Emergency Surgery

Emergency Surgery Program

Highly trained surgeons in the Emergency Surgery Program, part of the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at Massachusetts General Hospital, are available 24 hours a day to perform emergency surgery for potentially life-threatening conditions.


Our team of highly trained surgeons, working 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
  • 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
  • Complex hernias (e.g., massive defects, infected meshes, fistuli, multiple recurrences)

24/7 On-site Coverage

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 a Priority

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
  • Set expectations and explain the prognosis
  • Place an emphasis on alleviating physical and emotional distress

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.



Contact Us

Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care (TESSCC)

Suite 810165 Cambridge Street Boston, MA 02114,
  • Near Public Transit
  • Accessible
  • Phone: See below

For patient care inquiries, please call: 617-726-2760.
For administrative issues, please call: 617-726-9591.

Referral process for non-acute phase transfer of a patient

1. Call MD Connectat 1-877-MD-REFER (1-877-637-3337) and explain that you would prefer to transfer your patient to Massachusetts General Hospital.

2. Talk directly to an attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. After providing pertinent medical data to our transfer coordinators, either stay on the line or return to your patient and our attending physician will call you back promptly.

3. Decide if you would like MD Connect to handle ambulance transport. Simply tell our transfer coordinators that you would like MD Connect to manage transportation to Massachusetts General Hospital, and we will make the arrangements.


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