Surgical and para-surgical techniques for correction of trichiasis and entropion: under-recognized contribution of ancient India

by Ruby and Manoj Kumar


Despite the fact that India has a long tradition of ophthalmic surgeries, her contribution in the field remains largely unrecognized by the world. Sushruta (1000-800 BC), the father of Indian surgery, lived much before Hippocrates (460-370 BC) and Galen (129-216 AD), and described various eyelid surgeries, including surgeries for trichiasis, distichiasis, and entropion, in his treatise Sushruta Samhita. Sushruta and subsequent authorities on the subject also advocated para-surgical procedures such as chemical and heat cautery apart from surgeries. Their surgical techniques were practised all over India for more than 3000 years. It is very likely that their surgical knowledge spread even beyond the boundaries of the Indian subcontinent and benefited the world at large including the Arab and Europe.This article describes the techniques of surgical and para-surgical procedures for trichiasis, distichiasis, and entropion practiced in India until recent past before they are replaced by modern techniques.

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