Why Choose Us?

SurgeonsAs Iowa’s only comprehensive academic medical center, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has a long-standing reputation for patient care quality, creativity, and excellence.

In fact, many of the innovative surgical techniques used far and wide were developed by our experienced team of world-class physicians and researchers. Our highly sophisticated facilities are specially designed to accommodate the very latest techniques and technologies.

  • We are a major regional referral center for complex surgical procedures.
  • During an average year, we perform nearly 24,000 major surgeries.
  • Our highly specialized experts work together in multi-disciplinary teams to deliver patient-centered care.
  • We pioneered techniques or were first in the state, nation or, in some cases, the world, to perform many procedures using robotic and minimally invasive surgical techniques. Many of these procedures reduce postoperative pain and scarring, and allow a faster recovery.
  • Our advanced facilities allow UI surgeons to customize the setting and anesthetic options for each individual patient. This customization may lead to decreased postoperative pain, fewer side-effects, and faster recovery— all with the same high-quality outcome.
  • Several of our surgeons and anesthesiologists are recognized as Best Doctors®.
  • The American College of Surgeons, the nationwide association of surgeons, certified UI Hospitals and Clinics as a Level I Trauma Center – the highest designation possible for trauma care. We are the only Level I Trauma Center for both adult and pediatric patient care in Iowa.
  • As an academic medical center, we are proud to have trained many of the excellent practicing surgeons and anesthesiologists across the state.
  • Our patients have convenient access to their medical records through MyChart, a confidential online service that allows patients to review their personal test results, ask about prescription renewals, or request or change appointments electronically.
  • American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) has renewed our accreditation status for their national Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence (BSCOE) Program until 2016.
  • The American Nurses Credentialing Center awarded UI Hospitals and Clinics the state's first Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence in 2004, and twice granted Magnet re-designation for four years (2008-2013). 

Choosing a Surgeon

Whether your primary care provider recommends the surgeon for your upcoming surgery or you select the surgeon yourself, familiarize yourself with his or her qualifications.

  • A board certified surgeon has completed years of residency training and has demonstrated knowledge and competency measured by a successful completion of a rigorous exam.
  • Look for the FACS certification after the surgeon’s name. This means that he/she has passed a thorough evaluation of professional competence and ethical fitness. Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons indicates that the surgeon is committed to the welfare of the patient above any other considerations.
  • Review the outcome data available for the type of surgery you will be having.
  • Ask your surgeon how many of your type of operation he/she has performed over the past year. Studies have shown that surgical outcomes tend to be higher if the surgeon has performed a high number of the surgeries.
  • Your surgeon should practice at a reputable hospital.
  • For greater peace of mind, determine if credible outside sources recognize your doctor’s expertise. For instance, does Best Doctors®, name your surgeon as a Best Doctor in America? This database results from national surveys of physicians/surgeons to determine who they regard as among the best in their respective specialties.

Choosing a Hospital

Hospital Entrance

Check the hospital’s accreditations, including The Joint Commission (an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits health care organizations in the U.S.) and Magnet designation (awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for nursing excellence).

  • Is the hospital rated highly by government, consumer, or other groups, such as U.S. News & World Report?
  • Does the hospital have experience and a history of success with the type of surgery you require?
  • What are the complication and infection rates?
  • Does the hospital track quality of care and work to improve it?
  • Does your surgeon practice there?
  • Is your procedure covered by your health plan?

Surgical Innovations and Other Firsts at UI Hospitals and Clinics

  • We were the first hospital in Iowa to perform an auditory brain stem implant.
  • We are the first and only hospital in Iowa to use a reconstructive surgical technique called distraction osteogenesis to aid patients of all ages with airway and craniofacial anomalies (1990-1999)
  • We were the first hospital in the world to use robotic surgery for removal of an adrenal carcinoma (an aggressive, deadly tumor) and an adrenal mass from a pediatric patient.
  • We were the first hospital in the world to use robotic surgery for the Ladd's procedure, which corrects a condition in which the intestines do not rotate properly and are at risk for cutting off their own blood supply by twisting.
  • We were the first hospital in the world to use robotic surgery for removal of a colon from a child.
  • We were the first hospital in the world to use robotic surgery for removal of the entire colon and rectum with an ileal pull-through in either an adult or a child.
  • We were the first hospital in Iowa to use robotic surgery for radical prostatectomy procedures, in which a patient's cancerous prostate is removed, and pyeloplasty procedures for treating patients with obstructed kidneys.
  • We were the first hospital in Iowa to surgically repair injuries to the inferior alveolar nerve, which supplies feeling to the lower lip and chin.
  • We were the first hospital in Iowa to surgically repair injuries to the lingual nerve, which supplies feeling and taste to the tongue.
  • We performed robotic surgery on what was at that time the smallest patient ever in the world (5.06 pounds) to undergo robotic surgery.
  • We performed surgery on the only neonate in the world to undergo congenital diaphragmatic hernia repairs using robotic surgery.
  • In the 1940s, the Iowa Cleft Palate program was one of first established in the United States.