Introduction

The lesson “Revolutionary Steps in Surgery” explores the changes that took place in the field of Science and Surgery to treat patients without causing much pain. Apart from the alteration in the surgical method, the lesson also highlights the proper utilisation of the advanced technology by our surgeons to perform a number of complex surgical procedures, the advantages of anaesthesia, the first successful heart surgery, Neurosurgery, Robotic Surgery and Da Vinci.

When it comes to Surgery, the work ”Sushruta Samhita” is considered to be as one of the oldest works dealing with surgery, which gives us a direct hint that it was Sushruta who had performed the first surgical operations. Tooth extraction and bloodletting had also been performed by some ancient surgeons.

The development of substances/gases called anaesthesia like ether or chloroform took place from mid-nineteenth century to make painless surgical operations possible and successful. Previously, the surgeons had to cut open the part of the body that was not healthy.

First Heart Surgery

Before 1893, doctors did not have modern medical tools and procedures essential for performing heart surgeries. Then in 1893, Daniel Hale Williams, a young African American surgeon attempted a new medical technique of repairing the human heart for the first time on his patient, James Cornish,who was suffering from a very treacherous knife wound. The knife had cut an artery less than an inch from James ‘heart and punctured his pericardium.

Open surgery is performed nowadays as it helps to repair heart defects, heart valves and even replace them. With proper measures, patients can recover from cardiac surgery faster than they did before.

Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery is another speciality to have received recognition since the early 1900s. It is a surgical specialisation that treats diseases and disorders of the brain and spinal cord. Neurosurgeons operate on the brain, the spine or nerves and can treat patients of all ages who have suffered a stroke.

Harvey Cushing was considered as the father of modern neurological surgery. He successfully reduced the mortality rate which had been high before because of blood loss. By the time of his retirement,he had successfully removed more than 2000 tumours. Among his most significant achievements are the methods he developed a ‘silver clip’to control the blood loss,which is one of the most latest development in the world of surgery and medicine.

Robot Surgery

Robot Surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery in which instead of operating on the patients through large incisions, miniaturized surgical instruments are used. The advantage of this type of surgeries includes minimal incisions on the body, consumption of lesser time, latest instruments and technologies are used. Robot carries out the surgery under the supervision of the surgeon and lastly the unfavourable effects of an open surgery is also prevented.

Da Vinci is the world’s most advanced surgical robot.These small instruments are set up on three separate robotic arms, allowing the surgeon maximum range of accuracy. The Da Vinci’s fourth arm contains an enlarged high definition 3-D camera that guides the surgeon during the procedure.

Thus,these procedures can now be performed through very small incisions resulting in a less painful surgery of the patients as compared to the open surgeries in the past.