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Bornc. 6th century BC
ancient India
ProfessionSurgeon, Physician
Specialism Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery
Known forRhinoplasty

Sushruta (also spelt Susruta or Sushrutha) (c. 6th century BC) was a renowned surgeon of ancient India, and the author of the book Sushruta Samhita. In his book, he described over 120 surgical instruments, 300 surgical procedures and classifies human surgery in 8 categories. He lived and taught and practiced his art on the banks of the Ganga in the area that corresponds to the present day city of Varanasi in North India.

In the Sushruta school, the first person to expound Āyurvedic knowledge was Dhanvantari who then taught it to Divodasa who, in turn, taught it to Sushruta, Aupadhenava, Aurabhra, Paushakalāvata, Gopurarakshita, and Bhoja.

Because of his seminal and numerous contributions to the science and art of surgery he is also known by the title "Father of Surgery." Much of what is known about this inventive surgeon is contained in a series of volumes he authored, which are collectively known as the Susrutha Samhita. The "Samhita" has some writings that date as late as the 1st century, and some scholars believe that there were contributions and additions to his teachings from generations of his students and disciples. Susrutha is also the father of Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery since his technique of forehead flap rhinoplasty (repairing the disfigured nose with a flap of skin from the forehead),that he used to reconstruct noses that were amputated, is practiced almost unchanged in technique to this day. The Susrutha Samhita contains the first known description of several operations, including the uniting of bowel, the removal of the prostate gland, the removal of cataract lenses and the draining of abscesses. Susrutha was also the first surgeon to advocate the practice of operations on inanimate objects such as watermelons, clay plots and reeds; thus predating the modern practice of the surgical workshop by half a millennium.

Sushruta was also a notable teacher. He told his pupils that one could become a good physician only if one knew both theory and practice. He advised his pupils to use carcases and models for practice before surgery.In addition to classifying worms that infect the human body, leeches for bloodletting, medicinal herbs, alkalies and metals, Sushruta gave a vague classification of animals.


  • Dr. Rudolf Hoernle. Medicine of India.
  • D. P. Agrawal. Susruta: The Great Surgeon of Yore.
  • Chari PS. 'Susruta and our heritage', Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery.
  • Rana RE and Arora BS. 'History of Plastic Surgery in India', Journal of Postgraduate Medicine.
  • Gunakar Muley. 'Plastic Surgery in Ancient India'.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sushruta". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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