Pavel M. Bogopolsky1, Svetlana A. Kabanova2
1B.V. Petrovsky National Scientific Center of Surgery
2N.V. Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Care
One of the special features of Russian medical science is the existence of large scientific schools headed by leaders of promising research fields who develop traditions of continuity and consistency in their students’ education and training. At the end of the 19th to early 20th centuries, Professor P.I. Dyakonov (1855–1908) developed a scientific school of esophageal surgery in Russia. While working on many important problems in surgery and its related disciplines, Dyakonov paid special attention to one of the most neglected issues in the early 20th century – the timely treatment of cancer and scar strictures of the esophagus. Professor Dyakonov was one of the pioneers of thoracic surgery in Russia – in a short period of time he created a large scientific school of surgeons and morphologists. At the Dyakonov-led department of topographic anatomy and operative surgery, and later at the hospital surgery clinic at Imperial Moscow University, his students – 23 of whom defended their doctoral dissertations – published more than 360 scientific papers. In the hospital surgery clinic from 1903 to 1908, Dyakonov treated 134 patients with tumors and 13 with scar tissue obstruction of the esophagus (115 of these patients were prescribed gastrostomy operations). No Russian clinic had such a track record at the time. Dyakonov made four attempts at resectioning the esophagus to treat cancer. Further development of Dyakonov’s scientific school took place during the 20th century. In this paper, we investigate the contribution of Dyakonov and his students to the development of esophageal surgery.
Keywords: history of surgery of the esophagus, esophageal surgical development in Russia in the early 20th century, the contribution of P.I. Dyakonov and his students