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The Hippocratic Oath says: “I will not use the knife, not even verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.”
Probably the description was for kidney, bladder or gall bladder stones. We know that kidney stones have been identified in Egyptian mummies.
The message was no prophylactic intervention unless life saving and that too only by the experts (craftsmen).
This reminded me of an old saying.
“अपना नालायक लड़का गोद लिएहुए लायक लड़के से जब तक अच्छा होता है जब तकवो जान का दुश्मन न बन जाये”
“Apna nalayak ladka god liye huai layak ladke se jab tak achaa hota hei jab tak vo jaan ka dushman na ban jaye”
This means that your unworthy son is better than the adopted son until he becomes a threat (enemy) to your life.
This phrase is true for most situations: bypass surgery, gallbladder stones, kidney stones, hysterectomy, benign tumors.
No surgery can be said to be is risk free. Low risk patients are those whose estimated risk of death is less than 1%, while in high risk patients the estimated risk of death is more than 1%. The rate of hospital-acquired infection in India varies from 8-14%. Similarly, no anesthesia is risk free.
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA