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Acute Care Surgery: Conditions & Treatments

Acute care surgery patients at UC Irvine Medical Center benefit from having a rapid response trauma team on site with immediate access to the region's most advanced operating rooms.

Led by surgeons who are board-certified in both surgery and surgical critical care, our UCI Health acute care team includes emergency medicine physicians, residents, critical care nurses and allied health professionals. 

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The team also has access to many on-site subspecialists who provide valuable consulting services, ensuring that we provide each patient with expert, individual care at Orange County’s only university hospital.


Conditions treated by our team include:

  • Abdominal pain
Abdominal pain can come from a variety of problems, many of which may require surgery. Early evaluation and rapid management by an acute care surgery (ACS) team may offer the best chance for a good outcome. A few causes of abdominal pain are listed below.
  • Gallbladder disease
The gallbladder is an organ located under the liver, which can suffer a variety of disorders. Most commonly, the patient will feel pain in the middle or right upper abdomen. These symptoms can last a few hours or can evolve into serious complications such as pancreatitis or cholecystitis. While the surgical management of these problems often can be postponed, early evaluation and management by an ACS team may be the optimal approach.
  • Appendicitis
The appendix is an organ that extends off the colon and is located in the right lower abdomen. Obstruction of the appendix can lead to inflammation, infection and ultimately, perforation. Early intervention by an ACS team has been shown to decrease perforation rates and complications from appendicitis.
  • Pancreatitis

The pancreas is a gland located in the posterior upper abdomen. Inflammation of the pancreas, called pancreatitis, can become life threatening. Gallbladder disease, alcohol use or pancreatic tumors are all possible causes. Aggressive early management is essential.

We also treat:
  • Acute cholecystitis and symptomatic gallstones
  • Bowel obstructions
  • Fistulas
  • Soft tissue infections/necrotizing fasciitis
  • Surgical problems complicated by complex medical conditions
  • Thyroid and parathyroid disease
  • Ventral and inguinal hernias, including complex abdominal reconstruction treatments

At UC Irvine Medical Center, our we provide the region's best perioperative care for patients with critical illnesses and other surgical problems.

Once patients undergo surgery, they are transferred to one of our specialized intensive care units (ICU) at UC Irvine Douglas Hospital, where they continue to receive medical attention from members of the acute care surgery team, including physicians, residents, critical care nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Our intensive care units include:
  • Burn ICU
  • Neurosciences ICU
  • Pediatric ICU
  • Surgical ICU

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