Matthew Endara, M.D., Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon at Silver Cross Hospital
At just 32 years old, Dr. Matthew Endara is frequently called upon by his colleagues to help patients after a traumatic injury or illness. The young plastic and reconstructive surgeon is using his advanced training to bring the latest techniques for rebuilding limbs and muscles using the most cutting-edge techniques and technology to patients at Silver Cross Hospital. His unique approach ensures that each patient has the best opportunity for a successful outcome—regardless of how small or complex the procedure.
“I’m not afraid to use advanced techniques if they work best for the patient,” said Dr. Endara. “At the end of the day, it is really about what the patient needs to be healthy and happy.”
In the short time that Dr. Endara has been on the Silver Cross Medical Staff, he has worked closely with experts of every kind, from neurosurgeons to primary care physicians to orthopedic surgeons and oncologists. Just last month, Dr. Endara was the first surgeon in Will and Grundy counties to use the most advanced form of breast reconstruction available today—the DIEP Flap, to reconstruct a patient’s breast following a mastectomy. During this intricate surgery, Dr. Endara used the patient’s own abdominal skin and fat to reconstruct a natural, soft breast while minimizing the impact on the abdominal wall and muscles.
“Although implants are an excellent option many patients following mastectomy; when the breast is reconstructed entirely with a patient’s own tissue, the results are generally more natural and there are no concerns about problems with implants,” said Dr. Endara. “By transferring abdominal tissue using the free flap technique and preserving most or all of the rectus abdominis muscle, patients experience less pain, enjoy a faster recovery, maintain their core strength long-term, and have a lower risk of any complications over the more traditional, ‘pedicled TRAM’ flap, which uses the entire rectus muscle.”
“Consideration of reconstructive surgery is an essential component of caring for a patient with breast cancer,” said Dr. Grace K. Suh, medical oncologist with the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross and Conference and Co-Chair of the hospital’s Multi-Disciplinary Breast Conference. “We discuss every patient who has been diagnosed and consider what is the best treatment recommendation for the individual. We are fortunate to have Dr. Endara with his specialized expertise in complex reconstructive techniques. I believe that this is a unique offering to our patients.”
In addition to his extensive experience with microvascular free tissue transfer for breast reconstruction, Dr. Endara is also uniquely well-trained in lower extremity reconstruction, peripheral nerve surgery, and cosmetic surgery.
Strong Roots in the Windy City, Volunteering Far from Home
Dr. Endara was born and raised on the Northwest side of Chicago. After graduating from Northwestern University, he attended Feinberg School of Medicine where he earned his medical degree in 2008. There he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, a professional organization that recognizes and advocates for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine. He then moved to Washington D.C. to complete a surgery internship and plastic surgery residency at Georgetown University Hospital. Since then, he has published dozens of papers in peer reviewed medical journals and presented at numerous conferences. His research into the roll that high blood sugar levels play in complications following surgical closures garnered national media attention through stories in the Wall Street Journal’s Marketplace, Yahoo News and several other online media outlets. In 2012, Dr. Endara was awarded a grant from the Curtis National Hand Center for his research on the implications of the use of leg bones for reconstruction of complex bone and cartilage defects; the results of which have been accepted for publication in The Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery.
With a deep desire to use his skills to help those less fortunate, Dr. Endara spent a good part of the last 10 years participating in medical mission trips to South and Central America. Last winter, he accompanied his father—a family practice physician, to Ecuador providing free health care and plastic surgery to 41 children in remote areas of the country.
“The importance of helping others has always been a strong part of my family values and an ideal that I have aspired to throughout my life. I feel lucky that I have been blessed with the training and talents to help those less fortunate in ways that can be truly life-changing.”
Dr. Endara recently moved back to the southwest suburbs to be closer to his family—all healthcare workers. Both his mother and sister are in the nursing field.
In August 2014, he joined the practice of Dr. Alan Chen in Joliet and couldn’t be happier. “I am very lucky to have joined such a talented and well respected surgeon as Dr. Chen and plan to follow his example of excellence in patient care. I hope to really make a difference here for many years to come.”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Endara, call (815) 729-9527.