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The term "surgeon" refers to a medical expert who conducts surgery in contemporary medicine. Modern surgeons are typically also licenced doctors or have obtained the same medical training as physicians before specialising in surgery, despite the fact that traditions vary from one period and region to the next. Surgeons in the fields of podiatry, dentistry, and veterinary medicine are also available. Every year, it is estimated that surgeons undertake more than 300 million surgical operations around the world.

Sushruta or Suruta, an Indian physician-surgeon who lived in the 6th century BC, was the first person to record a surgical procedure. A cosmetic plastic surgeon by training, he even performed an open rhinoplasty operation, which he videotaped. One of the most significant ancient treatises on medicine still in existence today, his magnum work Suruta-sahita is widely regarded as a cornerstone book for both Ayurvedic medicine and surgical practise. Even though the book covers all parts of general medicine, the translator G. D. Singhal called Sushruta "the father of surgical intervention" because of the unusually precise and extensive details of surgery that can be found in it.