We develop a clinical visible-light spectroscopy (VLS) tissue oximeter. Unlike currently approved near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) or pulse oximetry , VLS relies on locally absorbed, shallow-penetrating visible light (475 to 625 nm) for the monitoring of microvascular hemoglobin oxygen saturation , allowing incorporation into therapeutic catheters and probes. A range of probes is developed, including noncontact wands, invasive catheters, and penetrating needles with injection ports. Data are collected from: 1. probes, standards, and reference solutions to optimize each component; 2. ex vivo hemoglobin solutions analyzed for and during deoxygenation; and 3. human subject skin and mucosal tissue surfaces. Results show that differential VLS allows extraction of features and minimization of scattering effects, in vitro VLS oximetry reproduces the expected sigmoid hemoglobin binding curve, and in vivo VLS spectroscopy of human tissue allows for real-time monitoring (e.g., gastrointestinal mucosal saturation , ; gastrointestinal tumor saturation , ; and ), with reproducible values and small standard deviations (SDs) in normal tissues. FDA approved VLS systems began shipping earlier this year. We conclude that VLS is suitable for the real-time collection of spectroscopic and oximetric data from human tissues, and that a VLS oximeter has application to the monitoring of localized subsurface hemoglobin oxygen saturation in the microvascular tissue spaces of human subjects.