About Our Practice

Find an Interventional Radiologist at VIR Chicago

VIR is comprised of eight IR specialists whose experience in interventional radiology in the Chicago area extends over 25 years. We are clinic-based, but practice at and cover the Adventist Midwest Health hospitals in the western suburbs of Chicago:

  • Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital
  • Adventist GlenOaks Hospital
  • Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
  • Adventist La Grange Hospital
  • Advocate Sherman Hospital

 

Please contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our Chicago-based interventional radiologist team members.

Each interventional radiologist at VIR has been a leader in bringing this modern specialty to Illinois. All of our physicians have the highest level of certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties: the Certificate of Added Qualifications in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. At VIR, our interventional radiologist team participates in ongoing research and clinical trials and has authored many scientific papers and presentations in the field of interventional radiology. We have had several “firsts” including the first uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) in Illinois, the first placement of a flexible metal stent in a human in Illinois, and recently, the first fibroid embolization ever performed in a gorilla (see photo).

The VIR interventional radiologist team has three other condition-specific websites that we invite you to visit:


Our Physicians

Luke E. Sewall, MD
Luke E. Sewall, MD

Dr. Sewall received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he also completed an internship in surgery. He completed residency training at the University of Wisconsin followed by a fellowship in interventional radiology at the Charles Dotter Institute of Interventional Therapy of the Oregon Health Sciences University. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology, and holds a Certificate of Added Qualification in Interventional Radiology.

His special areas of interest include non-surgical placement of Endovascular Grafts – which can replace some types of bypass surgery. He is experienced at other interventional radiology techniques, such as procedures to open clogged blood vessels (peripheral arterial disease), treat blood clots or stop bleeding without the risks associated with open surgery, minimally invasive cancer treatment, and UFE. Dr. Sewall is a member of several professional societies, including the Radiologic Society of North America, the American Roentgen Ray Society, the Society of Interventional Radiology and the American Medical Association.

He has authored and co-authored numerous articles, scientific exhibits and book chapters.  He has participated in research involving aneurysm repair, deep vein clotting, spine fracture repair, and other image guided procedures.

Dr Sewall has been designated as a “Top Doctor” for Chicago 2012 by Castle Connolly, and Chicago Magazine.


Steven J. Smith, MD
Steven J. Smith, MD

Dr. Smith is a pioneer in performing uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), and an active participant in research studies and clinical trials to validate the safety and efficacy of UFE as a treatment for uterine fibroids.

He and his colleague Dr. Sewall were among the first interventional radiologists in the nation to complete specialty training in the procedure. In April 1998, Dr. Smith and the Interventional Radiology team at La Grange Memorial Hospital performed the Midwest’s first Uterine Artery Embolization procedure as a treatment of uterine fibroids. Since then, hundreds of women have been treated with UFE by Dr. Smith and his colleagues. Their practice is recognized as one of the nation’s leading centers for the treatment of uterine fibroids. Dr Smith’s other special interests include varicocele embolization, peripheral arterial disease, non surgical repair of spine fractures and minimally invasive treatment of chronic pelvic pain in women.

Dr. Smith earned his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. He served his internship and residency in Radiology at the Henry Ford Hospital, also in Detroit. He then completed a fellowship in Interventional Radiology and in CT/Ultrasound at Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, where he served as Clinical Associate Professor in Diagnostic Radiology for 25 years.

Dr. Smith has been selected as one of Chicago’s Top Doctors by Chicago Magazine in 2004-2012, and was named one of America’s Top doctors by Castle Connoly’s guide and Consumer Reports.  He is a “top 1%” in his field physician as selected by US News and World Report.



Athanasios Vlahos, MD

Dr. Vlahos completed his medical school training at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, Illinois. He completed his Radiology residency training and his interventional radiology training at the University of Illinois OSF Saint Francis Medical center in Peoria, Illinois. He is a member of the society of Interventional Radiology, the Radiologic Society of North America, and the American College of Radiology. Dr Vlahos is board-certified in diagnostic radiology, and vascular and interventional radiology.

His special areas of interest include minimally invasive treatment of peripheral arterial disease, treatment of cosmetic and medical (painful) varicose vein disease, and interventional oncology (minimally invasive cancer treatment). He has participated in scientific studies involving spine fracture repair, minimally invasive cancer treatment, Pulmonary embolism and IVC filters.



Frank Facchini, MD

Dr. Facchini is a board-certified physician in Interventional Radiology Dr. Facchini received his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. He completed an internship in surgery at the University of Chicago. He completed residency training followed by a fellowship in interventional radiology at Northwestern University. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology, and holds a Certificate of Added Qualification in Interventional Radiology.

Dr. Facchini is a member of several professional societies, including the Radiologic Society of North America, the American Roentgen Ray Society, the Society of Interventional Radiology and the American Medical Association.

