Susruta’s name is synonymousely with India’s surgical inheritance. A legendary figure, he is believed to have lived and taught in Varanasi several centuries before the Budha, and composed the Susrutatantra which became a timeless medical classic. Though the original text was lost long ago a redaction by Nagarjuna survived as Susruta Samhita and won universal acclaim. The Samhita is a study of the human condition in health and disease with undisguised emphasis on surgery, and rivals Caraka’s classic in authority. In The Legacy of Susruta, the text of Susruta Samhita has been recast in a thematic fashion without sacrificing any of the content of the original chapters. Furthermore, it presents much of the data in tabular form, and features many tables and illustrations in an effort to reach out to readers who may include not only students of ayurveda but also of modern medicine, biological and social sciences and the history of science.
A native of Kerala, Dr.M.S.Valiathan received his medical education in India and training in surgery and cardiac surgery in the UK and USA. During a career spanning three decades as a surgeon and investigator, his major interests were cardiac surgery in children, studies on a tropical heart muscle disease, and the development of cardiovascular devices. His contributions are embodied in a monograph, many scientific papers and a family of medical devices including a tilting disc heart valve which are used widely in India.
Dr.Valiathan is a National Reaserch Professor of the Government of India. He is married to Ashima, an orthodontis, They have a daughter, Manna, and a son, Manish.