Emergency Surgery

We never know when, if ever, anyone would be put into a situation requiring emergency surgery. We never plan to be involved in an accident or any situation that will require emergency surgery.

Emergency surgery gets its name from the fact that it is a type of surgery that must be performed immediately, or the patient could potentially be permanently harmed or face death. Emergency surgery has many degrees of urgency. It can be less serious and involve an appendectomy or a broken bone. The patient may present themselves in the emergency room with a more serious condition where it may be necessary to stop massive bleeding as a result of an accident or gunshot wound.

There are instances where a patient will go to the emergency room not feeling well, and unknowingly has a serious medical condition. Others will go to the emergency room, often by ambulance, being obviously injured and possibly not responsive. Those being transported by ambulance receive care immediately in the ambulance by paramedics or other trained medical professionals.

Dr. Peter Ingraldi is The Director of Surgical Critical Care at Norwalk Hospital. Along with Dr. Ingraldi, Dr. Craig Floch, Dr. Neil Floch, and Dr. Abe Fridman are all specially trained in emergency surgery, trauma and acute care. It is comforting to know that we are part of a team that provides outstanding 24-hour expertly recognized acute care. The surgery program includes preoperative optimization, operative interventions, and postoperative care.

Our surgeons participate in the 24-hour program at the acclaimed Norwalk Hospital, which is rated in the top five percent of hospitals nationally for critical excellence. We also cover St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, making us available to patients in both communities. Our program includes the treatment of acute care patients in trauma surgery, critical care surgery and emergency surgery. Our team cares for your acute care surgical needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

Our surgeons are specifically trained in the management and care of the critically ill and injured patients. Our acute care surgical practice is designed to meet their surgical needs and follow-up as well. We have offices in Norwalk, Fairfield, Stamford, Waterbury and New London.

Our team provides emergency surgery in many areas, some of which include:

If the need arises, we can also treat critical illness following surgery or trauma, and high-risk surgical patients.

What to Expect from Emergency Surgery

Assessing the Condition

Upon entering the Emergency Department several processes are initiated. A triage nurse will typically assess the patient’s medical condition, take vital signs, take a medical history of present and past illnesses, and discuss the symptoms. This will be presented to your physician who will perform his own assessment and physical examination.

If the patient arriving at the Emergency Department is critically ill, care will begin immediately, and the assessment of their condition will be done simultaneously. They may need to be stabilized with medications, transfusions, intravenous fluids or other types of interventions.

The nursing staff will generally start an IV, or initiate IV access when the situation requires medications.

Diagnostic Testing

When the patient is stabilized as much as possible, and the physical assessment is completed, diagnostic tests may then be ordered. These tests are used to help the doctors determine the cause and severity of the illness.

Should the tests indicate a need for surgery, a surgeon is then consulted to participate in the care of the patient. We have a trauma or general surgeon on our 24-hour team who is always available to perform the assessment of the patient while the patient is still in the Emergency Department.

What to Expect if Surgery is Required

Should surgery have to be performed, general anesthesia is usually the anesthesia of choice. (It paralyzes the entire body, including the lungs and causes the patient to become unconscious.) An IV medication is initially given to relax the patient. The anesthesiologist places a breathing tube (endotracheal) into the patient’s throat and down into the chest to assist the patient’s breathing during the surgery. The tube is connected to a ventilator. The medicine will cause temporary paralysis of the body, which is why the intubation is necessary. The patient is completely sedated and unconscious prior to the start of the procedure.

As soon as the ventilator has taken over the breathing function for the patient, all of the other medications are given to prevent movement during surgery and to make certain that the patients sleep throughout the entire surgical procedure.

The anesthesiologist will continuously monitor the patient’s heart activity and vital signs throughout the procedure.

If the need arises, the anesthesiologist may place additional IV lines in the arms or place a central line (a larger IV) that allows him to give more medication simultaneously.

Emergency Surgery

As soon as the anesthesia takes full effect, emergency surgery will begin. The section of the body that will be operated on is cleansed and surrounded by sterile drapes to isolate the area with a germ-free barrier.

The length of time of the surgery and the number of surgeons involved is determined by the nature of the surgery and complexity of the procedure.

Transfusions and medications will be provided to stabilize the patient during the surgery if the need arises. Intravenous fluids are given during surgery to compensate for any blood or fluid loss during the surgical procedure.

Recovery

Once the surgery is concluded, the patient is transferred to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) if their condition is stable. During this part of the recovery period, the patient will be groggy until the anesthesia completely wears off. Vital signs will continue to be closely monitored and pain medication will be given as needed.

When the anesthesia wears off and the patient becomes alert, they are transferred to a hospital room. If constant monitoring is required or the patient is unstable they are taken to the Intensive Care Unit. The patient will remain on the ventilator until they are strong enough to breathe on their own. There are situations where the patient may still be in critical
condition after surgery and additional surgical procedures may be required.

After Emergency Surgery

Typically, after surgery antibiotics are given to prevent infection and medication is given to control pain. Recovery time, including rehabilitation therapy, will depend on the type and severity of the surgical procedure. Patients requiring a ventilator to breathe are generally kept in the Intensive Care Unit until they are able to breathe on their own.

When patients are unable to eat because they are too sick, nutrition is provided through an IV or a tube that goes up the nose and down the esophagus into the stomach (NG or nasogastric tube). When they are able, the patients begin eating by sipping small amounts of clear liquids and then gradually progress to a normal diet as the food is tolerated.

When the patient’s condition is stabilized by surgery, they begin their recovery by sitting on the side of the bed and then walking to the bathroom with help. The hospital staff will provide care for the incision and teach the patient how to care for it when they are ready to be discharged and leave for home.

The patient is discharged when they are stable and are able to take care of their basic needs at home including eating, drinking and using the bathroom.

The length of time of the surgery and the number of surgeons involved is determined by the nature of the surgery and complexity of the procedure.

Transfusions and medications will be provided to stabilize the patient during the surgery if the need arises. Intravenous fluids are given during surgery to compensate for any blood or fluid loss during the surgical procedure.

Laparoscopic & Single Incision Surgery
Laparoscopic & Single Incision Surgery
Acute Care Surgery
Acute Care Surgery
Surgical Oncology
Surgical Oncology
Cosmetic Procedures
Cosmetic Procedures

Contact Us

Our Locations

Norwalk

148 East Avenue, Suite 3a
Norwalk, CT 06851
203-899-0744

Shelton

2 Trap Falls Road, Suite 100
Shelton, CT 06484
203-256-9707

Stamford

778 Long Ridge Road, Suite 101
Stamford, CT 06902
203-348-0589

Stamford

Specialty Surgery Center of Connecticut
1281 East Main Steet, 3rd Floor
Stamford, CT 06902
203-321-0777

North Haven

52 Washington Avenue, Suite 3
North Haven, CT 06473
203-285-2861

Milford

831 Boston Post Road, Suite 202
Milford, CT 06460
203-647-0140

Bridgeport

Surgical Center of Connecticut
4920 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT, 06606
203-371-2986