Celebrating 50 Golden Years
of Hand Surgery in India

Formation of ISSH

The Indian Society for Surgery of the Hand (ISSH) was founded in 1973 in Mumbai, during the first 'National Hand Symposium' meeting held in 1973 under the able leadership of Dr B B Joshi, Dr N H Antia, and Dr S D Pandey. Dr SD Pandey was then a faculty in Plastic Surgery at the JJ Hospital and later relocated to Lucknow joining the King George’s Medical College.

Dr B B Joshi, Dr. N.H. Antia, Dr N S Laud, Dr Ravin Thatte, Dr W G Ramarao, Dr S D Pandey from Mumbai, Dr R Venkataswami from Chennai, Dr A J Selvanpandian from Vellore, Dr H Srinivasan from Mangalore and Dr Ashok Sengupta from Kolkata joined hands together to form ISSH. In that year, the ISSH certificate of registration under The Societies Registration Act. 1860 in Mumbai was completed by Dr. SD Pandey who also became the founder secretary. Our ISSH registration number is BOM.274/73 GBBSD dated on 23rd August 1973 signed by the Assistant Registrar of Societies.

The ISSH logo was designed by Mr. Sawant, an artist cum photographer from the Plastic Surgery dept. at the JJ Hospital Mumbai. It can be seen in the background of a photon taken during the first national hand symposium in Mumbai.

All these stalwarts are founder members of ISSH. The first ISSHCON was held in 1974 at Kolkata in an auditorium of The Institute of Engineers on Gokhale Road near SSKM Hospital. The constitution which was drafted by Dr S. D Pandey was approved by the founder members.

The first executive council of ISSH was as follows

  • President

    A. Sengupta, F.R.C.S.,Calcutta

  • Vice - President

    B. B. Joshi, M.S.,Bombay

  • Honarary Secretary - Treasurer

    S. D. Pandey, M.S.,Bombay

  • Honorary Editor

    P. V. Joshi, M.S.,Poona

Council Members

  • M. M. Desai, M.S.,Ahmedabad

  • D. D. Palande, M.S.,Tanjore

  • A. J. Selvapandian, M.S., F.A.C.S., F.I.C.S.,Vellore

  • H. Srinivasan, F.R.C.S.,Chingleput

  • H. R. Thangaraj, F.A.C.S.,Salur

Early Hand Surgery in India:
In 1951, Dr Paul W Brand started the first so-called hand care centre in Asia -the Hand and Leprosy Reconstructive Surgery (HLRS) Centre at Christian Medical College, Vellore (TN). Dr Ernest Fritschi in 1956 to 1959 and later from 1974-1987, helped Karigiri centre to form an established leprosy centre to treat all kind of patients. In the 1960s, Dr NH Antia with a lot of reluctance from the administrative department, started doing extensive work on leprosy in Sir J J Hospital, Mumbai.
In 1962 Dr BB Joshi started his unit at the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Parel, Mumbai. In 1971, Dr R Venkataswamy started a hand unit at Stanley Medical College, Chennai where various plastic, hand Surgeries, microsurgery and brachial plexus surgeries were performed.
In the era around 1975, Dr H Srinivasan Dr A J Selvapandian, Dr Palande were doing immense work on leprosy-related hand problems, especially in Leprosy centres in Tamil Nadu. Dr Ashok Sengupta was doing microsurgery for traumatic hand injuries and congenital hand surgeries. He demonstrated a pollicisation during ISSHCON 1974. In Mumbai, Dr B B Joshi at M G M Hospital, Dr R L Thatte and Dr N S Laud at Sion Hospital in Mumbai were involved in performing ortho-plastic surgical work in industrial trauma. Dr W G Ramarao at the All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AIIPMR) was performing polio or leprosy-related hand deformity correction and rehabilitation.

The concept of a hand clinic was taken forward by one of the past presidents, the late Dr J C Tarapurwala, in the Sir J J Group of Hospitals in Mumbai as well as by Drs NS Laud and RL Thatte as a joint hand clinic in the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital from 1981.

While the pioneers in hand surgery, Prof. Brij Bhushan Joshi and Prof. R. Venkataswamy were leading the ISSH from the front, they influenced generations of hand surgeons to come. What remained unique, were adaptations of established techniques, and innovations of new ones, to cater to a billion hands with unique requirements, cultural and social, embedded in the Indian lifestyle, for as far back as history and mythology can take us.

Over the years, visionary leaders in hand surgery drove ISSH, as Presidents, to great heights. ISSH is thus poised to lead in facilitating care for the injured hands with its enormous pool of talent and its collaboration with the international societies dedicated to hand surgery, across the world.

Welcome to ISSH!