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What did Sushruta introduce: couching or extracapsular cataract extraction?

Poster Details

First Author: A.Grzybowski POLAND

Co Author(s):    J. Ascaso              

Abstract Details


To verify if Sushruta described extracapsular cataract extraction.


It has been believed that couching was the dominant procedure for cataract surgery for over 3000 years, until the French surgeon Jacques Daviel performed the first reported cataract extraction (Paris, 8 April 1747). Nevertheless, several authors argued that the Indian physician Sushruta (c. 600 B.C.), considered the father of surgery, introduced and practiced an extracapsular cataract extraction long time before Daviel.


Present study analyses the first known cataract surgery description in three translations into English from the original Sanskrit Sushruta textbook and all the available literature on the subject.


There is a good agreement among all the three examined translations that, in hypermature cataracts, Sushruta advocated some form of extraocular evacuation of lens material through a corneal puncture.


In conclusion, perhaps a kind of extraocular evacuation of lens material was described by Sushruta. Anyhow, it did not receive any widespread acceptance, as couching remained the dominating procedure until the classical Daviel’s operation.

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