Born July 3, 1875, in Barmen; died July 2, 1951, in Berlin. German surgeon, one of the founders of surgery of the thoracic cavity.
Sauerbruch received his medical education in Marburg and Jena. From 1910 to 1918 he was director of a surgical clinic in Zurich (Switzerland); in 1918 he became head of the surgical department at Munich, later moving to Charité Hospital in Berlin. His principal works were devoted to chest surgery, mainly to the problems connected with radical interventions in the lungs. Endeavoring to remove the harmful consequences of open pneumothorax and pleuropulmonary shock, he proposed decreasing the intrathoracic pressure by placing the patient in a special hermetically sealed chamber. Using the chamber, he performed operations on patients with tuberculosis, lung cancer, and diseases of the esophagus and mediastinum.
WORKSDie Chirurgie der Brustorgane, 3rd ed., vol. 1, parts 1–2. Berlin, 1928–30.
Das war mein Leben. [Offenburg-Baden, 1960.]
Master Surgeon. New York, 1954.