Baron Guillaume Dupuytren (5 October 1777 – 8 February 1835) was a French anatomist and military surgeon. Although he gained much esteem for treating Napoleon Bonaparte's hemorrhoids, he is best known today for Dupuytren's contracture which is named after him and which he described in 1831.
Birth and education
He studied medicine in Paris at the newly established École de Médecine and was appointed, by competition, prosector when only eighteen years of age. His early studies were directed chiefly to anatomical pathology. In 1803 he was appointed assistant surgeon at the Hôtel-Dieu and in 1811 he became professor of operative surgery in succession to Raphael Bienvenu Sabatier. In 1816 he was appointed to the chair of clinical surgery and became head surgeon at the Hôtel-Dieu. He held this post until his death.
He visited the Hôtel-Dieu morning and evening, performing at each time several operations, lectured to vast throngs of students, gave advice to his outpatients, and fulfilled the duties consequent upon one of the largest practices of modern times. By his indefatigable activity he amassed a fortune, the bulk of which he bequeathed to his daughter, with the deduction of considerable sums for the endowment of the anatomical chair in the École de Médecine, and the establishment of a benevolent institution for distressed physicians. The most important of Dupuytren's writings is his Treatise on Artificial Anus, in which he applied the principles laid down by John Hunter. In his operations he was remarkable for his skill and dexterity, and for his great readiness of resource.
Dupuytren was one of the first surgeons to successfully drain a brain abscess using trepanation, in which a hole is cut in the skull, and he also used the method to treat seizures. He claimed credit for originally describing melanoma and claimed Laennec stole the idea from his lectures. 
He died in Paris, and there with his bequest established the Musée Dupuytren.
He was a brilliant teacher, an astute diagnostician and a gifted surgeon. On the other hand he was extremely critical of students and colleagues who failed to live up to his exacting professional standards. This, along with his desire to be the best of the best won him numerous critics, not all of them objective. He has been described by such colourful epithets as 'The Brigand of Hôtel-Dieu by Lisfranc and 'First among surgeons, least among men' by Percy.
- The surgeon Desplein, in Balzac's short story "The Atheist's Mass," is based on Dupuytren.
- Dupuytren's success at draining a cerebral abscess is referred to in Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary: "not Dupuytren, about to open up an abscess through a thick encephalic layer" (Part Two, Chapter 11).
- Reference is made in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables: “Dupuytren and Recamier entered into a quarrel in the amphitheatre of the School of Medicine, and threatened each other with their fists on the subject of the divinity of Jesus Christ.”
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- Denkler K, Johnson J. (1999). "A lost piece of melanoma history". Plast Reconstr Surg 104 (7): 2149–53. doi:10.1097/00006534-199912000-00032. PMID 11149783.
- Excerpt From: Hugo, Victor. “Les Misérables.” Bookbyte Digital. iBooks.
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- Gudmundsson, Kristján G; Jónsson Thorbjörn; Arngrímsson Reynir (July 2003). "Guillaume Dupuytren and finger contractures". Lancet 362 (9378): 165–8. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13871-8. PMID 12867120.
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- Wylock, P (December 1997). "In the footsteps of Guillaume Dupuytren". Acta Chir. Belg. 97 (6): 277–80. PMID 9457317.
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- Wylock, P (1989). "The life and time of Guillaume Dupuytren". Canadian journal of surgery 32 (6): 473–7. PMID 2684377.
- Elliot, D (1988). "The early history of contracture of the palmar fascia. Part 2: The revolution in Paris: Guillaume Dupuytren: Dupuytren's disease". Journal of hand surgery (Edinburgh, Scotland) 13 (4): 371–8. doi:10.1016/0266-7681(88)90158-1. PMID 3074150.
- Towpik, E (1986). "[Guillaume Dupuytren—an outline of a biography (on the 150th anniversary of his death)]". Wiad. Lek. 39 (24): 1718–24. PMID 3554771.
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- Hauben, D J (1984). "[Our surgical heritage. Guillaume Dupuytren (1777–1835)]". Zentralblatt für Chirurgie 109 (11): 765–6. PMID 6382875.
- Dupuytren, Guillaume (September 1982). "The classic. On osteo-sarcoma, spina-ventosa, and tubercles in bone: Guillaume Dupuytren". Clin. Orthop. Relat. Res. 450 (169): 4–14. doi:10.1097/01.blo.0000229310.28384.8c. PMID 16951640.
- Bloch, H (February 1981). "Guillaume Dupuytren, M.D. (1777–1835). Surgeon of Hôtel Dieu and his American students". New York state journal of medicine 81 (2): 259–60. PMID 7007932.
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- Goldwyn, R M (1969). "Guillaume Dupuytren: his character and contributions". Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 45 (8): 750–60. PMC 1750448. PMID 4895348.
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- Poynter, F N (April 1968). "Doctors in The Human Comedy (Guillaume Dupuytren, Jean Baptiste Bouillaud, François Joseph Victor Broussais, François Magendie)". JAMA 204 (1): 7–10. doi:10.1001/jama.204.1.7. PMID 4867960.
- Théodoridès, J (1966). "[The amicable relations of A. von Humboldt with Guillaume Dupuytren]". Gesnerus 23 (1): 196–201. PMID 5331019.
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- PELTIER, L F (May 1958). "Guillaume Dupuytren and Dupuytren's fracture". Surgery 43 (5): 868–74. PMID 13543661.
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