The Department of Surgery took birth on 01 May 1948 as one of the very first Departments of the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune and the reins were entrusted in the safe hands of Lt Col A K Dev, FRCS, the first Professor and HOD. Since then, the unstinted and tireless efforts of successive surgeons have contributed to the ceaseless forward march of the department.
The magnificent main edifice of the College, an object of envy for many visitors, has housed the department on its first floor overlooking the AFMC lawns, the Sholapur road and the Pune racecourse. The Department was initially tasked to teach only Post-graduates in the formative years.With the construction of the Golden Jubilee Block in 1998, the Department of Orthopedics moved to their permanent location giving the Surgery Department some much needed space.
The additional task of teaching the undergraduates was taken up on 04 August 1962 with the establishment of the Graduate Wing of the College. Over the years, the Faculty has changed from a pure General surgery team to a mix of General and Super-specialist surgeons, thus widening the profile and to the ultimate betterment of the Department.
A fully functional Experimental Surgery Wing was added with the help of Experimental animal research Department. A considerable volume of high class basic research work has been done including splenic auto transplantation, gut ischemia studies, canine orthotopic liver transplantation, vascular endothelial cell growth in rabbit arteries, effects of pancreatic duct ligation, reversed loop intestinal anastomosis, problems of abdominal wound healing and dehiscence and so on.
With changing times, experiments on live animals have been phased out and the previous infrastructure was renovated and renamed as ‘Surgical Skills Laboratory’. It was inaugurated on 26th May 2007 by the then Dean and Deputy Commandant Major General P Madhusoodanan, AVSM, VSM. Since then the undergraduate and postgraduate students are regularly trained on simulators for learning suturing and knotting techniques, gut and vascular anastomosis and the use of staplers. Six laparoscopic trainers have also been installed to give the budding surgeons an opportunity to hone their skills before they perform laparoscopic surgery on the patients.
The Association of Armed Forces Surgeons (War Surgery Section) a branch of the Association of Surgeons of India functions from the Department of Surgery and conducts its Conferences in Pune. The Secretary and Treasurer are members of the Surgical Faculty apart from a sectional Editor of the Indian Journal of Surgery.