About Dr. Lebenthal
Dr. Abraham “Avi” Lebenthal is a thoracic surgical oncologist who specializes in pleural mesothelioma treatment and research for civilians and veterans.
Dr. Lebenthal is one of the few mesothelioma experts who works specifically with veterans, and he has military experience of his own. He spent 13 years working in various divisions of the Israeli Army, four of which were as a battalion physician. He is uniquely compassionate about veteran needs and care.
“I have a deep admiration and respect for those who served in the military. One of the things you learn is: There is no such thing as ‘I can’t.’ You learn to take responsibility and ownership. And you better have precise execution. It’s the same in medicine.”
– Dr. Avi Lebenthal
Dr. Lebenthal was born in Israel and grew up in the United States. He speaks English, Spanish, Arabic, and Hebrew.
Dr. Avi Lebenthal was born in Jerusalem and raised in the United States. He holds dual Israeli and U.S. citizenship.
Having served in the Israeli Army as an infantry unit commander and physician, Dr. Lebenthal learned how to lead under pressure, a quality that has served him well as a surgeon. It’s clear that his frontline military experience has given Dr. Lebenthal great credibility among his veteran patients who have tremendous respect for him.
Dr. Lebenthal attended the top medical school in Israel — the Hebrew University Medical School.
After completing training and fellowships in the U.S., Dr. Lebenthal and a team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital traveled to the Hebrew University Medical School to perform and teach Israeli surgeons the minimally invasive surgical techniques the team had developed and perfected at BWH.
After serving as a leading Thoracic Surgeon at Fox Chase Medical Center in Philadelphia, Dr. Lebenthal returned to BWH. He continues to work at BWH and also splits his time between the Boston VA and Harvard Medical School, instructing thoracic surgery to the next generation of world-class surgeons.
Dr. Lebenthal is a highly respected mesothelioma doctor, known for his compassion.
Dr. Lebenthal’s Career Accomplishments
Dr. Abraham Lebenthal has led an illustrious career.
A few of his career accomplishments include:
- Leading pleural mesothelioma specialist
- Fellowships in minimally invasive procedures and cardiothoracic surgery
- Improved mesothelioma treatment access for veterans
- Taught ground-breaking techniques to Israeli surgeons
- Educates the next generation of medical care professionals
Awards and Honors
Dr. Lebenthal has received many awards throughout his career, including:
- Compassionate Doctors
- Golden Heart Award #1
- Golden Heart Award #2
- Golden Heart Award #3
- Patients Choice Award – 2008 & 2009
- Letter of Distinction for Bravery (Israeli Army)
Dr. Lebenthal is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon who focuses solely on thoracic conditions, including lung cancer, mesothelioma and esophageal diseases. His subspecialties include minimally invasive thoracic surgery, thoracic surgical oncology and trauma surgery. He is also interested in hernia management, rib fractures and lung neoplasms.
Dr. Lebenthal has developed and refined surgical procedures using VATS technology. VATS allows surgeons to have increased visibility inside the thoracic cavity when they would otherwise be limited in their ability to access certain areas of the thorax.
VATS surgeries are especially important for mesothelioma patients, who may not be able to withstand a full thoracotomy (open chest surgery). VATS helps reduce the risk of surgical complications in mesothelioma patients and improves recovery times as it doesn’t require a large chest incision.
One of the specializations that Dr. Lebenthal is most well-known for is his ability to treat pleural mesothelioma — a rare and complex disease only a small number of surgeons specialize in.
Dr. Lebenthal has taken his focus in thoracic oncological surgeries and combined it with his skills in minimally invasive surgery to put patient health and care first.
Dr. Lebenthal trained at BWH under the late Dr. David Sugarbaker, where he learned the highly technical and complex surgery for pleural mesothelioma, the EPP.
In addition to the EPP, Dr. Lebenthal is also skilled in treating mesothelioma patients with lung-saving surgery called pleurectomy with decortication (P/D).
As one of only two mesothelioma specialists within the VA Healthcare System, Dr. Avi Lebenthal is an incredible asset to veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma.
As a military veteran himself, Dr. Lebenthal is deeply empathetic towards the struggles that veterans face and their specific needs following a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Being deeply devoted to improving quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare for veterans, Dr. Lebenthal and his team implemented a telephone triage system for veterans experiencing mesothelioma symptoms.
In the experiment, Dr. Lebenthal and his team assessed the feasibility of a national phone system that would allow veterans to call in and describe their symptoms to get access to healthcare quicker.
By triaging veterans by phone, it allows VA health administrators to connect patients with the appropriate specialist sooner, allowing them to get the right type of care plan they need.
Dr. Lebenthal’s Work at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Dr. Lebenthal is currently the Director of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery at BWH, a world-class treatment facility.
The thoracic surgery team at BWH is dedicated to patient care by shortening operating and recovery times, reducing morbidity rates, and improving surgical success rates with minimally invasive techniques.
Dr. Lebenthal performs complex surgeries like the EPP and the P/D using the latest technology in VATS and robotic-assisted surgery.
Knowing that treating mesothelioma is a team approach, Dr. Lebenthal works closely with other mesothelioma specialists at BWH to ensure that all patients receive a multimodal treatment strategy.
Dr. Lebenthal recognizes the critical importance that having a multidisciplinary treatment team provides to the patient. He stresses that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to treating mesothelioma.
He explains that treatment is “about knowing how to tailor a solution for an individual patient.”
To support this patient care philosophy, Dr. Lebenthal and all mesothelioma specialists at BWH work together to design a treatment strategy that includes not only the minimally invasive surgeries that Dr. Lebenthal is known for but also chemotherapy, radiation, and new treatments being investigated in clinical trials as well.
Working With Dr. Avi Lebenthal
Pleural mesothelioma patients, both civilian and veteran, can rest assured that they are in capable hands with Dr. Avi Lebenthal.
A highly respected mesothelioma specialist with over 20 years of practice, Dr. Lebenthal has the practical and research experience necessary to offer the best mesothelioma treatments.
Being the winner of a Compassionate Doctors Award and the three-time winner of the Golden Heart Award, Dr. Lebenthal is also recognized for his considerable kindness and humanity he displays towards his patients.
For more information on working with Dr. Lebenthal, contact Mesothelioma Hope today.