- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Robert Henry Elliot

Born  1864
Died  1936

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English ophthalmologist, born August 23, 1864, Ahmed-Nuggar, Bombay Presidency, India; died 1936.

Biography of Robert Henry Elliot

Robert Henry Elliot received his education at St. Betholomew’s Hospital in London, becoming doctor of medicine in 1889. In Madras, India, he was professor of eye medicine at the Medical College as well as superintendent of the Government Ophthalmological Hospital, and in 1929 lecturer of this discipline at the London School of Tropical Medicine.

While working at the Government Ophthalmic Hospital in Madras, major Elliot began in 1909 to use a trephine to make a very anterior sclerectomy under a conjunctival flap, coupled with a peripheral iridectomy, in the hope of improving on the operation of Pierre Félix Lagrange (1857-1928). When Elliot reported 50 cases in 1909 he didn't know that Freeland Fergus in Glasgow) and Søren Holth (1863-1937) in Christiania (now Oslo) had just reported something similar. His book on Sclero-corneal Trephining appeared in 1913 after 900 cases, and the procedure received worldwide publicity.

Elliot made a trip to America visiting many ophthalmic centres and doing his operation 135 more times. His trephining procedure was a lot more effective in treating chronic glaucoma than an iridectomy, so his trephining procedure took its place beside Holth's iridencleisis as one of the most popular glaucoma operations for the next 40 years.

We thank William Charles Caccamise Sr, MD, for information submitted.


  • Sclero-corneal trephining in the operative treatment of glaucoma.
    London, George Pulman & Sons, 1913.
    2nd edition, George Pulman. London, and Paul B. Hoeber, New York, 1914.
  • Glaucoma, a handbook for the general practitioner. London, H. K. Lewis, 1917.
  • Indian operation for couching for cataract. London, 1918.
  • Glaucoma; a textbook for the student of ophthalmology.
    London, H. K. Lewis & Co,, Ltd. and Paul B. Hoeber, New York, 1918. 546 pages.
    2nd edition as Treatise on glaucoma, 1922.
  • Tropical ophthalmology. London, 1920.
  • Care of eye cases. London, 1921.
  • Treatise on glaucoma.
    2nd edition of Glaucoma; a textbook for the student of ophthalmology.
    London, Henry Frowde and Hodder & Staughton; New York, Paul B. Hoeber, 1922. Biographical:
  • Isidor Fischer (1869-1943), publisher:
    Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte der letzten fünfzig Jahre.
    Berlin – Wien, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1932.

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