International Journal of Urologic History

It’s pronounced “EE-lick”: Milo Ellik, veteran, urologist, and inventor of the evacuator that bears his name

Nicole Matluck, Bertie Zhang, Lee Richstone
First Published: July 1, 2021
DOI: 10.53101/IJUH71217
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The Ellik Evacuator is a commonly used tool in transurethral endoscopic surgery and a standard of care for the rapid removal from the bladder of resected tumor fragments, prostatic chips, or blood. Little is known, however, about the inventor of the Ellik evacuator, his urologic contributions, and how the evacuator came to be.


We contacted surviving descendants of Dr. Milo Ellik, and conducted interviews as part of an oral history project. Original medical equipment and personal belongings, provided by the family of Dr. Ellik, were analysed. Secondary source materials included published urologic articles and unpublished biographic information.


Milo Ellik was born in Chicago in 1905 but was orphaned and put himself through college. He graduated from the University of Iowa with an MD in 1932 and began residency under Nathan Alcock. Ellik conceived of the evacuator that bears his name as a resident, visiting the glass-blowing facility at the Iowa University Hospital to construct the prototype. He published the results in a 1937 issue of the Journal of Urology but did not obtain a patent which was eventually procured by Bard in 1940.


Milo Ellik designed a major innovation in transurethral surgery as a resident in urology by constructing the first glass evacuator that bears his name. The Ellik family donated a large quantity of Dr. Ellik’s inventions to the AUA’s Didusch Museum for permanent storage and study.

Editor in Chief: John L. Phillips, MD
Journal Design: Akhil A. Saji, MD
DOI: 10.53101
US ISSN: 2769-2183