The clinical mission of the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care is to develop and maintain a multifaceted clinical care program that engages all components of health care delivery — providers, health systems, financial entities and social systems — in a concerted and coordinated effort to provide integrated and patient-centered care that delivers value to patients.
The delivery of clinical care is organized around 10 clinical divisions. Some divisions have a specific focus, such as transplant surgery, while others encompass wide-ranging efforts, such as surgical specialties. The clinical care associated with the department is delivered in a variety of settings, including the clinics of UT Health Austin (the clinical enterprise of Dell Medical School), the UT Health Austin Ambulatory Surgery Center, the Partners in Care collaboration and community-based clinics, and facilities of Dell Med’s partner hospital system, Ascension Seton.
Throughout the year, the department hosts the Immersion Program in Value-Based Health Care, a two-day event for health care professionals designed to introduce and discuss the concept and practice of value-based health care, as demonstrated by the department’s clinical programs.
UT Health Austin
Faculty in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care lead care teams at UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of Dell Med, with programs focused on musculoskeletal conditions and skin and gastrointestinal cancers.
At the Musculoskeletal Institute, a team of experts provides care for everything from severe osteoarthritis to mild ankle sprains. The team includes orthopaedic surgeons, physiatrists, associate providers (nurse practitioners and physician assistants), physical therapists, social workers and dietitians. By bringing together these experts, the department can better ensure that patients will be connected with the right provider at the right time to address their specific needs and preferences.
The Surgical Oncology Clinic provides surgical services for a variety of cancers, including melanoma, sarcoma, liver and pancreas tumors, esophageal and gastric cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Partners in Care
Partners in Care, a new collaboration of UT Health Austin, Ascension Seton and Dell Children’s Medical Center, brings together the clinical acumen of leading health care entities and their associated expert medical professionals to create innovative new clinical programs in Central Texas.
The Digestive Health program provides comprehensive care for gastroesophageal reflux disease; esophageal disorders; general gastroenterology conditions; liver, pancreas, and inflammatory bowel disease; and colon and anorectal disorders. This care is provided in an integrated clinic space with gastroenterologists, foregut and colorectal surgeons.
The Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease offers comprehensive care for children and adults with heart diseases and defects, including aortic coarctation, congenital heart disease, heart failure, pulmonary atresia, pulmonary valve stenosis, single ventricle defects, ventricular septal defects and more.
The Abdominal Transplant Center is the first abdominal transplant program in Austin in years. Both adult and pediatric patients are served for kidney, pancreas or simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplants, as well as those willing to be a living kidney donor.
Other Clinical Work
In partnership with Ascension Seton and the Community Care Collaborative, the department has developed new referral protocols for primary care providers to better define what conditions can be managed by primary care and what conditions are better suited for specialist management. Additionally, the team has implemented an active referral management approach that includes triaging patients based on clinical need to ensure timely access and streamlining new referrals so that patients are connected with the right providers.
Coordinated Care for Complex Surgical Patients
In February 2018, the department co-launched a Perioperative Surgical Home in partnership with Ascension Seton. This program, composed of anesthesiologists, internal medicine hospitalists, advanced practice providers and other allied health providers, aims to provide perioperative assessment and global optimization of complex surgical patients.
Elderly patients who suffer a traumatic injury are at high risk for additional complications and often face a significant worsening of their quality of life afterward. This integrated program, in collaboration with Ascension Seton and the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Internal Medicine, helps elderly patients safely transition after a traumatic injury.