Dr. Abraham ‘Avi’ Lebenthal

Thoracic Surgeon and Mesothelioma Specialist

Dr. Abraham “Avi” Lebenthal is one of the highest‑regarded mesothelioma specialists in the world. He’s the former director of the minimally invasive thoracic surgery program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. This includes surgery for pleural mesothelioma. He now works at the University Hospital Samson Assuta Ashdod in Israel

Dr. Abraham ‘Avi’ Lebenthal

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Pleural Mesothelioma

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University Hospital Samson Assuta Ashdod

Ha-Refu'a St. 7, Ashdod, Israel


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More About Mesothelioma Specialist Dr. Avi Lebenthal

For years, Dr. Lebenthal was one of the many talented mesothelioma specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He left Brigham and Women’s Hospital when he moved back to Israel in 2022.  Dr. Lebenthal now works at the University Hospital Samson Assuta Ashdod in Ashdod, Israel.

He will be moved in the United States as one of the top doctors for mesothelioma and a valuable asset to veterans. He joined the Division of Thoracic Surgery in 2011, where he completed most of his surgeries today. He spent four years training at the cancer center prior to joining as a full‑time thoracic surgeon.

Dr. Lebenthal worked within the Dana‑Farber Cancer Institute and International Mesothelioma Program. Both are affiliated with Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was mentored by Dr. David Sugarbaker, who is famous in the mesothelioma community for his skill in treating the disease.

His experience includes a wide range of treatment options, with a focus on less‑invasive approaches and surgeries:

He called radical mesothelioma surgery “a team sport” and similar to “winning the Super Bowl” when done completely and successfully.
“You can’t have any weak links and everybody’s got to be on the same page,” he added.

Dr. Lebenthal also serves as a medical content reviewer for Mesothelioma Guide, ensuring all information available to patients and family members about mesothelioma is accurate and up‑to‑date.

He was also a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

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Medical Degrees and Residencies

    • Medical Degree from Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel, 1993
    • General surgery residency at Hebrew University Medical Center, 2003
    • General surgery fellowship at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, 2000
    • Cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 2008
    • Minimally invasive thoracic surgery fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 2008
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Certifications and Memberships

    • Board‑certified in general surgery
    • Board‑certified in thoracic surgery

A Mesothelioma Specialist for Veterans

Dr. Lebenthal served as a physician in the Israeli Army (1991‑95). Though he may not be a veteran of the U.S. Army, he has an unspoken connection with the veterans he treats. He is highly respected among his patients and is known for being a compassionate doctor.

Dr. Lebenthal brought skills and experience to the VA Boston Healthcare System. He began the mesothelioma program at the VA in 2010 and led it until 2020.

“I identify with the veterans,” he said. “You know, I did some time of my own in the service. I believe that it’s important to give them the best care because they’ve earned it. I think that this is a disease that a lot of them got as a result of their service and part of the things you learn in the military is ownership, so that’s part of why I do this.”

There are very few mesothelioma specialists with experience helping veterans, so patients are likely to make the initial mistake of seeing a general oncologist. Mesothelioma is such a specialized disease that seeing a mesothelioma specialist is vital to the patient receiving the most information and best available treatment.

“As an officer, I learned the importance of service, dedication and commitment to a larger cause,” he said.

Treatment for mesothelioma can be expensive, but veterans can use the VA Health Care System to offset some of those costs. The Boston VA is one of the only centers with a mesothelioma specialist.

Our team of patient advocates and our VA‑accredited claims agent have experience with hundreds of cases. They have connected many patients, veterans or not, with Dr. Lebenthal through the VA or at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Get connected with Dr. Lebenthal using our free Doctor Match program.

Sources & Author

  1. Abraham Lebenthal, MD. U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com/doctors/abraham-lebenthal-76511. Accessed: 07/11/2023.
  2. Abraham Lebenthal, MD. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.dana-farber.org/find-a-doctor/abraham-lebenthal/. Accessed: 08/27/2021.
Devin Golden

About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is a content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.