Reminiscing India’s Pivotal Role On Occasion of Plastic Surgery Day

The world is unimaginable for many with the craft of plastic surgery. Plastic surgery has enhanced many to regain their confidence back, beautify themselves and make themselves look desirable.
On this occasion of World’s Plastic Surgery Day, let’s take a walk down the memory lane of the journey of plastic surgery.

Beginning from the 1400s….

Though the technique of plastic surgery was relatively recent, the art of this surgery dates back to the 6th century BC.
Sushruta is considered the ‘Father of the Plastic Surgery’ for his innovative corrective techniques that was never before imagined. He was from India and was believed to have lived somewhere between 1000 and 800 BC.
Sushruta’s surgery was the first-ever recorded procedure for Rhinoplasty. Many of his other works are also recorded in Sanskrit in his book, ‘Sushruta Samhita’ or Compendium of Sushruta.
Sushruta was not just an expert in plastic surgery but also medicine. He has documented the etiology of more than 1100 diseases and has given an in-depth treatment for orthopedic surgeries, physiotherapy and healing. He has vividly described the technique of plastic surgery through skin grafting—a method that’s still followed today.

Ancient India – Setting the Foundation for Modern Plastic Surgery

It was not until the 18th century that the technique of plastic surgery was carried over from the period of Sushruta. When the ancient book, ‘Sushruta Samhita’ was rediscovered, it set out a new wave of development in plastic surgery that garnered enough attention and led the way to painless modern methods.
The technique of reconstructing the nose with the skin from the forehead from Sushruta Samhita was published in the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine of Calcutta’ in October 1794. Soon Felix Jean Casimir Guyon of Paris and Jacques Reverdin of Geneva started developing newer techniques of skin grafting that set the precedent for modern plastic surgery.
Joseph Carpue, a surgeon from England, was the first one to introduce the techniques of Sushruta to the western world when he reconstructed the nose of a soldier. He then spent 20 years in India, learning about the local methods used in plastic surgery. He performed his first-ever major surgery in the year 1815.
In the early 19th century, Sushruta Samhita was translated to Latin by Hessler and to German by Muller. Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna translated the entire book into English comprising three volumes in 1907.

Entering the Mainstream Medical Field

After being used to treat soldiers for various reconstructive procedures and for treating people with deformities, plastic surgery was introduced officially in Queen Victoria Hospital in 1942 on burnt airmen.
Soon after the success of the treatment, plastic surgery became popular and soon became a preferred treatment for many to correct their physical appearance.


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