Acute Care & Elective General Surgery

Who We Treat  |  Programs & Services  |  Highlights  |  Our Team  |  Locations  |  Appointments

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

Conditions like appendicitis and gallbladder attacks may be common, but that doesn’t mean they don’t cause considerable stress and discomfort. Often, these “routine” conditions develop quickly and require emergency surgery. Even when they don’t, they typically require a surgical procedure eventually. If you need help for an acute surgical condition, you need a team that’s skilled, ready, and cool under pressure.

With our years of experience, advanced training, and the extensive resources of one of the country’s top hospitals at our fingertips, our team at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia 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 technology, including robotic surgical systems and advanced monitoring and diagnostic equipment that allow us to perform procedures at the bedside when necessary.

To schedule an appointment with us, call (212) 342-1734, or fill out our online appointment request form today. If you need immediate help, please call 911.

For emergency transfers by referring physicians, call (800) NYP-STAT

Who We Treat

Because we treat problems that can develop suddenly and quickly, we often see patients who have come in through the Emergency Department for treatment of acute pain, via our dedicated Acute Care Surgery service. The other side of our program is our Elective General Surgery service, for people suffering from conditions that require surgical treatment, but whose symptoms are controlled enough that they don’t need surgery immediately.

Acute Care Surgery

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.

Elective General Surgery

Our elective general surgery service sees patients in our clinic offices for a comprehensive initial evaluation and physical exam. We typically see people who are experiencing pain in their abdomen and who have either come to us directly or been referred to us by another doctor. If you’ve already had lab tests or scans to investigate your symptoms, we’ll review them together. If not, we may order additional tests to determine your best treatment plan. If surgery is needed, we’ll find a convenient time to schedule it and make sure you’re well prepared for a quick recovery.

Condition We Care For

Conditions we frequently care for include:

Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of these conditions by reading the educational health guides linked to above.

Treatments We Offer

We provide a variety of surgical treatments including:

Elective Surgery Procedures

  • Appendectomy
  • Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) and exploration of the common bile duct
  • Removal of soft tissue masses, like lipomas and sebaceous cysts
  • Removal of the spleen (splenectomy)
  • Abdominal wall and inguinal hernia repairs
  • Large intestine surgery (colectomy) for benign intestinal disease like C. Difficile colitis, volvulus, and diverticulitis
  • Small intestine surgery (lysis of adhesions) for small bowel obstruction
  • Management of enterocutaneous fistulae
  • Minimally invasive, laparoscopic, and robotic surgery options

Emergency Surgery Procedures

  • All of the above, with specialization in minimally invasive emergency surgery
  • Repair of gastric or duodenal perforations from peptic ulcer disease
  • Incision and drainage for skin infections and abscesses
  • Management of simple and complex wounds
  • Management of necrotizing soft tissue infections
  • Tracheostomy
  • Gastrostomy tubes
  • Management of abdominal bleeding
  • Trauma
  • Needle aspiration and chest tube management for pneumothoraces 
  • Management of sepsis

Learn more about these tests and procedures by reading our Approaches to Acute and General Surgery educational health guide.

Key Clinical Programs

To further our mission of providing world-class acute and elective general surgery care, we have developed several further specialized programs to serve your needs.

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

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.

Palliative Care

Palliative 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 »

Highlights of Our Care

Making it Easier At Every Step

Surgery’s not easy, but we can make the experience of actually finding surgical care as easy as possible. We take a wide range of insurances, offer in-person and virtual visit options, have a multilingual staff, and promise to see new patients within 7 days of a call. Since we’re in the same building as many other specialists and are deeply embedded within the Columbia system, we’ll make it simple to coordinate all aspects of your care, even if you need more than a surgeon.

From Research to Robotics, Pushing the Field Forward

As part of an academic medical center and of the top hospital networks in the world, our surgeons don’t just use the best approaches–they help define them. We were part of the landmark study that compared antibiotic treatment to surgery for appendicitis, and we continue to participate in ongoing studies to ensure we offer the most up to date care for our patients. We’re currently at the forefront of using robotic surgery techniques to offer safer procedures with faster recovery times. In fact, we do the most robotic emergency general surgery of any academic center in the country.

An Entire Care Team, At Your Service

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 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.

Convenient Locations and Virtual Options

We see and operate on patients at three convenient locations: the main NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center campus in Washington Heights, the NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital at the northern tip of Manhattan, and NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester in Bronxville. Can’t make it in-person? We also offer virtual visits to make things easier.

World-Class Hernia Care

Surgeons from our General Surgery division also collaborate with our comprehensive Columbia Hernia Center, the premier source for hernia care in the region. Our team features pioneers in hernia treatment techniques that have led to faster recoveries and better results.

Our Team

Our surgeons partner with you to choose the right operation or treatment we plan for your specific case. We have experience operating on even the most seriously ill patients with excellent outcomes.

General Surgeons

Our primary team of general surgeons sees patients in Washington Heights, Northern Manhattan, and virtually through our virtual visits platform.

Dr Katherine Fischkoff

Katherine Fischkoff, MD | Division Chief
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.

Spencer E. Amory, MD

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.

Tracey Arnell, MD

Tracey Arnell, MD
Dr. Arnell is a well-recognized leader in her field, both for her work with patients and as a dedicated teacher and mentor to doctors-in-training.

Dr Naomi Berezin

Naomi Berezin, MD


Ana Berlin, MD, MPH, FACS

Ana Berlin, MD, MPH, FACS
Dr. Berlin is a dual 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.

Dr Kevin Chow

Kevin L Chow, MD
Dr. Kevin Chow is a trauma and acute care surgeon as well as a surgical intensivist joining the Acute Care Surgery Division. He completed a residency in General Surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an Acute Care Surgery and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital. His clinic interests include surgical innovation, point of care ultrasound, robotic surgery, and trauma. He also has an interest in resident education through simulation and cadaver labs.

Subhash Krishnamoorthy, MD

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.

Amanda J. Powers, MD

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.

Westchester Team

Our Westchester team of general surgeons sees patients at NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester in Bronxville, New York.

Learn more about Columbia’s surgical services at NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester.

Our Locations

Our primary location is in Washington Heights, where we have a long history of serving the local community. All of our locations are easily accessible through public transportation or car, and we also offer online virtual visits for your convenience.


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) 342-1734
Fax: (212) 932-5425
Get Maps & Directions »


Center for Advanced Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester
1 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, NY 10708
Phone: (914) 787-4000
Get Maps & Directions »

This location is managed by our Westchester Team.

Make an Appointment

Our general and acute care surgeons are here to answer all your questions and work with you on developing a personalized treatment plan.

We accept a wide range of insurance and can verify your plan when you call to make your appointment.

To get started with our team, call (212) 342-1734 or request an appointment online today.

For emergency transfers by referring physicians, call (800) NYP-STAT