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Local physician pioneers new medical procedure

La Grange – A local obstetric/gynecological surgeon is pioneering new surgical techniques that only require a single incision. Dr. Arturo Menchaca, who treats patients at Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospitals, has performed three procedures using this new type of advanced laparoscopic surgery, which results in less scarring and less pain than alternative procedures. Menchaca is one of only two physicians in the Chicago area performing this procedure.

Using this innovative technique, the surgeon makes a small incision in the patient’s belly button and inserts a single, flexible port that can accommodate up to three laparoscopic instruments. The device, known as the SILS™ Port Multiple Instrument Access Port, is manufactured by North Haven, Conn.-based Covidien, a leading global provider of healthcare products. Before this technology was introduced, surgeons had to make several incisions, leaving multiple visible scars. Entering through the umbilicus, however, results in a single “hidden scar.”

Menchaca performed a single incision laparoscopic hysterectomy on 74-year-old Brookfield resident Viola Clayton on April 6. He also used the technique to remove both fallopian tubes and ovaries from 78-year-old Westchester resident Elaine Walczak on April 1. Both were treated at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. Since undergoing the outpatient procedure, Walczak has had no need to fill her painkiller prescription.

“The best part of it was that there hasn’t been any pain,” Walczak said. “Having this advanced procedure at a hospital close to home really put me at ease.”

Laparoscopy, which comes from the Greek words “to look into the abdomen,” utilizes small incisions and pencil-thin tubes equipped with lighting systems and miniature video cameras. It is used to diagnose and treat many gynecologic problems, including ectopic pregnancy, cysts, pelvic pain, and endometriosis. Compared to traditional invasive surgery, laparoscopy often results in better patient outcomes including less scarring, less pain and quicker recovery times. Better yet are laparoscopic procedures performed through a single incision, said Menchaca, who also specializes in urogynecology.

“These emerging techniques have the potential to revolutionize gynecological surgery,” Menchaca said. “Laparoscopic surgery is like building ships in a bottle. The procedures are technically challenging and require a very delicate touch.”

Less-invasive surgery is changing the face of medicine at Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospitals, noted David L. Crane, president/chief executive officer of Adventist Midwest Health. Here doctors perform minimally invasive surgical treatments in orthopedics and cardiology, among other specialties, that are at the forefront of medicine.


Adventist Midwest Health also is home to the largest private practice group of interventional radiologists in Illinois. In this specialized field – often referred to as “the surgery of the 21st century” – doctors use X-rays and other imaging techniques to see inside the body and guide micro-tools to treat conditions without surgery.

“It’s not just that we are providing these cutting-edge services at our hospitals, but that we’re providing these services to our patients at the highest level of quality,” Crane said.