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Largest practice specialty group in Illinois right here

Bolingbrook, IL – No longer do suburban residents have to travel to one of the big research hospitals in Chicago for specialized interventional radiology treatments. Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, along with the other hospitals of Adventist Midwest Health, is home to the largest practice group of interventional radiologists in Illinois now that a fifth doctor joined the group this week.

“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,” said David L. Crane, President/CEO of Adventist Midwest Health.

In this specialized field, doctors use X-rays and other imaging techniques to see inside the body and guide micro-tools to treat conditions without surgery.

Adventist’s interventional radiology team is also unique because all of the physicians practice only interventional radiology; in most healthcare facilities, radiologists divide their focus between diagnostic and interventional radiology.

Already the team has performed the first transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) procedure on a 55-year-old patient at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital. This non-surgical treatment for liver failure and end-stage liver diseases such as cirrhosis involves creating a bypass in the liver using balloon angioplasty and stent technology. X-ray guidance is used to find the correct vessels and to form a short pathway between them inside the liver. This improves blood flow to and from the liver.

“This treatment truly will impact the patient’s comfort and quality of life,” said Dr. Francis Facchini, one of the doctors who performed the procedure.

The team also performed the first uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) procedure at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, which opened in January. This relatively new procedure is an alternative to a hysterectomy for those patients with uterine fibroids, non-cancerous smooth muscle tumors of the uterus that occur in 20 to 50 percent of women.

This interventional radiology team did the first UFE procedure on a human in Illinois 10 years ago at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital.  “Many American women with uterine fibroids aren’t aware of this high-tech, minimally invasive treatment option because they are still being steered toward surgery,” said Dr. Steven Smith, one of the five specialists.

The Adventist Midwest Health interventional radiology team treats a wide variety of disorders that once required surgery, including clogged arteries, varicose veins, compression fractures of the spine from brittle bones and tumors of the liver.  Other minimally invasive treatments offered include TheraSphere infusion for liver cancer and radiofrequency ablation for lung, liver or kidney cancers.


The group is comprised of:  Dr. Luke Sewall,  Dr. Steven Smith,  Dr. Athanasios Vlahos, Dr. Francis Facchini and Dr. Michael Sichlau.