- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Charles-Pierre Denonvilliers

Born  1808
Died  1872

Related eponyms

French anatomist and surgeon, born February 4, 1808, Paris; died July 5, 1872.

Biography of Charles-Pierre Denonvilliers

Charles-Pierre Denonvilliers studied medicine from 1836. Already the following year, in 1837, he was conferred doctor of medicine. He participated four times in competitive examinations for a position as professor, and in 1839 made professor agrégé of surgery, in 1840 surgeon at Central-Bureau des Hôpitaux. In 1841 he was also appointed Chef des travaux anatomiques. From 1833 he uninterruptedly held courses of descriptive and surgical anatomy, and surgery.

In 1849, following the death of Gilbert Breschet (1784-1845), he was appointed to the chair of anatomy. At hat time he had already enriched the faculty museum with his beautiful, numerous, and exquisitely conserved preparations, as he made sure that the preparing rooms were always meticulously clean and orderly. His anatomical lectures were distinguished by their clearness and mass of content.

Although he was an accomplished operator, Denonvilliers' importance lies in his improving of the methods of plastic surgery, in which he excelled. Despite his great achievements, however, he was rather unknown to the public, as he had no practice. In 1858 he became Inspecteur général de l’instruction publique for medicine, and was appointed member of the Conseil supérieur for this. In this position he found opportunity to take part in a perfectioning of medical education. Domestic accidents darkened the last years of his life.


  • Propositions et observations d’anatomie, de physiologie et de pathologie.
    Doctoral thesis, 1837.
  • Déterminer les cas qui indiquent l'application du trépan sur les os du crâne.
    Surgical concours-thesis, 1839.
  • Description des os malades du musée Dupuytren. Paris, 1842.
  • Compendium de chirurgie pratique. 3 volumes, Paris, 1845-1861.
    With Auguste Bérard (1802-1846) and Athanase Léon Gosselin (1815-1887).
  • Comparison des deux systèmes musculaires. Anatomical concours-thesis, 1846.
  • Traité theorique et practique des maladies des yeux.
    With Athanase Léon Gosselin. Paris, Labe, 1855. 955 pages. Biographical:
  • August Hirsch (1817-1894), publisher:
    Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte aller Zeiten und Völker.
    2nd edition. Berlin, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1929.
    First published in 6 volumes 1884-1888. 3rd edition, München 1962.
  • R. H. Ivy:
    Who originated the Z-plasty? (Charles Pierre Denonvilliers).
    Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Hagerstown MD, January 1971, 47 (1): 67-72.
  • Richard Toellner:
    Illustrierte Geschichte der Medizin. Andreas & Andreas Verlag, Salzburg, 1990.
    Titel der Originalausgabe: Histoire de la Médicine, de la Pharmacie, de l'Art Dentaire et de l'Art Véterinaire. Paris 1978.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.