Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center to Live-Tweet Rare Surgery

Follow us on Tuesday, June 5, for a peek into the OR.


You don’t have to scrub in to be a part of the Operating Room at Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center on Tuesday, June 5. You can follow a live Twittercast of a unique surgery not performed anywhere else in the state by following @WestSubMC on Twitter. Coverage begins at 9 a.m. and will include pictures and play-by-play Tweets of the surgery. West Suburban Medical Center is one of the first community hospitals in Illinois to live-Tweet a surgery. Social media is becoming an increasingly valuable health resource for patients, as it allows people to have conversations about healthcare in real time.

The Twittercast will follow Dr. Frederick Tiesenga, M.D., Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery at West Suburban Medical Center, as he performs a unique hybrid surgery on a patient with a hiatal hernia and Gastrointestinal Relflux Disorder (GERD). A hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach sticks upward into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm, resulting from weakened tissues in the area. The related condition, GERD, affects an estimated 15 million Americans; it occurs when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus, irritating the esophageal lining.

Until a few years ago, a patient living with a hiatal hernia and GERD was faced with either managing chronic pain by using medications – many of which have adverse side effects with prolonged use – or undergoing a major surgery with many risks. Now patients are able to have a single incision surgery that addresses the anatomical problem, leaving no scarring.

Dr. Tiesenga is the only surgeon in Illinois to perform a unique hybrid surgery to address hiatal hernia and GERD combining a Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) and Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF). Dr. Tiesenga will reconstruct an esophageal valve using TIF, an incisionless procedure going through the mouth, and he will go through the patient’s bellybutton with a single incision to repair a hiatal hernia.

“The type of procedure we’re going to share was a major surgery with a lot of scarring and risky complications only a few years ago,” says Dr. Tiesenga. “Now the patient will be having two surgeries at once – an incisionless surgery and a single-incision surgery – and will walk away with no scarring.”

The patient is a 54-year old Melrose Park man who consented to the Twittercast of his procedure because he wants to help other people to see what the surgery is like so that they can prepare for their own surgeries without fear.

After six months of severe throat pain whenever he ate, the patient consulted several physicians about potential causes before West Suburban Gastroenterologist Kamran Heydarpour, M.D., discovered he had a hiatal hernia and referred him to Dr. Tiesenga for surgery.

Join us:
Tuesday, June 5
Coverage begins at 9 a.m.

Follow @WestSuburbanMC or use hashtag #VHCSurgery

Tweet Us! Dr. Tiesenga and his staff will be happy to respond to live questions during the surgery.

Frederick Tiesenga, M.D., Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center, received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and his residency clinical training at Metropolitan Group Hospitals in Chicago.