Medical Marvel – History and Evolution Of Surgery

‘Mrs. Majumdar, 48, suddenly felt a sharp pain in her lower abdomen and after she was rushed to the hospital, the doctor performed an emergency surgery as it was a case of appendix burst.’ Thousands of surgical procedures are being performed each day, let it be elective or emergency, all across the globe. But did you ever wonder how old is this entire concept of surgery? Who came up with the idea of surgery? Let’s try to explore how the surgery evolved.

Despite having extremely effective medication, not every illness can be treated with it and we require surgery for the same. Surgery is a special branch of medicine that uses invasive approach (both manual and instrumental) to cure or manage illnesses.

Multiple evidence has been found from many regions across the world that surgical procedures had been carried out since neolithic and pre-catholic ages. However, as per many theories, that appears to be due to some religious or ritual purposes, instead of health reasons.

In ancient India and Greek, several surgical procedures were carried out for a range of health illnesses. In fact, as per evidence, Sushruta, (father of surgery, as said by many theories) performed and taught his disciples a wide range of surgical procedures. ‘Sushruta Samhita’ explains a great deal about the numerous illness along with detailed procedure of its treatment. These include hernia surgery, cesarean delivery, treating fractures and also procedures like cataract surgery and prosthetic surgery, which is considered as modern medical marvels.


Read More – History And Evolution Of Stethoscope

During middle ages and Renaissance, there were many ‘barber-surgeons’ offering surgical procedure (however, they are not medical professionals with a university degree). The surgical procedures were gaining popularity among people, and operations theaters were built to carry out the procedures.

Read More – Why an Operation Theatre Is Called So

However, the limitations of anesthesia and proper sterilization made people tremble with fear, even with the thought of having an operation. Patients were forced to witness their own operation and thereby, speed was considered as a more crucial factor than the output of the surgery. In fact procedures like amputation were carried out in less than 2-3 minutes, to reduce the pain and horror of the patients.


The modern surgery came into existence with enormous efforts and during this time, the correct anatomy of the human body was explored and understood, by dissecting the human cadavers. Also, sterility of the wound and surgical equipment were given prime importance along with proper anesthesia administration.

Read More – History Of Anesthesia

Currently, we are witnessing, probably the best phase of surgery. The introduction of laparoscopic surgery (which uses minute incisions to carry out several surgeries) is a medical marvel with no match. In developed nations, the scope of robotics surgery is being explored as well, which might be the next best thing in the near future. However, we at ILS Hospitals, pay our tribute to each and every physician, doctors, and staffs who contributed towards shaping the realm of ‘surgery’ as we see today.