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Our top priority is providing value to members. Your Member Services team is here to ensure you maximize your ACS member benefits, participate in College activities, and engage with your ACS colleagues. It's all here.

Become a Member
Become a member and receive career-enhancing benefits

Our top priority is providing value to members. Your Member Services team is here to ensure you maximize your ACS member benefits, participate in College activities, and engage with your ACS colleagues. It's all here.

Membership Benefits
Case Reviews in Surgery

ACS Case Reviews in Surgery Author Instructions

General Considerations

ACS Case Reviews in Surgery will publish educational materials in various surgical specialties. To be eligible for peer review, all submissions must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Describes a topic of interest or important education value to practicing surgeons
  • Describes experiences that may not be routinely seen or that were uniquely treated
  • Involves patients with common surgical problems where the clinical presentation and/or challenges of management produced knowledge and insights that have significant educational value

Submissions will be reviewed with the understanding that they have not been published by and are not under consideration at any other publication venue. Additionally, all submissions must strictly adhere to the ACS Case Reviews Author Instructions, SCARE Guidelines, and all legal and ethical considerations as noted below in this instructions document.

Submitting Manuscripts

  • Review the ACS Case Reviews Author Instructions and the SCARE Guidelines.
  • Ensure that the submission fully satisfies all requirements.
  • Submit online

Please note: Medical students and residents are encouraged to submit to ACS Case Reviews; however, to do so, a practicing surgeon or attending surgeon must be included as one of the authors.

Upon completion of the peer-review process and the decision to accept the manuscript for publication, a non-negotiable publication processing fee of $1250 must be paid in full prior to publication.

Case Report Requirements

ACS Case Reviews in Surgery publishes case reports in various surgical specialties. All case reports must meet at least one of following requirements:

  • Focus on a topic of interest and especially educational value to practicing surgeons
  • Describe experiences that may not be routinely seen or that were treated in a unique way.
  • Involve patients with common surgical problems where the clinical presentation and/or challenges of management produced knowledge and insights that have substantial educational value

Only original, previously unpublished case report manuscripts should be submitted. All submissions will be reviewed with the understanding that the submitted work has not been published by and is not currently under publication consideration at any other journal, website, or any other content platforms. Additionally, all manuscripts will be peer-reviewed.

Authors are encouraged to review the author instructions in their entirety as well as the published articles that appear on the ACS Case Reviews in Surgery Issue Page.

Submitted case reports should be approximately 1,000 words (excluding the reference list). All manuscript formatting requirements must be strictly followed, and all designated manuscript sections must be included. Failure to strictly follow the author instructions may result in the immediate rejection of the paper.

Medical students and residents are encouraged to submit to ACS Case Reviews in Surgery; however, to do so, a practicing surgeon/attending surgeon must be included as one of the authors.

Please note: On receiving a written acceptance for publication notification via e-mail, the corresponding author will be required to pay a nonnegotiable $1,250 publication fee; to complete this process, an ACS username and password are required.

If you have any questions, please contact the ACS Case Reviews in Surgery editorial team at casereviews@facs.org.

How to Submit

After ensuring that the manuscript adheres to all stated requirements, submit online.

Editors of ACS Case Reviews in Surgery will review each submission and decide if it is appropriate for publication in this journal. All case reports will be checked for plagiarism. If accepted for peer evaluation, any recommended edits will be sent to the authors, along with a request for changes. Once the paper is accepted for publication, the case report will be considered the property of the American College of Surgeons, subject to all applicable copyright laws, and not publishable again in any form.

SCARE Checklist

The Surgical Case Report (SCARE) checklist is structured to correspond with key components of a case report and capture useful clinical information (including "meaningful use" information mandated by some insurance plans).

Although case reports are popular and are frequently published, there are minimal instructions on the most essential elements to be reported for publication. According to reported evidence, incomplete description of methodologies and clinical details can lead to incomplete understanding and erroneous conclusions. To further help create a foundation for the more effective reporting of surgical case studies, the  SCARE Checklist was developed through a Delphi consensus exercise, published in 2016, and updated in 2020 (Agha RA, Franchi T, Sohrabi C, Mathew G, Kerwan A; SCARE Group. The SCARE 2020 Guideline: Updating Consensus Surgical CAse REport (SCARE) Guidelines. Int J Surg. 2020 Dec;84:226-230. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2020.10.034. Epub 2020 Nov 9. PMID: 33181358.).

The ACSCRS editorial team requires all authors to review the below checklists prior to creating their case reports and to attest that all guidelines have been entirely fulfilled. Failure to do so will result in the immediate rejection of the submission.

Corresponding Author

Clearly indicate the author designated to handle all correspondence at all stages of review. Only one author is allowed to be designated as the corresponding author, with the following contact details provided:

  • Complete postal address
  • Valid e-mail address
  • Valid phone number (with country and area code)

The corresponding author must confirm that all authors have reviewed and agree regarding any and all indicated revisions.

