“एक सर्जनको गाथा” “Saga of One Surgeon”

  • Rupesh Mukhia KIST Medical College, Imadol, Lalitpur
Keywords: Dr. Dinesh Nath Gongal, History of Surgery in Nepal


An autobiography of a great surgeon of Nepal.

Dr. Dinesh Nath Gongal has nicely written a book of his personal repertoire.  The book ‘एक सर्जनको गाथा’ tells the story of a surgeon who has spent more than six decades of life into the practice of medicine being a Surgeon. He is the living legend of history of surgery in Nepal. He has clearly depicted the chronicle of the progress of surgery in Nepal blending with stories of political transition of Nepal.

His childhood memories of Rana Regime, his stories of school life amongst rise of democracy in 2007 BS as he progresses through medical school from Darbhanga Medical College are interesting to hear. After finishing Master of Surgery from Bombay University, he joined Bir Hospital oldest hospital in Nepal founded in 1889 July. During his time in Bir Hospital, he remembers a patient with pituitary tumour whom he did first Neurosurgery case in Nepal where he excised the tumour. Despite his continued care and time, patient died in hospital after one year with infected bed sore. The other patient who had similar tumour  who had undergone surgery after the first one, lived his life to fullest establishing the truth that brain tumour can be safely operated in Nepal.  He talks about the first corneal transplant in Nepal with Dr. Narendra Dhwoj Joshi while in Bir Hospital.  With the introduction of General Anaesthesia and with the help of anaesthetist, Dr. Ganesh Rajlawat, His “First” list includes the first Pneumonectomy case of a patient with Brochoectatsis when patient had uneventful survival.

First open heart surgery in Nepal started in 2020 BS, Magh with a patient with Mitral stenosis. The scenario in Operation Theater was simply a thriller, an acid test for surgeon’s courage and determination. Patient died but it was the beginning of the era of open heart surgery in Nepal. With the surgeon’s perseverance, the next case with similar condition survived after surgery.  What about history of plastic surgery in Nepal?  He was there with similar interesting story.

He was instrumental in starting medical education in Nepal. With his active role, Institute of Medicine under Tribhuwan Universtiy was established in 2029 BS, MBBS course started in 2035 BS . In 2059 BS, while Dr. Upendra Devkota was health minister,  National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) was established under his leadership.

Dr. Gongal vividly shares his personal stories about Mao when he was in china, King Birendra, BP Koirala, Ganesh Man Singh , his close friend Hari Bhakta Shrestha   suffering from Gastric  cancer. It was such a destiny that he himself suffered from Gastric Cancer and had to undergo surgery.

Lastly, he describes story of the battle for life of Prof. Upendra Devkota in final days of his life and the time spent with him.

The book is a masterpiece. The challenges of becoming a surgeon have been blended with history, politics and religion, with mixed emotions and expressions.  This book is a must for every surgeon from all specialties, and even the general public will find this book enjoyable.

About the book: Dr. Dinesh Nath Gongal.

एक सर्जनको गाथा  (saga of one surgeon)

Written in Nepali

Publisher- Ghost Writing Nepal 2019. ISBN: 978-9937-9323-1-8

Price – NRS. 1000.

The money collected from the sale of the books will be fully donated to the HOSPICE Nepal. Hospice Nepal is the first Palliative Care Centre to be established in Nepal which cares for patients suffering from life-threatening illness, particularly cancer.

Author Biography

Rupesh Mukhia, KIST Medical College, Imadol, Lalitpur

Associate Professor and Head, Department of Surgery