia, as well as describing ectopic pregnancy and stone babies. He has been called the "father of surgery".
The 14th century French surgeon Guy de Chauliac quoted Al-Tasrif over 200 times. Abu Al-Qasim's influence continued for at least five centuries after his death, extending into the Renaissance, evidenced by al-Tasrif's frequent reference by French surgeon Jacques Daléchamps (1513-1588).
Guy de Chauliac
The Frenchman Guy de Chauliac (c. 1300–1368) is said by the Encyclopædia Britannica to have been the most eminent surgeon of the European Middle Ages. He wrote the surgical work Chirurgia magna, which was used as a standard text for some centuries. He has been called the "father of modern surgery".
The French surgeon Ambroise Paré (1517–1590) worked as a military doctor. He reformed the treatment of gunshot wounds, rejecting the practice, common at that time, of cauterizing the wound, and ligatured blood vessels in amputated limbs. His collected works were published in 1575. He has been called the "father of modern surgery".
Philip Syng Physick
The American surgeon Philip Syng Physick (1768–1837) worked in Philadelphia and invented a number of new surgical methods and instruments. He has been called the "father of modern surgery".
The German Theodor Billroth (1829–1894) was an early user of antisepsis, and was the first to perform a resection of the esophagus, and various other operations. He has been called the "father of modern surgery".
William Stewart Halsted
The American William Stewart Halsted (1852–1922) pioneered the radical mastectomy, and designed a residency training program for American surgeons. He has been called "the most innovative and influential surgeon the United States has produced", and also the "father of modern surgery".
James Henderson Nicoll
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