Acute Care Surgery

We offer the most advanced emergency general surgery, trauma surgery and surgical critical care available.

If your loved one has been in a critical accident or has another serious condition that requires emergency surgery, you want to make sure they are receiving the best care. Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit offers one of the most experienced acute care surgery programs in the region.

Our mission is to provide innovative, compassionate care for your loved ones who need complex acute care surgery services, while serving as a resource to the greater medical community.

What is acute care surgery?

The “acute” means that the surgical need is critical, and sudden. The field of acute care surgery encompasses three related areas, including:

  • Emergency general surgery: Treats a wide range of emergency conditions caused by disease, particularly those involving the abdomen (for example, emergency bowel surgeries or removing an appendix).
  • Trauma surgery: Treats critical injuries caused by an impact, such as car accidents, falls, and knife and gunshot wounds.
  • Surgical critical care: Provides care to critically ill patients, including those who have undergone emergency general or trauma surgery.

The Henry Ford difference

  • Expertise: We are one of the most experienced programs in the region, receiving and operating on thousands of acute care surgery transfer patients each year.
  • Access: Our dedicated team is available 24/7 at Henry Ford Hospital and includes physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and supporting staff.
  • Level 1 Trauma Center: This is the top verification level offered by the American College of Surgeons, and it means we offer the highest level of trauma surgery services available.
  • Outcomes: Trauma is a leading cause of death in the U.S. Our program has a 97.5% trauma survival rate.
  • Trauma psychologist: We are one of the only health systems in the nation that has an integrated trauma therapist on our trauma surgery team. This specialist is dedicated to supporting the complete needs of you and your loved ones who suffer the consequences of severe injury, to help ensure a full psychological and emotional recovery.
  • Magnet status nursing: In 2020, our outstanding nursing care earned Henry Ford Hospital Magnet® status. This recognition represents the highest level of professionalism in nursing practice and is the gold standard in nursing excellence.
  • Cardiovascular support: We also offer extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), an advanced life support system used to bypass heart and lung function during heart failure, lung damage and other life-threatening cardiovascular conditions.
  • Education: We are dedicated to helping train residents, fellows and other health care professionals in acute care surgery. This includes offering courses in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Fundamentals of Critical Care Surgery (FCCS) and Trauma Evaluation and Management (TEAM). We also offer a Surgical Critical Care Fellowship.
  • Research: Our team is active in research to help improve acute care surgery treatment and outcomes.
  • Outreach: We are also active in community programs designed to help reduce preventable injuries.

Emergency transportation

We have partnered with Medstar for both life flight and ground services to ensure transport help is available when your loved one needs it. All life flights are staffed with a certified flight nurse and certified flight paramedics who have extensive trauma training and experience with chest tubes, advanced airways, ventilators, intra-aortic balloon pumps and invasive pressure monitoring.

Comprehensive acute care surgery from an expert team

Our team of specialists provides comprehensive care not only during surgery, but also for post-operative care, inpatient care, therapy, rehabilitation and beyond. We help restore hope and healing in loved ones whose lives have been disrupted from a traumatic injury or related event:

  • Trauma surgeons: All of our trauma surgeons are fellowship-trained in critical care. We routinely treat adult brain, spine, extremity (arms, legs, hands and feet), face, eye and torso injuries. We also offer complex trauma services not available at all programs, such as rib plating/fixation. Our combined experience and superior skills across multiple specialty care areas saves lives, limbs, neurologic function and vision.
  • Emergency general surgeons: Our team is experienced in treating the most complex abdominal conditions, including abdominal catastrophes, necrotizing pancreatitis and necrotizing soft tissue infections. We also offer open abdominal surgery, including abdominal wall reconstructions, and treat complex abdominal wounds, fistulas (including enterocutaneous fistulas) and post-operative complications.
  • Surgical intensivists: Our 40-bed acute care surgery ICU is covered 24/7 by senior staff physicians and advanced practice providers.
  • Elective surgery: Our acute care surgeons also maintain elective surgery practices when not performing emergency procedures, further expanding their experience with various conditions and the latest techniques. This includes minimally invasive and robotic procedures.
  • Related surgical care: We also work closely with a dedicated team of Henry Ford specialists that include vascular surgeons, orthopedic surgeons specializing in trauma care, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, neurosurgeons, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeons.

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