Surgery is altogether a different branch of study and is a matter of experience but not a science. It can be taken help of by a follower of any branch of medicine without the least detriment to the principles of treatment, provided the surgery is had recourse to in accordance with its true sphere. Unfortunately it is taken help of where real treatment should have been followed.
Before entering into the details of the subject a few words may be necessary why surgery has not been given the name of “Science”. A science properly so called must be a collection of scientific truths, that is, generalised principles arrived at by methods of induction, deduction, difference, etc. which are the means of ascertaining truths. So far as surgery is concerned nobody can say that is particulars are so many generalised principles and have been arrived at in the above way. Each case of inflammatory swelling under the principles of surgery has to be operated upon and dealt with on its own merits and according to the circumstances peculiar to it; hence surgery is not a science but a subject based upon individual experience.
We, as homoeopaths, can certainly take the help of surgery whenever occasion requires but its true sphere must be ascertained because, if we have recourse to it either before or after the time when we really need it, we do a great deal of injury to the patient.
The more we adopt surgery the less the treatment becomes a success. A method of treatment that is truly successful will not need it. Why and how? Because what we operate upon is the result of disease and we want to do away with the result; but there should be no result or ultimate in a successful method of treatment.
A tangible result or an ultimate which is the true subject of surgery is formed when the disease of the morbid vital current is allowed to flow for a very long time in the system so that it is sheer folly or ignorance of the prescriber on account of which the morbid vital current is not put into order within the shortest possible time but is allowed to flow continuously and the continuous influx of morbidity is allowed to manufacture the ultimate. Had the prescriber been able to cure the vital disorder by the true method of treatment, the formation of the ultimate would have been an impossibility.
Unless we can definitely ascertain where to and where not to use the knife we may unwittingly, nay innocently, injure the patient. In a case where an ultimate has already been formed and we are called by the family to act as a surgeon our duty is to pause where, in spite of the ultimate, the patient has a totality of symptoms; even if there are no symptoms we may still prescribe upon the basis of the original totality of the case that may be remembered by the patient.
In that case a higher potency may be needed and if, under this circumstance, there comes in a reaction we ought to presume that Natures voice was only faint, dull or subdued and not altogether extinguished. Now our course is clear, we are to go on increasing the potency; the reaction will be stronger and stronger and the particular disease feebler and feebler up to the perfect cure. But where this stage is passed, the knife is the only help. We must, however, be sure that the patient is not cured, though the tangible ultimate is knifed away.
From the above observations we can clearly understand the true province of surgery and unless it is used after the occasion arises for it, we really apply a method which is anything but similar; and thereby we hush up the natural voice asking for our help in the form of symptom-totality. As long as there is or shall be the symptom-totality we should only apply for the cure a potentized remedy in accordance with the symptom-totality on the law of similars. Whenever we do otherwise i.e. proceed not on the law of similars but otherwise, not only our work does not further the process of cure but it does injury also.
Where it is positively dissimilar it is killing for the patient because it gives rise to a miasm and gives a shock to the influx, directs it inward and thus lays a foundation for the incoming of a more serious malady in the more interior region of the system. In a case in the famous – family of Calcutta a synovial swelling in the left knee was operated upon at a stage when there was absolutely no occasion for doing so, because not only were there regional pains but also general symptoms of the patient – all pointing to Silicea. He felt a shivering and a cold feeling in the head always wanting a covering there, had a doughy swelling in the knee with much aggravation at the new and full moon, the whole patient being chilly, and the previous condition of the constitutional picture was, on enquiry, found to have been like that of Pulsatilla.
Owing to the impatience of the mother and the wife a surgeon was called in who immediately took recourse to an operation. Now the result that followed was this. The synovial affection was really Natures safety valve and so had there been an opportunity for its treatment under the law of similars, the disease influx would have naturally stopped and the patient would have been cured. But by the untimely operation the vitality was given a stone where she asked for bread. She intended a cure and had always been supplying the totality of symptoms to which no heed was paid and it is no wonder that more important and necessarily more internal centers should be affected. In the above case the patients heart and then his brain centres were affected without any symptom-totality except some common symptoms. Brilliant physicians of the town were engaged but they could do nothing and the fatal end appeared after a few months.
Here a question may be asked – Is it a fact that in every case of an untimely operation the patient turns incurable? The answer depends upon the miasmatic combination in the individual patient. So if the case is such that there is still appears the symptom- totality (which is the only condition for a cure) the case is not hopeless. So far as my own experience goes, I have seen that a cure under such circumstances is possible only in cases where there is hereditary psora but other miasms or miasms self- acquired.