Ermilo Barrera, M.D.

Ermilo Barrera, M.D.

Ermilo Barrera, M.D.

Log into NorthShoreConnect


Personal Bio

Treatment Philosophy

I believe in complete honesty with patients regarding their diseases and expectations of what I can do to help them.

Personal Interests

Basketball, soccer, music (especially jazz).

Conditions & Procedures


Appendix, Benign Breast Disease, Breast Cancer, Cyst, Gallbladder, Gallbladder Disease, Hernia, Lipoma, Melanoma, Sarcoma, Skin Lesion


Abdominal Hernia Repair, Breast Surgery, Gallbladder Surgery, General Surgery, Hernia Repair, Hernia Surgery, Inguinal Hernia Repair, Lipomas, Skin Lesions, Melanoma Surgery, Minimally Invasive Hernia Surgery, Port-a-cath, Sarcoma Surgery, Surgical Oncology

General Information




NorthShore Medical Group


General Surgery, Oncologic Surgery, Breast Cancer

Academic Rank

Clinical Associate Professor


English, Spanish

Board Certified


Clinical Service

Surgical Oncology

Education, Training & Fellowships

Medical School

Baylor College of Medicine, 1980


Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine


University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center



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

5758 S. Maryland Ave.
DCAM Suite 2B
Chicago, IL 60637
773.702.8222 847.773.5292 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.


Commercial Plans
  • Aetna Choice POS
  • Aetna Elect Choice EPO and EPO
  • Aetna Health Network Options
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Managed Choice
  • Aetna Managed Choice POS
  • Aetna Open Choice PPO
  • Aetna Open Choice PPO (Aetna HealthFund)
  • Aetna QPOS
  • Aetna Savings Plus
  • Aetna Select
  • Beechstreet PPO Network
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - PPO Products
    Not Contracted Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Choice PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Advantage
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield HMOI
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna LocalPlus
  • Cigna Open Access Plus (OAP)
  • Cigna Open Access Plus with CareLink (OAPC)
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cofinity PPO (an Aetna Company)
  • Coventry Health Care Elect Choice EPO
  • Coventry Health Care First Health PPO
  • Galaxy Health PPO Network
  • Great West PPO/POS
  • Healthcare's Finest Network (HFN)
  • Humana - All Commercial Plans (including Choice Care)
  • Humana - NorthShore Complete Care
  • Humana/ChoiceCare Network PPO
  • Medicare
  • Multiplan and PHCS PPO Network (Including PHCS Savility)
  • NorthShore Employee Network
  • Preferred Plan PPO
  • Three Rivers Provider PPO Network (TRPN)
  • Tricare
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare - All Commercial Plans
    Not Contracted United Healthcare Core
    Not Contracted United Healthcare Navigate
Exchange Plans
  • Aetna Whole Health Chicago
  • Not Contracted Blue Cross Blue Shield - PPO Products
    Not Contracted Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Choice PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Precision HMO
  • Coventry (PPO)
  • Harken Health - an Affiliate of United Healthcare
    Verify physician participation and out of pocket expenses with Harken
  • Land of Lincoln Health Traditional PPO
  • Not Contracted United Healthcare Compass
  • Illinois Department of Public Aid (IDPA)
  • Illinicare ICP
  • Community Care Partners
Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Aetna Medicare (SM) Plan (HMO)
  • Aetna Medicare (SM) Plan (PPO)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage PPO Plan
  • Cigna-HealthSpring Advantage HMO
  • Cigna-HealthSpring Premier HMO-POS
  • Cigna-HealthSpring Primary HMO
  • Humana Gold Plus HMO
  • Humana Gold Plus PFFS
  • HumanaChoice PPO
  • United Healthcare - All Medicare Plans
Medicare Medicaid Alignment Initiative (MMAI) Plans
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Community
  • HealthSpring
  • Humana
  • Illinicare Health Plan
  • Meridian Complete


  • Patient satisfaction with nipple-sparing mastectomy: A prospective study of patient reported outcomes using the BREAST-Q.

    Journal of surgical oncology 2016 Jul 8

    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 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]
  • Endoscopic treatment for Bouveret syndrome.

    Surgical endoscopy 2013 Feb

    Authors: Zhao JC, Barrera E, Salabat M, Denham W, Leung D, Ujiki M
    Gallstone ileus is an uncommon cause for small bowel obstruction. Less than 3 % of cases are due to a gallstone impacted in the duodenum or pylorus resulting in a gastric outlet obstruction, described by Bouveret in 1896. Most of the successful therapeutic maneuvers described involve open surgical removal of the stone through either a gastrotomy or duodenotomy, and reported morbidity is not insignificant. Endoscopic techniques continue to evolve, allowing for more complex procedures and avoidance of open surgery and its accompanying high morbidity. This video displays a rarely used endoscopic method of relieving gastric outlet obstruction caused by a stone in a patient with Bouveret syndrome.
    Video of successful endoscopic retrieval of a gallstone lodged in the pylorus is presented. An endoscopic retrieval basket is used, and key maneuvers highlighted include passage of the closed device distal to the stone, opening of the basket, and withdrawal of the stone under direct vision.
    After successful retrieval, endoscopic inspection revealed a normal duodenum and relief of the obstruction. Cholecystectomy was not performed, given that most cholecystoduodenal fistulae are large and will spontaneously close, especially if a patent cystic duct is present. Liver function tests were normal postoperatively, so no further evaluation of the bile duct was necessary.
    With new advances in technology, the endoscopic approach should be considered as the first line of treatment for cases of Bouveret syndrome because most patients are elderly with multiple comorbidities.
    PMID: 23052513 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Single-incision surgery has higher cost with equivalent pain and quality-of-life scores compared with multiple-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a prospective randomized blinded comparison.

