François Gigot de La Peyronie
1678 - 1747
Founder of the French Royal Academy of Surgery
François Gigot de La Peyronie (1678 - 1747) was born in Montpellier. His name was actually Lapeyronie, which means “little stone”, and his father was a stone cutter or lithotomist.
He trained as a barber surgeon in Montpellier (which was one of the great centres of medical learning), studying philosophy and surgery, and qualifying in 1695. He then travelled to Paris to perfect his studies and to study anatomy as a student of Georges Mareschal (1658 - 1736), who was chief-surgeon at the Hôpital de la Charité.
He practiced surgery at the Hôtel Dieux in Montpellier and was appointed Major Surgeon of the Army in 1704. In 1714, he was appointed surgeon-major at the Hôpital de la Charité and in 1736, Personal Surgeon to King Louis XV (1710 - 1774).
In 1731, he founded the Académie Royale de Chirurgie, raising surgery from the realm of the barbers who were, at last, forbidden to practice it.
He described the condition now known as Peyronie’s disease in 1743 in a book on ejaculation dysfunction. He described "indurations” of the cavernous bodies like “rosary beads” leading to penile curvature.
He died in 1747 in Montpellier.
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