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Ermilo Barrera, M.D.

Ermilo Barrera, M.D.

Ermilo Barrera, M.D.

General Surgery, Oncologic Surgery, Breast Cancer
  • Locations

    NorthShore Medical Group

    2050 Pfingsten Rd.
    Suite 128
    Glenview, IL 60026
    847.570.1700 847.733.5292 fax Get Directions This location is wheelchair accessible.

    NorthShore Medical Group

    2050 Pfingsten Rd.
    Suite 130
    Glenview, IL 60026
    847.570.1700 847.733.5292 fax Get Directions This location is wheelchair accessible.
  • Publications
    • Impact of the Society of Surgical Oncology-American Society for Radiation Oncology Margin Guidelines on Breast-Conserving Surgery and Mastectomy Trends.

      Journal of the American College of Surgeons 2019 Mar 20

      Authors: Kantor O, Pesce C, Kopkash K, Barrera E, Winchester DJ, Kuchta K, Yao K
      In 2014, the Society of Surgical Oncology and American Society for Radiation Oncology guidelines defined negative margin for stage I and II breast cancer as "no tumor on ink." We hypothesized that repeat operation rates have decreased since the guideline introduction and would be associated with changes in overall surgical trends.
      The National Cancer Database was used to identify women who underwent initial breast-conserving surgery (BCS) for stage I and II breast cancer from 2004 to 2015.
      Of 521,578 patients that underwent initial BCS, 82.7% had BCS alone and 17.3% had repeat operation: 67% with BCS followed by another BCS, 24% with BCS followed by unilateral mastectomy, and 9% with BCS followed by bilateral mastectomy (BM). The repeat operation rate decreased from 16.2% in 2004 to 14.0% in 2015 (p < 0.01). Breast-conserving surgery with repeat BCS decreased from 12.8% to 9.7%, and BCS followed by BM increased from 0.7% in 2004 to 1.9% 2013, then decreased to 1.4% in 2015. Trends for all surgical patients regardless of initial procedure showed a BCS rate of 64.0% in 2013 that increased to 67.6% in 2015. The BM rate increased from 4.6% in 2004 to 13.6% in 2013, then decreased to 12.8% in 2015 (p < 0.05). Adjusted multivariable regression found independent predictors of repeat operation to be diagnosis before 2014 (odds ratio [OR] 1.25), age younger than 50 years (OR 1.70), Her2neu receptor-positive tumors (OR 1.61), and lobular histology (OR 1.61).
      Repeat operation rates are decreasing after 2014, which is also associated with a rise in BCS and decrease in BM rates. Dissemination of margin guidelines for early-stage breast cancer might be impacting overall surgical trends.
      PMID: 30902638 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Axillary Surgery for Early-Stage, Node-Positive Mastectomy Patients and the Use of Postmastectomy Chest Wall Radiation Therapy.

      Annals of surgical oncology 2018 Aug

      Authors: Gaines S, Suss N, Barrera E, Pesce C, Kuchta K, Winchester DJ, Yao K
      We examined axillary surgery in mastectomy patients with tumor-positive nodes and how the type of axillary surgery impacted use of postmastectomy chest wall radiation therapy (PMRT).
      Using the National Cancer Data Base, we selected patients with AJCC cT1/T2c N0 breast cancer with one to three tumor-positive lymph nodes treated between 2013 and 2014. Type of axillary surgery was analyzed using the FORDS scope of regional lymph node surgery variable. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to identify independent predictors associated with SNB alone and the use of PMRT.
      Of 8089 patients, 2482 (30.7%) underwent SNB alone, 1339 (16.6%) underwent axillary dissection (ALND) alone, and 4268 (52.7%) underwent SNB followed by ALND. Fifty-seven percent of patients with micrometastases underwent SNB alone compared with 22.6% of patients with macrometastases. Independent predictors of SNB alone for patients with micrometastases were African American race, number of nodes positive, and PMRT. For patients with macrometastases, age, facility type and location, and PMRT were independent predictors for SNB alone. Of 2449 patients who underwent SNB alone, 1538 (62.8%) had no PMRT, 261 (10.7%) had PMRT alone, and 650 (26.5%) had PMRT with regional nodal irradiation. Patients undergoing SNB alone were 1.70 times [96% confidence interval (CI) 1.45-2.00] more likely to undergo PMRT than upfront ALND and 1.51 times (96% CI 1.34-1.71) more likely than SNB followed by ALND.
      Surgeons are omitting completion ALND in a third of early-stage, node-positive mastectomy patients. SNB alone patients are more likely to undergo PMRT than patients undergoing ALND.
      PMID: 29626303 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Erratum to: Impact of an In-visit Decision Aid on Patient Knowledge about Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy: A Pilot Study.

