Acute Care & General Surgery

Programs & Services | Our Team | Conditions & Treatments | Contact

You can’t be prepared for every emergency. That’s why we are. 

Surgical emergencies and acute situations can range from common conditions like appendicitis and gallbladder attacks to rare, complex diseases to trauma and accidents. No matter the cause, if you need surgery urgently, you need a team that’s skilled, ready, and cool under pressure.

To give the best care possible for people with acute surgical problems or trauma, the Department of Surgery at Columbia created the dedicated Acute Care Surgery team. One of the first such teams in the nation and the first in the New York metropolitan area, this group is available 24/7 to perform emergency general surgery, trauma surgery, and surgical critical care, as well as elective general surgery.

Conditions we frequently care for include:

  • Appendicitis 
  • Major skin infections 
  • Hernias 
  • Gallbladder disease (Cholecystitis)
  • Other intra-abdominal emergencies

Learn more about acute surgical issues »

Our entire team discusses each patient’s case every day, coordinates with other specialists and provides comprehensive care (including all pre-surgical and post-operative treatment), which improves efficiency and the overall quality of care. Because the team is available to perform surgery around the clock, members can attend to patients’ needs more quickly than if they had to schedule surgery and wait for other surgeons to become available. The result is that people treated at Columbia get into surgery sooner and out of the hospital faster.

We treat patients at three convenient locations: the main Columbia University Irving Medical Center campus in Washington Heights, the Allen Hospital at the northern tip of Manhattan, and Lawrence Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian in Bronxville. 

See more about our locations »

To contact us, call (212) 342-1734. If you need immediate help, call 911.

Programs & Services

Emergency General Surgery

With our years of experience, advanced training, and the extensive resources of one of the country’s top hospitals at our fingertips, our team is uniquely qualified to give quick, accurate diagnosis and deliver quality, personalized surgical management for a broad range of common and unusual abdominal diseases. We frequently take on complex cases that require a higher level of care than most community hospitals can provide, and we always work with the most up-to-date emergency technology, including advanced monitoring and diagnostic equipment that allow us to perform procedures at the bedside when necessary.

Surgical Critical Care

We oversee the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) to provide the highest level of monitoring for critically ill patients, who often require unexpected or additional surgeries. This work demands continuous consultation and collaboration with other specialists and the development of a personalized plan of care for each patient. 

Trauma Surgery

Although not a designated New York State Trauma Center, our team cares for approximately 1800 adult trauma patients each year, addressing most injuries of the neck, chest, abdomen, and extremities. Working alongside the Division of Pediatric Surgery, our team also cares for pediatric trauma patients arriving at the Pediatric Trauma Center at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian.

Related Services

Our Acute Care team is made up of surgeons from Columbia’s division of General Surgery. The General Surgery division is involved in the following additional services:

  • Hernia Care: for help with urgent or chronic hernia issues, Visit Hernia Center
  • Palliative CarePalliative care focuses on reducing symptoms and improving quality of life for people with serious illness and their caregivers. While many people associate it with hospice care, palliative care is concerned with more than end-of-life issues and is often used for people who will make full recoveries. As it relates to surgery, our Palliative Care team counsels patients and family members about high-risk operations, helping them set appropriate goals and plan ahead for all possible outcomes. Learn more about Palliative Care »

Our Team

Tracey Arnell, MD | Division Chief

Dr. Arnell is the Chief of the Division of General Surgery at Columbia. In addition to being a recognized leader in her field, she is also a dedicated teacher and mentor to doctors-in-training.

Spencer E. Amory, MD, FACS

Dr. Amory developed techniques in laparoscopic cholecystectomy that enabled his group to have the lowest open cholecystectomy rates in the state. In addition, he has earned a reputation for his diagnostic acumen in complex surgical problems and for highly individualized and personalized care.

Ana Berlin, MD, MPH, FACS

Dr. Berlin is a dually-trained general surgeon and palliative care physician who thrives on the diagnostic, therapeutic, and ethical dilemmas that so commonly accompany urgent, emergent, and high-stakes surgical problems. Her interest in prognostication, communication, and decision making in the surgical setting has driven her to forge a unique path at the intersection of surgery and palliative care. 