Manuscript Format

All case report submissions will include the following sections, and all sections will be completed as thoroughly and thoughtfully as possible (all sections should at least contain no less than 50 words and not contain language that is copied word for word from other sections (e.g., the Conclusion and Lessons Learned sections should be distinct from each other). Failure to provide this information will result in immediate rejection of the submission.

Title Page

The title page must be the first page of the manuscript; all pages should be numbered. The title of manuscript should include the report's key concepts so that search engines will locate the manuscript. No abbreviations are allowed in the titles unless they are standard acronyms (for example, NSQIP).

Author Names and Affiliations

List the name(s) of all authors beginning with the last name and followed by the first initials of the first and middle name. No more than five names should appear.

Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names, including department and institution, city, state, and country. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate affiliation.


Smith GHa; Elliot QLab; Hill BCac

Author Affiliations

  1. Department of Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL, 60153
  2. Burn Shock Trauma Institute, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153
  3. Surgical Service Line, Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Hines IL 60141

Corresponding Author

As previously noted, clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of review, revision, publication, and post-publication.  

Gerald H. Smith, MD, FACS
Department of Surgery
Loyola University Medical Center
2160 S First Avenue
Maywood, IL, 60153
Phone: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
E-mail: gsmith@loyola.edu


Additional contributors should be listed in an acknowledgments section on the title page (for example, people who provided purely technical help/writing assistance, department chairs who provided only general support, etc.)

Present/Permanent Address

If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a "Present address" (or "Permanent address") may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main affiliation address.

Meeting Presentations

Include meeting presentation information: the name (spelled out) of the sponsoring organization, city and state, and month and year of the meeting.

Disclosure of Conflicts

All relevant conflicts of interest and sources of funding should be included on the title page of the manuscript with the heading "Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding." See Conflict of Interest below for further details.

Financial Relationships

All relevant conflicts of interest and sources of funding should be included on the title page of the manuscript with the heading "Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding." See Conflict of Interest below for further details. If there are no financial relationships to disclose, please include the sentence "The authors have no financial relationships or in-kind support to disclose."


Structured abstracts are required. Abstract should contain about 300 to 500 words. Briefly summarize the article by stating the clinical challenge(s), the results/findings, problems presented by the case, conclusion(s), recommendations, lessons learned, and, in retrospect, what alternative steps the authors would have taken. Do not cite references in the abstract. The format for the abstract is:

  • Background
  • Summary
  • Conclusion
  • Key Words

Immediately after the conclusion, provide a maximum of six (6) keywords. These keywords will be used for indexing and searching purposes.

Case Description


Abbreviations/acronyms should be in parentheses immediately after the words for which they stand and must be spelled out completely at first use in the abstract and again at first use in the text. Abbreviations/acronyms used in figures must be spelled out in the figure legend. Up to 10 abbreviations of common terms (for example, DCIS, HBV, TIA) or acronyms (for example, SPECT, TRISS, SEER) may be used throughout the manuscript. On a separate page after the abstract, list the selected abbreviations and their definitions (for example, DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ). The editors will determine which lesser-known terms should not be abbreviated.

Units and Drug Names

Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other units are mentioned, please give their equivalent in SI. Whenever possible, generic names should be used for drugs or materials (e.g., for sutures); if a proprietary (trade) name must be used, please include in parentheses the company, city, state, and country associated with the product, if necessary. Do not use patient names, initials, or hospital numbers.


This section should include a brief review of the literature as well as a discussion of the management and decision making involved in the case. Demonstrating an understanding of the existing literature related to the case study topic is also highly encouraged but should not be exhaustive. The discussion section should also evaluate the patient case for accuracy, validity, and uniqueness; compare the case report with the published literature; derive new knowledge; summarize the essential features of the report; and draw recommendations. If, in retrospect, any decisions made were not optimal, or were wrong, this information must be indicated in this section as well as in the Lessons Learned section for the sake of optimal surgical educational value.


Briefly reiterate evidence-based recommendations and applicability to surgical practice.

Lessons Learned

Authors must provide a summary of essential points, statements, or facts (minimum 100 words) summarizing both the findings of their manuscript as well as what the authors would have done differently regarding treatment steps if presented with the opportunity to revisit the presented case. As previously stated above, if any decisions made were not optimal, or were wrong, this information must be indicated in this section as well as in the Discussion section for the sake of optimal surgical educational value.


If automated reference numbering software (such as EndNote) or bibliography software is used, turn it off before submitting the manuscript.

Citation in Text

Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but they may be mentioned in the text. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication. In-text citations should appear as superscript numbers. Please do not cite published abstracts, including those that have been published in meeting program books.

Reference Links

Increased discoverability of research and high-quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, CrossRef, and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent the creation of a usable link. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is encouraged.

Reference Style

All references should follow the AMA format.