      Annals of surgical oncology 2017 12

      Authors: Yao K, Belkora J, Bedrosian I, Rosenberg S, Sisco M, Barrera E, Kyrillios A, Tilburt J, Wang C, Rabbitt S, Pesce C, Simovic S, Winchester DJ, Sepucha K
      Studies have reported that breast cancer patients have limited understanding about the oncologic outcomes following contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM). We hypothesized that an in-visit decision aid (DA) would be associated with higher patient knowledge about the anticipated short and long term outcomes of CPM.
      We piloted a DA which used the SCOPED: (Situation, Choices, Objectives, People, Evaluation and Decision) framework. Knowledge, dichotomized as "low" (≤3 correct) versus "high" (≥4 correct), was assessed immediately after the visit by a 5 item survey. There were 97 DA patients (response rate 62.2 %) and 114 usual care (UC) patients (response rate 71.3 %).
      Patient demographic factors were similar between the two groups. Twenty-one (21.7 %) patients in the DA group underwent CPM compared with 18 (15.8 %) in the UC group (p = 0.22). Mean and median knowledge levels were significantly higher in the DA group compared with the UC group for patients of all ages, tumor stage, race, family history, anxiety levels, worry about CBC, and surgery type. Eighty-six (78.9 %) of UC versus 35 (37.9 %) DA patients had low knowledge. Of patients who underwent CPM, 15 (83.3 %) in the UC cohort versus 5 (25.0 %) of DA patients had "low" knowledge.
      Knowledge was higher in the DA group. The UC group had approximately three times the number of patients of the DA group who were at risk for making a poorly informed decision to have CPM. Future studies should assess the impact of increased knowledge on overall CPM rates.
      PMID: 28349337 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Long-term patterns and predictors of pain following laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair: a patient-centered analysis.

      Surgical endoscopy 2017 05

      Authors: Patel LY, Lapin B, Gitelis ME, Brown C, Linn JG, Haggerty S, Denham W, Butt Z, Barrera E, Joehl R, Carbray J, Hall T, Ujiki MB
      Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair has been shown to offer patients the benefit of less postoperative pain as compared to traditional open techniques. However, the risk of experiencing significant postoperative pain may affect patient's decision making. We aimed to elucidate potential patterns of pain and the predictors of such, up to 2 years postoperatively, using both generic and specific quality of life tools.
      Patients undergoing laparoscopic totally extra-peritoneal inguinal hernia repair were identified from a prospectively maintained database. Short form-36, Surgical Outcomes Measurement System (SOMS) and Carolinas Comfort Scale (CCS) surveys were administered pre- and postoperatively at 3 weeks, 6 months, 1 and 2 years. Patients with concomitant procedures were excluded. Significant pain was considered mild but bothersome or worse on either specific tool (SOMS scores ≥3/4, CCS scores ≥2). Predictors of significant pain were determined by logistic regression.
      From 2009 to 2015, 482 patients enrolled in our database underwent elective TEP repair of 626 hernias and completed an assessment tool. Mean age was 57 (±15) years, with 93 % male. Reported pain on all three tools improved significantly from baseline over time (p < 0.01). Significant pain on either specific tool, related or unrelated to surgery, was reported by 52 % of respondents (158/301) preoperatively, and postoperatively by 50 % at 3 weeks (111/220), 21 % at 6 months (15/70), 13 % at 1 year (14/108), and 25 % at 2 years (30/121). Significant pain at 6 months-2 years correlated more significantly with general health status than surgical factors.
      Significant pain can be as high as 50 % at 3 weeks on surgery-specific quality of life measures, but with significant improvement by 6 months which is maintained through 2 years. Poor quality of life and general health were the main predictors of pain after 6 months.
      PMID: 27585467 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Patient satisfaction with nipple-sparing mastectomy: A prospective study of patient reported outcomes using the BREAST-Q.

