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"It's a story of how medicine changed the course of civilization," says Mark C. Preul, MD, PhD, and chair of neurosurgery research director at Barrow
"We wanted to find out what really happened and basically identify this surgeon who saved Mikhail Kutuzov," Dr. Preul says. "Massot's facts were somewhat buried. He is at the vanguard of surgical technique. He uses incredibly modern techniques that we still use today."
"The other generals thought Kutuzov was crazy, and maybe he was," Dr. Preul says. "The brain surgery saved Kutuzov's life, but his brain and eye were badly injured. However ironically the healing resolution of this situation allowed him to make what turned out to be the best decision. If he had not been injured, he may well have challenged Napoleon and been defeated."
"Although some would say fate allowed the brilliant Russian general, who became the personification of Russian spirit and character, to survive two nearly mortal head wounds, the best neurosurgical technique of the day seems to have been overlooked as a considerable part of Kutuzov's success," the researchers wrote.