The Department of Surgery at Cook County Health works to improve the lives of people by providing optimal surgical care within a top learning environment.

The Department of Surgery consists of 16 clinical divisions and includes 120 surgeons and residents to support our patients. 

Breast Cancer Surgery

Cook County Health’s Comprehensive Breast Program is dedicated to providing patients with individualized care for breast cancer screening, prevention and treatment.  
Our experts specialize in breast cancer screening, benign breast disease, genetic testing, breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Patients can access care for a range of breast concerns and diseases which include screening mammogram, evaluating a new mass, and establishing treatment for breast cancer in both women and men.  
Our physicians work within in a multidisciplinary team that includes specialists in Radiology, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology and Plastic Surgery to provide coordinated care from the identification of an abnormality through treatment and survivorship.  
Our team works with you to design a comprehensive, cohesive treatment plan which may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and/or endocrine therapy. The surgery department specializes in: 
  • Removal of benign (non-cancerous) masses 
  • Surgical biopsies to establish diagnosis 
  • Treatment of breast infections 

Cardiothoracic Surgery 

The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery treats diseases of the organs within the chestincluding the heart and great blood vessels, the lungs, chest wall, glandular tissues and the esophagus. 
We use state-of-the-art techniques to treat birth defects of the heart and its large arteries that are identified in adults. Most commonly the surgeons treat problems acquired through adult life. Procedures include bypass grafting to relieve obstructed blood flow to the heart caused by coronary artery disease, surgeries to repair or replace malfunctioning heart valves and surgery on swollen or ripped large major blood vessels. 
Our team has surgeons who specialize in all other diseases of the chest, including surgeries to remove tumors and cancers of the lungs, esophagus, and other chest organs, and reconstruction of the remaining tissues to establish the best possible quality of life. Our surgeons are also very experienced in helping make patients more comfortable when their cancers have spread too far for cure. Our team can often perform their work through minimally invasive incisions, using special operating telescopes and cameras. 
The Cook County Health Colon and Rectal Surgery Division provides comprehensive, compassionate and state-of-the-art care for patients suffering from diseases of the colon, rectum, anus and small bowel. 
Our team carries out all types of colon and rectal operations including transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS) and transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME).  
We’re also experienced in minimally invasive surgery of the colon, rectum, anus and small bowel for malignant disease, as well as benign conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), complex anorectal surgery, and complex multivisceral operations. 

Eye Surgery

The Division of Ophthalmology at the Cook County Health offers medical and surgical eye care to adults and children with diseases and injuries of the eye, orbit and eyelids. 
We offer comprehensive care to patients suffering from a broad spectrum of common and rare eye conditions ranging from eye disease due to premature birth to severe traumatic injury in adults. 
Each year, the division treats 50,000 patients, performing over 2,300 major ocular surgeries, 10,000 intraocular injections and over 2,000 laser procedures. Our physicians utilize many methods of sophisticated care options and many eye diseases can be treated with medical, surgical or laser procedures. 
The Ophthalmology clinic, located in the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, is a comprehensively equipped facility with specialists available in 7 subspecialties including: medical/surgical retina, oculoplastics, cornea, glaucoma, uveitis, pediatrics/strabismus and neuro-ophthalmology
Minor surgery procedures can be performed within the clinic and the vast majority of major surgical procedures are performed on an out-patient basis using “same-day” surgery in the Hospital. 

Foot Surgery

Foot doctors, also known as Podiatrists, are physicians and surgeons that specialize in the treatment of conditions affecting the foot and ankle, two of the most complicated parts of the body.
Foot and ankle problems can affect patients of all ages and can make everyday activities, including walking, incredibly painful.  
The Division of Neurosurgery at Cook County Health specializes in various aspects of adult and pediatric neurosurgery, including Trauma, Oncology, Vascular, Spine (Trauma, Degenerative and complex spinal disorders), and peripheral nerve disorders. 
Cook County Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery has been an integral part of Cook County Health for nearly one hundred years.
The Cook County Hospital Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery treats many conditions of the head and neck. Services offered include:  
  • Bone Grafting  
  • Cleft Lip & Palate  
  • Dental Implants  
  • Dentoalveolar Surgery with Local or General Ambulatory Anesthesia  
  • Denture Preparation Surgery  
  • Facial Cosmetic Surgery  
  • Facial Reconstructive Surgery  
  • Facial Trauma Surgery  
  • Management of Dental Infections  
  • Management of Oral and Head & Neck Cancers  
  • Microneurosurgery  
  • Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery  
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology/Tumors  
  • Orthognathic Surgery  
  • Outpatient Anesthesia  
  • Pre-prosthetic Surgery  
  • Removal of Third Molars (Wisdom Teeth)  
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders  

Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (ENT)

The Division of Head and Neck Surgery treats the full array of diseases that affect the head and neck, including cancer. 
Our trained team treats disorders affecting the ears, nose, mouth, throat, sinuses, voice box and upper windpipe.  
Specifically, for conditions affecting ears, including hearing loss and ongoing infections in the ear canal and ear drum, our sinus specialists provide state-of-the-art treatment for ongoing nasal/sinus disease, as well as collaboration with our Neurosurgery team for diseases of the skull base.   
We have a comprehensive program to provide screening and treatment for cancers of the head and neck, which includes lip, tongue, oral, tonsil, throat, and voicebox cancer as well as tumors of the sinuses, ear, and neck. The division also performs plastic and reconstructive surgery with attention to patients needing reconstruction after trauma or cancer therapy.

Pediatric Surgery

The Division of Pediatric Surgery provides general surgery care to children with congenital malformations, trauma and later appearing or acquired conditions that can be corrected with surgical intervention. 
Our team of surgeon evaluate and treat children with malformations from birth, such as tracheoesophageal fistulae or diaphragmatic hernias. We also treat children for hernia, hydrocele, undescended testis, lump and bumps of all types throughout the body. 
The division provides major support to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and directs the services of the Level I pediatric trauma service which receives the most seriously injured children from the appropriate districts. 
Our team members are qualified with the subspecialty Certificate in Pediatric Surgery and are fully trained in general surgery with two additional years of specialized training for surgery for children.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Robotic-assisted surgery allows surgeons to perform many different complex procedures, some of which would only be possible using a traditional surgery approach which means larger incisions, longer recovery times, and more potential for wound and other complications.

Cook County Health uses the Intuitive Surgical da Vinci® surgical system to perform robotic-assisted surgery.  The da Vinci® surgical system has four robotic arms that hold instruments, a camera, and a magnifying screen. 

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Surgical Critical Care

The Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) provides top-quality comprehensive care to patients recovering from major surgical procedures.

Our physicians are certified in Surgery or Anesthesia with added qualification in Critical Care and are members of the Division of Surgical Critical Care in the Department of Surgery. 

Our team of physicians works with a multidisciplinary team that includes a clinical nutritionist, clinical pharmacist, respiratory therapist, speech therapist, social worker, and physiotherapist who supplement the excellent nursing care provided by our skilled ICU nurses.

Surgical Oncology 

Surgical oncology is the branch of surgery which focuses on the surgical management of cancer. A Surgical Oncologist is a physician qualified for the surgical treatment of rare, complex and recurrent cancer cases typically seen in cancer centers.  
Department specialties  
The Division of Urologic Surgery has a distinguished team of surgeons devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of complex adult and pediatric urologic conditions.
As the third largest public health delivery system in the U.S., we are committed to finding cures and treatments for urologic diseases, provide the best care for patients and serve the region with award-winning community outreach.
The Division of Vascular Surgery at the John H. Stroger, Jr., Hospital of Cook County is comprised of four board-certified vascular surgeons. Patients are evaluated and treated in both the hospital and in the outpatient settings.   
Medical conditions treated include: 
  • Carotid artery disease (to decrease risk of a stroke)
  • Creation of an arterio-venous fistula for dialysis 
  • Hardening of the arteries with decreased blood flow to the feet and hands
  • Leg bypasses to avoid leg amputation
  • Leg ulcers and wounds
  • Poor circulation
  • Surgical repair of aneurysms (enlarged arteries at risk for rupture and death)
  • Varicose veins (non-surgical management with special compression stockings.)