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Shushrut statue.jpg
A statue dedicated to Sushruta at Haridwar
Born some time between 1200-600 BCE[1]
South India[2]
Known for author of Sushruta Samhita

Suśruta (Sanskrit: सुश्रुत, lit. very famous or good listener[3]) was an ancient Indian surgeon commonly credited as the author of the treatise Sushruta Samhita. He is dubbed as the "founding father of surgery" and the Sushruta Samhita is identified as one of the best and outstanding commentary on Medical Science of Surgery. He is said to have been a physician originally of South India active in Varanasi. His period is usually placed between the period of 1200-600 BCE.[4] One of the earliest known mention of the name is from the Bower Manuscript (4th or 5th century), where Sushruta is listed as one of the ten sages residing in the Himalayas.[5][5] Texts also suggest that he learned surgery at Varanasi from Dhanvantari, the god of medicine in Hindu mythology.[6]

Sushruta Samhita[edit]

Main article: Sushruta Samhita

The Sushruta Samhita, in its extant form, in 184 chapters contains descriptions of 1,120 illnesses, 700 medicinal plants, 64 preparations from mineral sources and 57 preparations based on animal sources. The text discusses surgical techniques of making incisions, probing, extraction of foreign bodies, alkali and thermal cauterization, tooth extraction, excisions, and trocars for draining abscess, draining hydrocele and ascitic fluid, removal of the prostate gland, urethral stricture dilatation, vesicolithotomy, hernia surgery, caesarian section, management of haemorrhoids, fistulae, laparotomy and management of intestinal obstruction, perforated intestines and accidental perforation of the abdomen with protrusion of omentum and the principles of fracture management, viz., traction, manipulation, apposition and stabilization including some measures of rehabilitation and fitting of prosthetic. It enumerates six types of dislocations, twelve varieties of fractures, and classification of the bones and their reaction to the injuries, and gives a classification of eye diseases including cataract surgery.

S. K. Ramachandra Rao speculated that there might have been an original text dated to the elder Sushruta which was later redacted by younger Sushruta in the first century A.D., with later addition and redaction by Nagarjuna leading to the extant text with the redaction by Nagarjuna explicitly mentioned by Dalhana, the author of the primary commentary on the Sushruta Samhita.[7][8][9][10][11]


  1. ^ David O. Kennedy. Plants and the Human Brain. Oxford. p. 265. 
  2. ^ Amaresh Datta, various. The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature (Volume One (A To Devo)). Sahitya academy. p. 311. 
  3. ^ Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit Dictionary (1899).
  4. ^ Singh, P.B.; Pravin S. Rana (2002). Banaras Region: A Spiritual and Cultural Guide. Varanasi: Indica Books. p. 31. ISBN 81-86569-24-3. 
  5. ^ a b Kutumbian, pages XXXII-XXXIII
  6. ^ Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit Dictionary, s.v. "suśruta"
  7. ^ K. Mangathayaru. Pharmacognosy: An Indian perspective. Pearson Education India. p. 2. 
  8. ^ Adam Hart-Davis. History: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Present Day. Penguin. p. 53. 
  9. ^ Dwivedi & Dwivedi (2007)
  10. ^ Lock etc., page 420
  11. ^ "Sushruta: The first Plastic Surgeon in 600 B.C.". Internet Journal of Plastic Surgery 4 (2). ISSN 1528-8293.