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Acute Care and Trauma Surgery

Leading the Way in Acute Care and Trauma Surgery

The acute care surgery program at North Shore-LIJ Health System provides care to critically ill patients in a collaborative multidisciplinary fashion. Acute care surgery is a combination of three areas: trauma surgery, surgical critical care and emergency general surgery.

Trauma surgery involves treating patients who have sustained an injury due to external force. The most common injuries treated at North Shore-LIJ are falls and motor vehicle accidents. Trauma surgeons lead a multidisciplinary team that evaluates, resuscitates, stabilizes, and operates on these patients.

Critical care surgery deals with the preoperative and postoperative care of surgical patients that have acutely life-threatening conditions caused by injury or illness. Critical care surgeons are trained in all aspects of care of the critically ill surgical patient.

Emergency general surgery involves the evaluation, resuscitation, and operative care for patients experiencing an acute general surgical problem. Our emergency general surgery staff cares for patients who arrive in the emergency room with acute general surgery conditions such as appendicitis, cholecystititis, hernias and intra-abdominal emergencies. Some of the common acute care and trauma surgery problems we treat are:

  • Appendicitis — The painful swelling and infection of the appendix, a finger-shaped pouch attached to the large intestine located in the lower right area of the abdomen. Abdominal pain from appendicitis occurs suddenly and worsens quickly. Appendicitis is a medical emergency that requires immediate care.
  • Cholecystitis — Acute cholecystitis is a sudden inflammation of the gallbladder that causes severe abdominal pain. In 90% of cases, the inflammation is caused by gallstones. The main symptom of cholecystitis is abdominal pain on the upper right side or upper middle of the abdomen. Emergency surgery may be necessary if gangrene (tissue death), perforation, pancreatitis, or inflammation of the common bile duct occurs.
  • Bowel obstructions — Small bowel obstructions can be caused by a number of pathological processes including postoperative adhesions, malignancies, Crohn's disease and hernias. If caught in time, small bowel obstructions are not severe medical conditions and can be treated with medication. Otherwise, the obstructions can lead to serious complications which require surgery or can even be fatal.
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