UI Hospitals and Clinics


UI Hospitals and Clinics and UI Children's Hospital offer a comprehensive range of surgical services. Our surgeons are dedicated to delivering the highest quality care, which leads to successful outcomes for you and your family.

We use the newest surgical techniques and the latest medical discoveries to provide the best possible care. In addition to traditional surgeries we offer minimally invasive and robotic surgeries that reduce pain, minimize incisions and shorten hospital stays.

Pain management, nutrition and social and psychological services are part of our holistic approach to patient care. Our multidisciplinary care teams include surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, technologists and support staff. All surgical team members within UI Children's Hospital specialize and are fully dedicated to the care of infants and children.


Our surgical services cover a wide range, including:


UI Hospitals and Clinics and UI Children's Hospital are the only health centers in Iowa offering kidney, pancreas, liver, heart, and lung transplants for both adults and children. We are home to a dynamic, quality-driven organ transplant center that boasts a record of outstanding outcomes.

Our clinical services include




Plastic and reconstructive surgery can include your entire body—from your scalp to the soles of your feet. Among our services are:

Minimally Invasive

UI Hospitals and Clinics is a leader in using robotic tools for minimally invasive surgery, performing procedures with smaller incisions and reduced recovery times. The benefits of minimally invasive robotic surgery include:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Better patient outcomes
  • Less risk for postoperative infection
  • Less scarring
  • Quicker return to normal daily activities

For surgeons, the advantages of the robotic system—which includes high-definition, three-dimensional images—are increased dexterity, precision and control.

Our services include:

Acute Care (Surgery)

UI Hospitals and Clinics is an American College of Surgeons verified Level I Trauma Center. As a Level I Trauma Center with pediatric commitment, UI Hospitals and Clinics serves as a major referral center for critically injured adult and pediatric patients, admitting more than 1,400 patients for traumatic injuries each year.

Our services include:

Orthopedics and Rehabilitation

We provide the most complete bone and joint health services in Iowa. Physicians from across the Midwest refer patients to the University of Iowa because of our comprehensive array of services, our multidisciplinary approach and our state-of-the-art facilities.

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.

Health Library

UI Health Care, in a partnership with ADAM Multimedia Encyclopedia, offers you these select topics on surgery: