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acute care services

Acute Care Surgery Services

Life-threatening or severe problems that require surgery can happen at any time. When the unexpected occurs, you want to know you can count on swift treatment by skilled and compassionate healthcare providers.

Thousands of critically ill patients come to UCI Medical Center seeking our expert treatment each year. Because we are Orange County’s only American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center, our acute care surgical team is available around the clock, seven days a week, to swiftly examine and treat patients with the full spectrum of illnesses and other problems.

If further care and consultation are needed, our board-certified surgeons have access to a team of experienced on-site specialists.

After surgery, our acute care team supervises patients in our state-of-the-science intensive care units (ICUs), which include a surgical ICU, a pediatric ICU, a neurosurgical ICU and a burn ICU. All are equipped with the most advanced monitoring equipment to ensure that each of our patients receives the best possible care.

Our team provides the best operative and post-operative care available for patients with a wide range of surgical problems and critical illnesses, including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Gall bladder inflammation
  • Intra-abdominal infections
  • Major soft tissue infections
  • Pancreatitis
  • Sepsis

After undergoing surgery, patients may be transferred to one of our specialized intensive care units (ICU) at the medical center’s Douglas Hospital. There, they continue to receive medical attention from members of the acute care surgery team and other specialists as needed.

Our intensive care units (ICUs) include:
  • Surgical ICU
  • Neurosurgical ICU
  • Pediatric ICU
  • Burn ICU

Learn more about our acute care services ›

The UCI Health acute care surgical team is part of Orange County’s only verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center, a designation by the American College of Surgeons that means we are equipped to provide the highest level of surgical care by the full range of medical specialists, using the most advanced life-saving technologies 24 hours a day.

It also means we are fully prepared to treat the most complex and severe injuries and conditions around the clock, with specially trained acute care physicians and nurses. In addition:

  • Our state-of-the-science intensive care units (ICUs) are designed to meet the specific needs of surgery, burn, neurology and neurosurgery patients.
  • UCI Medical Center is home to the Regional Burn Center, one of the first such centers established in the nation.
  • As one of the first hospitals in the to be certified as a primary stroke center, UCI Medical Center is a leader in providing emergency stroke and cerebrovascular care.
And as an academic medical center, our physicians are advancing the field of acute care medicine, including conducting studies to improve methods of treating life-threatening conditions, including shock, burns and traumatic injuries. This gives UCI Health patients the benefit of new technologies and protocols not available elswhere.

Our acute care team is led by Dr. Michael Lekawa, director of UCI Health Trauma Services and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU).

All our acute care surgeons are board-certified in general surgery and surgical critical care.

Our surgeons include:

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