Katherine Fischkoff, MD

Dr. Fischkoff earned her medical degree from George Washington University and went on to receive specialized training at NYU, Cornell and Memorial-Sloan Kettering before joining the team at Columbia.

Zachary L. Gleit, MD

Dr. Gleit has served as Director of Surgery at the Allen Hospital since 2008. After completing his medical degree at Harvard and surgical training at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, he traveled to Ethiopia as part of a humanitarian mission with Doctors Without Borders. Dr. Gleit’s surgical practice in the Hernia Center and in the Division of General Surgery includes hernia repair, gallbladder surgery, colorectal surgery, appendectomy, and splenectomy.

Beth R. Hochman, MD

Dr. Hochman’s clinical interests include the full spectrum of trauma, emergency surgery, and surgical critical care. She is also highly interested in medical student and resident education, including international medical opportunities. To date, she has participated in medical educational opportunities in Peru, Chile, Sweden, India, and Kenya.

Subhash Krishnamoorthy, MD

Dr. Krishnamoorthy is a dual trained physician in general surgery and critical care medicine. His focus is centered on providing surgical solutions to acutely and critically ill patients. This extends from acute care surgery and surgical critical care to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in respiratory and cardiac failure. He is passionate about patient-centered medicine, medical education, and collaborative initiatives to improve the quality of care.

Yuri W. Novitsky, MD

Dr. Novitsky is the Director of the Columbia Comprehensive Hernia Center. He has extensive expertise in the field of minimally-invasive and robotic hernia surgery. Dr. Novitsky has successfully developed and applied pioneering techniques for minimally-invasive ventral hernia repair and open abdominal wall reconstructions. Those procedures have been widely adopted around the world. 

Dina Podolsky, MD

Dr. Podolsky specializes in all aspects of hernia surgery, including inguinal, ventral, and complex abdominal wall reconstruction, employing minimally invasive techniques with laparoscopic and robotic surgery. She is a member of several national organizations, including the Americas Hernia Society and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. 

Amanda Powers, MD

Dr. Powers has practiced at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center since 2006, when she completed her general surgery residency. With training in laparoscopic surgery and critical care, Dr. Powers forged an innovative path allowing her to integrate the ICU into the acute care model.

Our Team at Lawrence Hospital Center in Westchester, New York

Miguel Silva, MD, FACS | Director, Surgery at Lawrence Hospital

Dr. Silva specializes in minimally invasive bariatric and general surgery. He is known as one of the early adopters of the gastric sleeve technique and is among the most experienced surgeons in the New York area in Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. 

John-Paul Salvatore Bellistri, MD 

After graduating from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, Dr. Bellistri completed both a general surgery residency and an advanced GI/minimally invasive surgery fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center. His areas of expertise include general surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and bariatric surgery. His focus includes both benign and malignant diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Arpan Goel, MD

Dr. Goel completed his medical degree and internship in India, followed by residencies in West Virginia and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center. He completed his first fellowship at the Department of Plastic Surgery/Burn at Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx, and a second fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery. Dr. Goel has a special interest in abdominal wall hernia repair and bowel wall reconstruction.

Kurun Oberoi, MD

Kurun Oberoi, MD, is a General Surgeon with interests in both Emergency General Surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgery. He received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He subsequently completed his residency training in General Surgery at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. During this time, he also spent 2 years as a Surgical Education and Simulation Fellow, focusing on both research initiatives and curriculum development.

Conditions & Treatments

We’ve gathered helpful guides and information on some of the most common acute surgical issues.


The General Surgery Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center

161 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10032
Phone: (212) 342-1734
Fax: (212) 932-5425
Get Maps & Directions »

The General Surgery Center at the Allen Hospital

5141 Broadway, Suite 3-SE-178
New York, NY 10034
Phone: (212) 932-5227
Fax: (212) 932-5425
Get Maps & Directions »

NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group/Westchester

685 White Plains Road
Eastchester, New York 10709
Phone: (914) 787-4000
Get Maps & Directions » 

Center for Advanced Surgery

1 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, NY 10708
Phone: (914) 787-4000
Get Maps & Directions »


(800) NYP-STAT

Or visit our online referral center » 


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