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Overview

Our team of highly trained surgeons, who work collaboratively with critical care specialists from departments throughout Massachusetts General Hospital, provide non-trauma emergency surgical treatments for conditions such as:

  • Abdominal hemorrhage, including upper and lower gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Bowel obstruction from adhesions, hernias, volvulus, intussusception, cancer or other causes
  • Bowel perforations from ulcers, inflammation, cancer or other causes
  • Complex hernias (e.g., massive defects, infected meshes, fistuli, multiple recurrences)
  • Inflammatory diseases of the abdomen, such as appendicitis, gallbladder inflammation, pancreatitis and diverticulitis
  • Necrotizing infections of the soft tissues, such as necrotizing fasciitis
  • Postoperative catastrophes requiring critical care

Our surgeons are on-site 24 hours a day and specialize in caring for emergency surgical patients. By performing a high volume of operations, we have valuable experience in treating a wide spectrum of urgent conditions. Where appropriate, we employ new and innovative surgical technologies that reduce length of patient stays and expedite the start of rehabilitation.

Our team approach is central to handling surgical emergencies. In addition to skilled surgeons, our division comprises highly-trained nurse practitioners and residents (who also are on-site 24 hours a day), a psychiatrist, social workers and rehabilitation specialists. We collaborate closely with specialists in the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit, the Nephrology Division, Imaging and many other services.

Education and Training

Educating patients and families about emergency surgery is an important part of our division's mission. Our attending surgeons, nurse practitioners and resident surgeons:

  • Carefully review various treatment options with patients and families
  • Place an emphasis on alleviating physical and emotional distress
  • Set expectations and explain the prognosis

Outreach to community hospitals is another important component of our educational efforts. Our emergency surgery and Trauma Center physicians are committed to collaborating with their colleagues in other hospitals and to sharing knowledge and expertise to benefit patients.

We form partnerships with and offer an outlet to our community hospital colleagues for patients who have experienced major surgical complications. In addition, we organize the Trauma and Critical Care Symposium, an annual three-day conference that provides leading-edge information to participants.

Within our division and the Trauma Center, we prepare the new generation of surgical leaders in our field. Our Surgical Critical Care/Acute Care Surgery Fellowship allows fellows to foster advanced proficiency in directing all aspects of patients' surgical and intensive care needs.