    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 2012 Nov

    Authors: Leung D, Yetasook AK, Carbray J, Butt Z, Hoeger Y, Denham W, Barrera E, Ujiki MB
    Since the development of single-incision surgery, several retrospective studies have demonstrated its feasibility; however, randomized prospective trials are still lacking. We report a prospective randomized single-blinded trial with a cost analysis of single-incision (SI) to multi-incision (MI) laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
    After obtaining IRB approval, patients with chronic cholecystitis, acute cholecystitis, or biliary dyskinesia were offered participation in this multihospital, multisurgeon trial. Consenting patients were computer randomized into either a transumbilical SI or standard MI group; patient data were then entered into a prospective database.
    We report 79 patients that were prospectively enrolled and analyzed. Total hospital charges were found to be significantly different between SI and MI groups (MI $15,717 ± $14,231 vs SI $17,817 ± $5,358; p < 0.0001). Broken down further, the following subcharges were found to also be significant: operating room charges (MI $4,445 ± $1,078 vs SI $5,358 ± 893; p < 0.0001); medical/surgical supplies (MI $3,312 ± $6,526 vs SI $5,102 ± $1,529; p < 0.0001); and anesthesia costs (MI $579 ± $7,616 vs SI $820 ± $23,957; p < 0.0001). A validated survey (ie, Surgical Outcomes Measurement System) was used to evaluate various patient quality-of-life parameters at set visits after surgery; scores were statistically equivalent for fatigue, physical function, and satisfaction with results. No difference was found between visual analogue scale scores or inpatient and outpatient pain-medication use.
    We show SI surgery to have higher costs than MI surgery with equivalent quality-of-life scores, pain analogue scores, and pain-medication use.
    PMID: 22819642 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Sentinel node biopsy alone for node-positive breast cancer: 12-year experience at a single institution.

    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 2011 Jul

    Authors: Spiguel L, Yao K, Winchester DJ, Gorchow A, Du H, Sener SF, Martz B, Turk M, Barrera E, Winchester DP
    Complete node dissection for a tumor-positive sentinel node (SN) is becoming more controversial. We report our institution's 12-year experience with sentinel node biopsy (SNB) alone for a tumor-positive SN.
    This was a retrospective review from 1998 to 2009. Of 3,806 patients who underwent SNB, 2,139 underwent SNB alone, of which 1,997 were tumor-negative and 123 were tumor-positive. SNs were staged node-positive (N1mic or N1) according to American Joint Committee on Cancer criteria.
    One hundred and twenty-three node-positive patients underwent SNB alone with no completion axillary dissection for invasive breast cancer. Mean age was 57 years (range 32 to 92 years) and stage distribution was as follows: stage IIA: 76 (62%) patients; stage IIB: 40 (33%) patients; and stage III: 4 patients (3%). Mean size of the tumors was 1.9 cm (range 0.1 to 9 cm). Eighty-nine (72%) underwent lumpectomy and 34 (28%) underwent mastectomy. Ninety-three percent of patients underwent some form of adjuvant therapy. Forty-two patients (34%) did not undergo radiation and there were no axillary recurrences in this group. At median follow-up of 95 months, there has been 1 axillary recurrence (0.8%) and 13 deaths, 4 of which were attributed to metastatic breast cancer and the rest to non-breast-related causes.
    Axillary recurrence is rare after SN biopsy alone. This might be related to favorable tumor and patient characteristics and frequent use of adjuvant therapy.
    PMID: 21530326 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • The effects of hormone replacement therapy on postmenopausal breast cancer biology and survival.

    American journal of surgery 2009 Mar

    Authors: Sener SF, Winchester DJ, Winchester DP, Du H, Barrera E, Bilimoria M, Krantz S, Rabbitt S
    The goal of this study was to compare the characteristics of breast cancers and survival rates in HRT users versus nonusers.
    Data were analyzed for 1055 patients > or = 50 years of age who had definitive therapy for breast cancer from 1994 through 2002.
    There were 471 (45%) HRT users. The median age at diagnosis was 61.0 years for HRT users and 68.0 years for HRT nonusers (P < .001). HRT users more often had tumors that were <1 cm (P = .007), node negative (P = .033), and grade I (P = .016). HRT users had a decreased risk of death versus nonusers (hazard ratio = .438, 95% confidence limit = .263 to .729, P = .002).
    HRT users developed breast cancer at a younger age than nonusers; HRT use was associated with the development of biologically more favorable cancers than those that developed in nonusers; and overall and disease-free survival rates were higher in HRT users than nonusers.
    PMID: 19245923 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Combined replacement of infrarenal aorta and inferior vena cava after en bloc resection of retroperitoneal extraosseous osteosarcoma.

    Journal of vascular surgery 2008 Aug

    PMID: 18644493 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]