1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Boyer, Alexis

BOYER, ALEXIS (1757–1833), French surgeon, was born on the 1st of March 1757 at Uzerches (Corrèze). The son of a tailor, he obtained his first medical knowledge in the shop of a barber-surgeon. Removing to Paris he had the good fortune to attract the notice of Antoine Louis (1723–1792) and P. J. Desault (1744–1795); and his perseverance, anatomical skill and dexterity as an operator, became so conspicuous, that at the age of thirty-seven he obtained the appointment of second surgeon to the Hôtel Dieu of Paris. On the establishment of the École de Santé he gained the chair of operative surgery, but soon exchanged it for the chair of clinical surgery. In 1805 Napoleon nominated him imperial family surgeon, and, after the brilliant campaigns of 1806–7, conferred on him the legion of honour, with the title of baron of the empire and a salary of 25,000 francs. On the fall of Napoleon the merits of Boyer secured him the favour of the succeeding sovereigns of France, and he was consulting surgeon to Louis XVIII., Charles X., and Louis Philippe. In 1825 he succeeded J. F. L. Deschamps (1740–1824) as surgeon-in-chief to the Hôpital de la Charité, and was chosen a member of the Institute. He died in Paris on the 23rd of November 1833. Perhaps no French surgeon of his time thought or wrote with greater clearness and good sense than Boyer; and while his natural modesty made him distrustful of innovation, and somewhat tenacious of established modes of treatment, he was as judicious in his diagnosis and as cool and skilful in manipulating, as he was cautious in forming his judgment on individual cases. His two great works are:—Traité complet de l’anatomie (in 4 vols., 1797–1799), of which a fourth edition appeared in 1815, and Traité des maladies chirurgicales et des opérations qui leur conviennent (in 11 vols., 1814–1826), of which a new edition in 7 vols. was published in 1844–1853, with additions by his son, Philippe Boyer (1801–1858).