      Journal of surgical oncology 2016 Sep

      Authors: Howard MA, Sisco M, Yao K, Winchester DJ, Barrera E, Warner J, Jaffe J, Hulick P, Kuchta K, Pusic AL, Sener SF
      The authors sought to study patient-reported outcomes following nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM).
      From 2008 to 2011, the BREAST-Q was administered to women undergoing NSM surgery for cancer treatment or risk-reduction prior to surgery and at 2 years after completion of reconstruction. The change in score over time and the impact of surgical indication, complication occurrence, and laterality on scores were analyzed.
      The BREAST-Q was prospectively administered to 39 women undergoing NSM for cancer treatment (n = 17) or risk-reduction (RR) (n = 22). At 2 years after operation, median overall satisfaction with breasts was 75 (IQR = 67,100). There were significant postoperative increases in scores for overall satisfaction with breasts (+8, P = 0.021) and psychosocial well-being (+14, P = 0.003). Postoperatively, RR patients had significantly higher scores for psychosocial wellness, physical impact (chest), and overall satisfaction with outcome compared to cancer treatment patients (P < 0.05). Also, increase from preoperative to postoperative psychosocial wellness was higher in the RR compared to cancer treatment patients (+17 vs. +1, P = 0.043). Complication occurrence did not significantly impact postoperative scores.
      Following NSM for cancer treatment or RR, patients demonstrated high levels of satisfaction and quality of life as measured by BREAST-Q. Satisfaction level increased 2 years following operation. J. Surg. Oncol. 2016;114:416-422. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
      PMID: 27393183 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Patient-centered outcomes following laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair.

      Surgical endoscopy 2015 Sep

      Authors: Ujiki MB, Gitelis ME, Carbray J, Lapin B, Linn J, Haggerty S, Wang C, Tanaka R, Barrera E, Butt Z, Denham W
      Inguinal hernia repair is the most common surgery in the world. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes are arguably the most important elements of successful repair. This study is aimed to describe short- and long-term quality of life outcomes in patients undergoing laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair.
      We prospectively followed patients who underwent totally extraperitoneal laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair (TEP) as part of an Institutional Review Board-approved study. HRQOL was measured preoperatively, or 3 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year postoperatively using Short Form 36 Health Survey Version 2 (SF-36v2) and Carolinas Comfort Scale. Postoperative HRQOL scores were compared to baseline using paired t tests.
      Between June 2009 and February 2014, 1,175 patients underwent TEP by four surgeons. Of those, 301 patients with 388 hernias were registered in the database and followed by a research coordinator. Mean age was 56.4 ± 15.2 years and 93% were male. Mean body mass index was 26.1 ± 3.7 kg/m(2). Seventy-eight percent presented with pain, the majority of which were described as mild. Hernias were unilateral right-sided in 43%, left-sided in 28%, and bilateral in 29 %. Eighty-five percent were primary hernias. Average operative time was 43.5 ± 17.9 min and there were no intraoperative complications. Urinary retention occurred in 6%. Visual analog scale at discharge was 1.9 ± 1.7. Analgesics were used an average of 2.5 ± 3.4 days and return to activities of daily living and work occurred on postoperative 5.5 ± 4.4 and 5.6 ± 3.9 days. Recurrence occurred in 2.1%. Significant improvements between baseline and 1 year were found in role limitations due to physical health (81.5 ± 25.6 vs. 91.8 ± 19.4, p = 0.02), social functioning (87.4 ± 21.3 vs. 92.9 ± 15.3, p = 0.02), and pain (78.2 ± 19.7 vs. 86.6 ± 15.9, p = 0.007).
      TEP results in significant improvement in HRQOL including physical health, social functioning, and pain at 1 year. On average, patients are able to return to activities of daily living and work within a week.
      PMID: 25480626 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Single-incision results in similar pain and quality of life scores compared with multi-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy: A blinded prospective randomized trial of 100 patients.

