Spotlight on Dr. Maria Rapciak: Breast Surgeon at the Silver Cross Breast Center
Dr. Maria Rapciak is well known for her expertise in laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Robotic Surgery. But what many of her patients might not know is that this highly accomplished breast/general surgeon is also a hometown girl at heart! Born in Poland and raised in Burbank, Ill., Dr. Rapciak grew up in the bustling southwest suburb that’s bordered by Chicago, Oak Lawn, Bedford Park and Bridgeview.
After high school, Dr. Rapciak stayed close to home, earning her biology degree from nearby Saint Xavier University before completing her medical education at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove. She even completed her surgical internship and residency less than 45 minutes from where she grew up.
Today, Dr. Rapciak continues to make her home in the southwest suburbs. “I’ve lived in this general area my entire life,” she explains. “It is a great privilege to return to the community and be able to provide advanced, individualized medical expertise to my patients.”
Something else you might not know about Dr. Rapciak: She initially planned to become a nurse.
“I’ve always admired nurses for the excellent care they provide while advocating for their patients’ best interests,” she said. But as she continued her studies, Dr. Rapciak discovered that she had a profound curiosity about the disease process itself.
“I wanted to learn more about pathophysiology (the processes within the body that result in the signs and symptoms of a disease) and how it affects patients’ long-term quality of life,” she explains. So Dr. Rapciak set her sights on medical school and after a very memorable general surgery rotation at Cook County Hospital, the rest is history!
Today, this talented surgeon is highly sought after for her expertise in breast and general surgery. Although her general surgery practice with Advanced Surgical Consultants is located in Homer Glen, she’s also on staff at the Silver Cross Breast Center, located inside the Center for Women’s Health. “I am privileged to be a part of a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals at the Silver Cross Breast Center.”
Dr. Rapciak, along with a team of other surgeons, can quickly diagnose disease, explain the range of treatment options available, and help patients decide on a plan tailored to their needs and goals. This may include breast-conserving surgery, surgical biopsy, and mastectomy. “I take pride in working closely with my patients to provide them with the most advanced and comprehensive treatment options individualized to their needs.”
“Patient empowerment and education are crucial to a strong patient-doctor partnership,” Dr. Rapciak adds, “I’m passionate about making sure my patients understand all of their options and are comfortable making the choice that’s best for them.”
Silver Cross Breast Center
Experts at the Breast Center can evaluate and manage patients with breast pain, benign lumps and cysts, and abnormal mammograms, in addition to breast cancer. If surgery is the best option, the procedure will be performed in one of the hospital’s state-of-the-art operating suites, followed by a short stay in a spacious, private patient room – although some patients may go home the same day. If chemotherapy or radiation therapy is recommended, the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross is nearby, offering the latest clinical trials, genetic testing and counseling, and advanced techniques, including prone breast radiation therapy.
After surgery, sometimes patients experience lymphedema, a damaged or blocked lymph system that causes swelling in the arms or legs. At Silver Cross, therapists with the world-renowned Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago are available to help patients find relief – both in the hospital and at home. And through Siona Boutique, patients have access to a variety of specialized products to help them look good and feel better.
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In her free time, Dr. Rapciak enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening, cooking, and traveling. International travel is her favorite. In fact, she combined her love of medicine with her love of travel by participating in medical missions to Tanzania and Ecuador while she was in school. Her family, friends and her patients appreciate the genuine warmth she brings to every encounter.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Rapciak in the Silver Cross Breast Center, call (815)300-6350.