BOOK: "The life and Times of Guillaume Dupuytren" Prof P Wylock





Paul Wylock 

ASP Academic and Scientif Publishers



At the time of Dupuytren’s birth in 1777, France was still governed by an absolute monarch, Louis XVI. When Dupuytren died in 1835, he had lived through two revolutions (1789 and 1830), a republic, a ‘Directoire’, a consulate, an empire under Napoleon and another two royal restorations under Louis XVIII and Charles X.

Dupuytren was always closely involved in these historic events because he was in direct contact with the leading figures from the different periods, both privately and professionally. He played an important role in the organisation and reorganisation of medical surgical education. As the ‘head surgeon’ of the Hôtel-Dieu hospital, the largest hospital in France, he treated not only a large and highly varied number of surgical patients, but also the victims of riots, insurrections, revolutions and wars, as well as victims of the cholera epidemic of 1832. His role in the development of modern surgery and surgical pathology was so overwhelming that the period during which he was ‘head surgeon’, is called the Dupuytren age in the history of surgery in France.

The name Dupuytren has become immortal in medicine, not only in the contracture of the palm, which he described in extreme detail, but also in a specific fracture of the fibula. His name also survives in road names, in the ‘Musée Dupuytren’, the museum of pathological anatomy at the medical faculty in Paris, in the new university centre of Limoges, which is named after him and in an amphitheatre at the Parisian hospital Hôtel-Dieu. The anniversary of his birth and death are still commemorated in Pierre-Buffière where he was born and in Paris where he studied, worked, lived and died. A statue of him has been erected in the inner courtyard of the Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Paris and a memorial has been built in his place of birth.

The Life and Times of Guillaume Dupuytren spans a distressing era of French history (1777-1835), in which the centre of medicine moved from Italy to France, with Paris at its core. The author, plastic surgeon Prof. Dr. Paul Wylock, tells an exciting and beautifully illustrated story which will appeal to anybody with a professional or general interest in medicine, history or both.

  • Author : Goubau Jean
  • Date : Mercredi 20 Mars 2013