Trauma Surgery

Essentia's trauma surgeons specialize in providing immediate diagnosis and surgical intervention for patients who have suffered a severe blunt or penetrating trauma such as a car accident, fall, stab wound or gunshot. They also provide emergency surgical services for patients with conditions such as appendicitis or bowel obstructions.

The main goals of our trauma surgery team are to preserve life and achieve the best health outcome for the patient. Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center is a Level I Trauma Center and is the only Essentia facility that offers 24/7 trauma surgery.

What's a Trauma Surgeon?

A trauma surgeon is a general surgeon was has undergone additional specialized training in surgical critical care.

When Trauma Surgery is Needed

Most critically ill and injured patients arrive in the emergency department via helicopter or ambulance. While en route, paramedics will call the emergency department to alert the staff that they are bringing in a trauma patient.

Depending on the nature of the patient's injuries, a trauma team, including a trauma surgeon may be waiting in the ER when the patient arrives. Members of the ER and trauma team will work together to stabilize the patient, assess their condition, and determine what treatment is needed. If necessary, the trauma surgeon will perform surgery.

If necessary, the trauma surgeon will perform surgery. Trauma surgeons often collaborate with other surgical specialists, such as cardiothoracic surgeons, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons.

Follow-Up Care

After surgery, most patients stay in an intensive care unit (ICU) where they receive close, 24/7 monitoring. When a patient's condition improves, they can move to another floor in the hospital to complete their recovery.

Throughout their stay, a patient's care team will meet in their room for daily rounds to discuss the patient's condition and care plan. Family members may attend and ask questions.

When a patient is ready to be discharged from the hospital, their care team will assist in developing a plan for them to safely return home or to a skilled nursing facility or rehabilitation center.