His special areas of interest is minimally invasive image guided treatment of cancer (interventional oncology).  He maintains an academic appointment as a Clinical Associate Professor of Radiology at Northwestern University and has authored and co-authored numerous articles, scientific exhibits and book chapters.  He is actively involved in cancer research, and founded our Y-90 liver cancer treatment program, one of the largest of its kind in the Midwest.   Dr Facchini also has lead a research project to investigate a new devices to repair spine fractures non-surgically, and another to repair aortic aneurysms.

Recently, Dr Fachini had been elected a Fellow of the Society of Interventional Radiology, and was appointed as Development Chair of its Foundation.



Michael Sichlau, MD

Dr. Michael Sichlau is a board-certified interventional radiologist, who has been in practice since 1999. He has worked with thousands of patients with a wide variety of conditions that can be treated with Interventional Radiology. Dr. Sichlau has authored numerous publications and lectures, and he regularly trains other physicians in various Interventional Radiology techniques.

Dr. Sichlau received his MD degree from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 1994, and completed his diagnostic radiology residency at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. He completed his fellowship in Vascular and Interventional Radiology at Northwestern University. He is board-certified in diagnostic radiology, and holds a Certificate of Added Qualification in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. He is also a Registered Vascular Technologist, and Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation certified by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

In addition to general Interventional Radiology, Dr. Sichlau has specific interest in interventional oncology, which applies Interventional Radiology techniques to treating many types of cancer. Dr. Sichlau also has extensive experience in treating varicose vein disorders and vertebral compression fractures. Professional society memberships include the Society of Interventional Radiology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and American College of Phlebology.  He is the leader in our practice for research into deep vein thrombosis treatment, via his involvement with the ongoing multicenter ATTRACT trial.

Dr. Sichlau is an Assistant Professor at the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. Aside from numerous publications, lectures, and book chapters, Dr. Sichlau is a reviewer for the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

 



George Behrens, MD

Dr Behrens trained in diagnostic radiology at the University of Caracas, in his home country of Venezuela. He completed a surgery internship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, then a year of fellowship in interventional radiology at Rush. He is Board certified in radiology by the ABR.

Dr Behrens is trained in interventional oncology (image guided treatment of cancer), and has a particular interest in non-surgical treatment of liver disease. He has done research in non-surgical treatment of portal hypertension during his fellowship. He has been the author of numerous research papers and book chapters on liver disease, arterial disease, and venous conditions.



Steven Sauk, MD

Dr. Steven Sauk is a graduate from Yale University where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, and completed his medical school training at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in Los Angeles, California.  He completed his internship at Olive-View UCLA Medical Center, then his Radiology residency and Interventional Radiology fellowship in the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University.  He is a member of the Society of Interventional Radiology, the Radiologic Society of North America, and the American College of Radiology.  He is board certified in Radiology by the American Board of Radiology.

Dr. Sauk has published and presented research in interventional oncology and portal hypertension treatments.  He has special interests in hepatobiliary interventions, interventional oncology and venous disorders which include the management deep venous thrombosis, varicose veins, and venous compression disorders.



Quinn Thalheimer, PA

Quinn Thalheimer is a Physician Assistant working alongside the physicians of VIR. He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Health Sciences, and a minor in psychology. He holds a Paramedic degree from AS School of Medicine. He graduated from the physician assistant program at Midwestern University.

Quinn’s experience includes work as a physical therapy assistant, and a tour as an EMT-paramedic. He is certified in advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support. He holds an Illinois Physician Assistant license, and works closely with our doctors in providing the highest level of patient care.



Kara Ozog, PA-C

Kara Ozog received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After graduation, she spent two years working in a research lab focusing on prevention and treatment of cerebral palsy. She went on to earn her Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies in 2005 at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Illinois. Kara has worked in Interventional Radiology since that time, and joined our practice in 2014.

Kara is board certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). She is a licensed Physician Assistant in Illinois. She holds certifications in basic life support and advanced cardiac life support. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR).



Angi Courtney, PA-C MS

Angi Courtney PA-C MS came to our group in 2015, but has an extensive experience in clinical and academic medicine. She graduated Cum Laude from Arizona State in Biology, then received her Masters Degree from Baylor’s Physician Assistant Program in 1996.

She has worked as a P.A. in a general surgery group, a CV surgery group, an orthopedic surgery group, and worked for 9 years in an academic interventional radiology practice at Northwestern. While there, she also served as an Instructor in the P.A. Program at Northwestern. She independently operated a minor procedure room at Northwestern Interventional Radiology, placing chest ports, lines, performing para and thoracenteses. Angi also played an active role in the Northwestern Vein clinic.

Angi has a longstanding interest and experience in Interventional Oncology. She has authored, and co-authored multiple scientific papers and exhibits on interventional radiology treatment of cancer. Angi has presented many invited lectures nationally, and internationally, on loco-regional treatment of liver cancer, PleurX catheter usage, clinical management of oncology patients, and many other topics.