Surgical Critical Care


Surgical critical care refers to the care of critically ill or injured surgical patients. These are individuals who require intensive monitoring and close management, as their conditions tend to be unstable and subject to change. Surgical critical care patients may have suffered a trauma, undergone a complex surgical procedure, or have a critical illness – all of which are life-threatening or otherwise potentially life-threatening.

Our team has extensive experience and expertise in surgical critical care and is prepared to work with our patients’ primary physician, the critical care staff, and any other healthcare specialists involved in the treatment, management and recovery process. We can combine both surgical and non-operative techniques based in a wide range of medical disciplines for the ultimate good of our patients.

Did you know our physicians staff the region’s Level I Trauma Center? One of our nine physicians serves as the lead trauma surgeon for every trauma patient coordinating care by the specially trained personnel within the Trauma Center. In 2014 alone, the Trauma Center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center treated over 4,000 critical patients.

Surgical Critical Care FAQs

What are some of the conditions that might require surgical critical care?

Often, patients have more than one complication requiring critical care. It is the job of the surgeon to understand the interaction of the processes with one another when managing the patient’s treatment and recovery plan. Examples of conditions that might require surgical critical care include sepsis, respiratory failure, organ failure, and blood clotting impairment (coagulopathy).

What are some of the procedures a critical care surgeon might use to treat a patient?

There are many different procedures used during surgical emergencies, including the placement of catheters, vascular access lines, and feeding tubes. For example, a patient who is experiencing respiratory failure may require a tracheostomy to open the windpipe for the placement of a ventilation tube. Similarly, a patient experiencing kidney failure may require the placement of dialysis lines.

What should a patient’s family members expect from a surgical critical care surgeon?

We know that anytime a loved one is admitted for critical care, close family members have cause for concern. It is our goal to keep you informed about the treatment and recovery process every step of the way. We aim to provide a patient-centered environment that facilitates and promotes the recovery process.

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