- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Henry Smith

Born 1859
Died 1948

Related eponyms

British surgeon in the Indian Medical Service, born 1859, Ireland; died 1948.

Biography of Henry Smith

Colonel Henry "Jullundur" Smith was an Irish-born British surgeon in the Indian Medical Service. He was assigned primarily to the hospital in Jullundur, Punjab, India, where he was a civil medical officer who rapidly established a reputation in general surgery, especially in the field of bladder stone removal, a common malady in India at that time. Eventually he was given full responsibility with a plethora of duties as surgeon-administrator of that same hospital.

However, from his early days at Jullundur in the early 1890s, Colonel Smith devoted his attention to eye diseases and eye surgery during the Punjab eye-operating season, a period of 5 to 6 weeks of cooler weather. A fear of increased postoperative infection, especially panophthalmitis during warmer weather, was one important reason for the abbreviated eye-operating season. He had remarkable success with his method of extraction of cataract within the capsule.

He was one of the major figures in the history of cataract surgery – and in cigar smoking. He smoked a cigar while operating. When asked about the dangers to the patient's eye because of the potentiality for ashes falling into the eye, Colonel Smith replied, "There is nothing as sterile as cigar ashes!"

This biography was submitted by William Charles Caccamise Sr, MD.

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