      Surgery 2013 Oct

      Authors: Zapf M, Yetasook A, Leung D, Salabat R, Denham W, Barrera E, Butt Z, Carbray J, Du H, Wang CE, Ujiki M
      Our objective was to compare hospital charges and both perioperative and mid-term quality of life between single- (SILC) and multi-incision (MILC) laparoscopic cholecystectomy in a randomized controlled trial.
      Patients with acute or chronic biliary disease were invited to participate. Pain scores, quality of life, and perioperative outcomes were measured. Patients were followed for 1 year postoperatively in the clinic with examination to document hernia formation.
      One hundred subjects were randomized to SILC (n = 49) or MILC (n = 51). Demographics were similar for both groups except more women underwent SILC (86% vs 67%, P = .026). Operative time was greater for SILC (63.5 ± 21.0 vs 43.8 ± 24.2 minute, P < .0001). Five SILC patients required added ports. One substantial complication occurred in SILC. Pain, the use of analgesics, and duration of hospital stay were equal between groups; however, charges were greater in the SILC group ($17,602 ± $6,089 vs $13,342 ± $8,197, P < .0001). Both groups reported similar quality of life and cosmesis. At an average follow-up of SILC (16.4 ± 12.1 months) and MILC (16.2 ± 10.5 months), no novel umbilical hernias were identified.
      SILC results in longer operative time and greater hospital charges with similar pain and quality of life scores compared with a standard laparoscopic approach.
      PMID: 24074405 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Patient-centered outcomes after laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

      Surgical endoscopy 2013 Dec

      Authors: Zapf M, Denham W, Barrera E, Butt Z, Carbray J, Wang C, Linn J, Ujiki M
      Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is the second most common general surgical operation performed in the United States, yet little has been reported on patient-centered outcomes.
      We prospectively followed 100 patients for 2 years as part of an institutional review board-approved study. The Surgical Outcomes Measurement System (SOMS) was used to quantify quality-of-life (QoL) values at various time points postoperatively.
      Maximum pain was reported at 24 h (5.5 ± 2.2), and decreased to preoperative levels at 7 days (1.2 ± 2.3 vs. 2.0 ± 1.6, P = 0.096). Bowel function improved from before the operation to 3 weeks after surgery (10.7 ± 3.8 vs. 12.0 ± 3.2, P < 0.05), but then regressed to preoperative levels. Physical function worsened from before surgery (31.7 ± 6.2) to 1 week (27.5 ± 5.9, P < 0.0001), but surpassed preoperative levels at 3 weeks (33.5 ± 3.4, P < 0.01). Return to the activities of daily living occurred at 6.3 ± 4.7 days and work at 11.1 ± 9.0 days. Fatigue increased from before surgery (15.8 ± 6.2) to week 1 (20.7 ± 6.6, P < 0.0001) before improving at week 3 (14.0 ± 5.8, P < 0.01). Forty-four patients contacted the health care team 61 times before their 3 weeks appointment, most commonly for wound issues (26.2%), pain (24.6%), and gastrointestinal issues (24.6%). Seventy-two percent reported that the procedure had no negative effect on cosmesis at 6 months. Satisfaction with the procedure was high, averaging 9.52 out of 11.
      QoL is significantly affected in the 24 h after LC but returns to baseline at week 3. Cosmesis and overall satisfaction are high, and QoL improvements are maintained in the long term except for bowel function, which regresses to preoperative levels of impairment. Analysis of patient-initiated contacts after LC may provide feedback on discharge counseling to increase patient satisfaction.
      PMID: 23943114 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • American Cancer Society lung cancer screening guidelines.

      CA: a cancer journal for clinicians

      Authors: Wender R, Fontham ET, Barrera E
      Findings from the National Cancer Institute's National Lung Screening Trial established that lung cancer mortality in specific high-risk groups can be reduced by annual screening with low-dose computed tomography. These findings indicate that the adoption of lung cancer screening could save many lives. Based on the results of the National Lung Screening Trial, the American Cancer Society is issuing an initial guideline for lung cancer screening. This guideline recommends that clinicians with access to high-volume, high-quality lung cancer screening and treatment centers should initiate a discussion about screening with apparently healthy patients aged 55 years to 74 years who have at least a 30-pack-year smoking history and who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. A process of informed and shared decision-making with a clinician related to the potential benefits, limitations, and harms associated with screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography should occur before any decision is made to initiate lung cancer screening. Smoking cessation counseling remains a high priority for clinical attention in discussions with current smokers, who should be informed of their continuing risk of lung cancer. Screening should not be viewed as an alternative to smoking cessation.
      PMID: 23315954 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]