In Unani System of Medicine since very ancient times, Surgery (Ilaj-bil- Yad) has always been a part of treatment. It is the treatment of injuries or disorders of the body by incision or manipulation, especially with the help of some instruments.
Surgery (Ilaj-bil- Yad) is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, to help improve bodily function or appearance or to repair unwanted ruptured area (for example, a perforated ear drum).
Unani physicians were pioneers in surgery and had developed their own instruments and techniques. They practiced surgery and wrote many remarkable books on the subject like, Kitab-al-Tasreef by Abul Qasim Zahravi, Kitab-al-Umda fil Jarahat by Ibn-al-Quf Masihi, Kamilus San’a by Ali Abbas Majoosi etc.
An Arab Unani physician,Abul Qaasim Zahrawi, wrote a book entitled Kitab al-Tasrif li-man ‘ajiza ‘anit -Ta‘leef with illustrations of surgical instruments, consisted of 30 volumes on topics of medicine, surgery, pharmacy and other health sciences. The last volume of the book, comprising 300 pages, is dedicated to only Surgery related topics. He treated Surgery as a separate subject for the first time in the history of Medicine. He described several procedures, inventions, and techniques, including tonsillectomy, tracheotomy, craniotomy, thyroidectomy, extraction of cataract, removal of kidney stones, caesarian section, dentistry etc.
In ancient times, Unani surgeons did perform several surgeries like brain surgery, laparotomy and plastic surgery. In spite of the apathy generated by colonial rule, the faith of people in their culture and traditional medicine kept the remaining branches of Unani alive. It is because of this mass base and utility that after Independence, the Government of India took several steps to further this health science.
In Unani System of Medicine, certain categories of drugs are used in cases where surgical interventions are needed.