Wangensteen suction

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A Wangensteen suction apparatus is a modified siphon that maintains constant negative pressure. Used on a duodenal tube, it relieves gastric and intestinal distention caused by the retention of fluid.[1] It was first created by Dr. Owen H. Wangensteen (1898–1981), the Chief of Surgery at the University of Minnesota.[2] His novel approach to the most important cause of death during gastrointestinal surgery has since been credited with saving more than one hundred thousand lives.[3]

In the episode "Good Bye, Radar" of the television series M*A*S*H, a makeshift Wangensteen suction is created by Colonel Potter using odds and ends.


  1. ^ "Wangensteen suction". Stedman's Medical Spellchecker. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2006. Retrieved 2009-03-09. 
  2. ^ Paul C. Matson, M.D. (2003-09-17). "2003 Inaugural Address". 150th Minnesota Medical Association Annual Meeting. Minnesota Medical Association. 
  3. ^ The Gale Group, Inc. (2001). "The 1980s: Medicine and Health: Deaths". American Decades. Retrieved 2009-03-09.