First translation of the Suśruta Samhitā into Latin, and the first publication of this text in the West. Suśruta is said to have lived in the 6th or 5th centuries, BCE. The principal medical contribution of the ancient Hindus was in the field of surgery, and the greatest early Hindu surgeon was Suśruta, a quasi-legendary character about whose dates there is some confusion. His collection, or "Samhitā," is one of the two foundation works of ancient Indian medicine, the other being the Charaka Samhitā, a work devoted to medicine.
The Suśruta Samhitā includes the earliest description of plastic surgery; this is contained in chapter XVI of the first volume, which is devoted to the repair of torn earlobes and damaged noses, and includes the first recorded description of the pedicle flap method, subsequently named the "Indian" method. Suśruta is also credited with the description of 127 surgical instruments, and his descriptions of the operative techniques for abscesses, lithotomy, amputation, treatment of fractures and dislocations, hernia reduction and removal of foreign bodies were especially useful.
"The Suśruta-samhitā, 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" (Wikipedia article on Sushruta, accessed 05-2017).
The Sanskrit text was published as: Suśruta Samhita. The system of Hindu medicine taught by Dhanwantari. Compiled by Suśruta. Edited by Pandit-Kulapati Jibananda Vidyasagara. 5th ed. Calcutta: Vidyasagara, Pandit-Kulapati Jibananda Vidyasagara, 1909.