We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Miller-Abbott Tube?

Dan Harkins
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Miller-Abbott tube is a surgical instrument developed in the 1930s for diagnosing and treating gastric disorders or blockages in the digestive system. Still largely unchanged in 2011, this tube is 10 feet (about 3 m) long and inserted through the mouth or nose. Weaving down the esophagus and into the stomach, the tube is capable of a handful of jobs at this point, from suctioning gastric juices for testing and irrigation to ballooning open the entryway to the small intestine, called the duodenum, for clearer radiology testing and easier removal of many intestinal blockages.

The Miller-Abbott tube is named after American gastroenterologists William Osler Abbott and Thomas Grier Miller. These doctors also pioneered the surgical procedures that set the stage for easier diagnosis and removal of stomach and intestinal lesions, blockages and ulcers. According to a 1939 report by Columbia University doctors, published online by the National Institutes of Health, incidences of death due to intestinal blockages, called ileum, were reduced by 66 percent after the advent of the Miller-Abbott tube.

What makes it most useful is its double-barreled design. One of the pipes, called a lumen, is responsible for pumping up a thin balloon at the tip for easy exploration into the intestines at the duodenum. The other lumen tube can then suction fluids out or pump fluids in, depending on the procedure. For radiology, a barium solution can be pumped into the duodenum to isolate potential damage and produce clear images of it. Allowing the tube to proceed into the intestines also might help dislodge identified blockages causing pain or digestive disorders.

In 2011, the Miller-Abbott tube might be accompanied by another, called a laparoscope. This latter tube combines a light and camera to give physicians a three-dimensional, colored view of whatever blockage is occurring. It can also help the doctor know exactly when the Miller-Abbott tube's balloon is at the perfect location in the duodenum — a process that depends on the slow and steady peristaltic contractions of the digestive tract.

Several types of specialized tubes are used for a range of modern intubation procedures, each unique to the task at hand. For instance, the salem sump tube is double-lumened like the Miller-Abbott; however, its suction tubing is accompanied by another just for the simple task of venting air. Another common instrument, the levin tube, has a single lumen just for pumping out a stomach fast.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Dan Harkins
By Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his journalism degree, he spent more than two decades honing his craft as a writer and editor for various publications. Dan’s debut novel showcases his storytelling skills and unique perspective by drawing readers into the story’s captivating narrative.
Discussion Comments
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.