Leech therapy after reconstructive surgery

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Author: 
Dr. Wasnik Sumedh Vyankatesh and Dr. Bhujbal Annasaheb Ashok, Dr. Dhalape Rupali Suhas and Dr. Naik Tanuja Marotrao
Abstract: 

Ayurveda, Science of life, whose traces can be found in the earliest scripts of India, is steeped in the prehistoric tradition. Ayurveda has got eight speciality, among them shalyatantra [surgery]has been important and modified branch since ancient era. Acharya Sushrut, known as the father of surgery, described Sandhan Karma, which can be correlated with plastic & reconstructive surgery in recent times. Acharya Sushrut, an ancient great Indian surgeon, decribed certain surgical ethics & principles in his original surgical text ”Sushrut Samhita”. There are 60 procedures and 08 surgical procedures to treat the disease.Among them “Sandhan Karma” is used in reconstructive surgery. Raktamokshan [blood letting] has been important parasurgical therapy since ancient era. Leech application [Hirudo therapy] is also being used world wide for blood letting. Leeches,known as Hirudo Medicinalis, is used most often in inflammatory conditions, trauma, wounds and thrombotic conditions. Hundreds of years ago, clinicians around the world relied on leeches to treat many medico-surgical conditions. In ancient India, Acharya Sushruta, the father of plastic surgery, mentioned certain plastic & reconstructive surgical procedures in his original text. Particularly, he advocated leech application in post operative non healing or complicated graft/flap. It also help to reduce venous congestion and to resolve haematoma. The aim of study is to review Leech application [Hirudo therapy] after reconstructive surgery in historical [vedic] and Ayurvedic texts and compare it with today’s plastic & reconstructive surgery.

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