Number consecutively in the order mentioned in text. The citation number is placed in the text after the name when the reference is cited; if no name is mentioned, the citation is placed in the text at the end of the material referred to (for example, "Meakins and Jones13 have shown that..." and "A group of oncologists has proved that if….13"). When referring to an article by the names of the author(s), if there are two authors, both names should be used; if there are more than six authors, then the first author should be named followed by the phrases "et al" or "and colleagues." References to manuscripts accepted but not published at time of submission can be designated in the format shown in this example: "J Am Coll Surg. In press 2008." Please also include the DOI if at all possible. Any personal communication must be cited within the text (and followed with the phrase "personal communication"), not in the reference list. Authors must obtain written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source of personal communication before submission. References must be verified against original documents; authors are responsible for completeness and accuracy of all citations.

The reference list should follow the text, and begin on a separate page, double-spaced and numbered consecutively. If there are more than six authors, list only the first three authors, followed by "et al." If there are six authors or fewer than six, list all authors.

Order of reference parts for a journal article: [Authors]. [Title]. [Journal name] [Year];[Volume]:[Pages].

Example: Valabussa P, Bonadonna G, Veronesi U. Patterns of relapse and survival following radical mastectomy. Cancer. 1978;41:1170-1178.

Figures, Tables, Images, Artwork, Etc

All images should be high-quality, original works or reproductions with appropriate permissions obtained. Adjustments to a figure may not highlight, misrepresent, obscure, or eliminate specific elements in the original figure, including the background.

Photographs, clinical images, micrographs, etc. must include arrows, as appropriate, or other markers to point out and elucidate important findings. Any violation of this requirement will be subject to penalties to include artwork removal, immediate rejection of the submission, banishment from submitting articles in the futures, etc.

Figure 1. Left Hydroureteronephrosis and Suspicious Mass within the Pelvis. Published with Permission

Left image description details. Right image description details.

Previously published illustrations may be included if scientifically appropriate and permission has been obtained from the owner of the copyright, the publisher, and, ideally, the original author. Any violation of this requirement will be subject to penalties to include artwork removal, immediate rejection of the submission, banishment from submitting articles in the futures, etc.

Authors are responsible for:

  • obtaining and including permission letters with their accepted manuscript in advance of publication
  • providing publication-quality electronic files of the previously published illustrations.

Previously published, low-resolution images downloaded from the Internet are not acceptable for publication. Redrawing a figure does not change copyright; if the original author would recognize the figure as his/hers, permission to adapt/modify the figure must be obtained.

If a figure has been previously published, by you or by others, obtain permission from the copyright owner and state the permission fully in the figure legend. Upload the permission letter with the signed project agreement form.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Statement on Duplicate Publication

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere including electronically in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright holder (i.e., ACS Case Reviews in Surgery).

When submitting a manuscript, the author must always make a complete statement to the editor about all submissions and previous reports (including meeting presentations and posting of results in registries) that might be regarded as redundant or duplicate publication. The author must alert the editor if the manuscript includes subjects about which the authors have published a previous report or have submitted a related report to another publication. Any such report must be referred to and referenced in the new paper. Copies of such material should be included with the submitted manuscript to help the editor decide how to handle the matter.

If redundant or duplicate publication is attempted or occurs without such notification, corrective action will be taken to remedy this policy violation, including the following steps: the submitted manuscript will be promptly rejected, the copyright owner of the original work will be notified, and all submission authors will be banned from submitting articles to ACS Case Reviews in Surgery in the future. If the editor was not aware of the violations and the article has already been published, then a notice of redundant or duplicate publication will likely be published with or without the author's explanation or approval.


In order to protect and maintain the confidentiality of any ACS projects, authors will agree not to make copies of, disclose, discuss, describe, distribute, or disseminate in any manner whatsoever, including in any oral, written, or electronic form, any information discussed, developed, or disseminated in conjunction with the case report. Case report content will not be used for personal or professional benefit or for any other reason, except directly in conjunction with the terms of the ACS Project Agreement. Authors will take reasonable steps to protect the confidential nature of this matter and to dispose of all materials and notes regarding such confidential information in a manner consistent with confidential information. In the event that the authors receive questions about the ACS project, the author will agree to direct all questions, concerns, or inquiries to the College's staff. The author will acknowledge that ACS will be irreparably harmed and that the author shall have no adequate remedy at law for any breach of this provision.


In accordance with the Consensus Statement on Surgery Journals Authorship (2006), all authors should have made substantial contributions to all three of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted, including any revision.

Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Allowing one's name to appear as an author without having contributed substantially to the study or adding the name of an individual who has not contributed or who has not agreed to the work in its current form is considered a breach of appropriate authorship.

Human Rights

If the work involves the use of human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans; Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

Informed Consent

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, will not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should identify individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance.

Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are de-identified, authors should provide assurance that such changes do not distort scientific meaning.

On behalf of their author team, all corresponding authors are required to confirm that the author(s) have obtained the appropriate consent from the patients who are the subject of their case reports to discuss and publish their case and medical information.