A headshot of Dr. Avi Lebenthal, a mesothelioma doctor

Dr. Avi Lebenthal

Thoracic Surgeon

A Pleural Mesothelioma Specialist

Mesothelioma is so rare that patients should see a specialist to get the best possible care. A general oncologist may not be up to date on current life-saving treatments. Dr. Avi Lebenthal is a pleural mesothelioma surgeon who, prior to moving to Israel, treated U.S. veterans with mesothelioma.

Many veterans were exposed to asbestos while serving in the military. Dr. Lebenthal was previously one of two mesothelioma specialists in the VA Health Care system. He treated patients at the VA Boston Healthcare Center and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Since Dr. Lebenthal's departure from the U.S. to Israel, Dr. Hassan Khalil serves as a mesothelioma specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Did you know?

Dr. Lebenthal was a combat physician in the Israeli Army. His experience as a military physician gives him a special connection to veterans, especially those exposed to asbestos during their military careers.

As a veteran, Dr. Lebenthal understands the medical issues many veterans are forced to deal with after asbestos exposure in the military. He channels his own personal commitment to care for veterans who have mesothelioma.

“As an officer, I learned the importance of service, dedication, and commitment to a larger cause.”
—Dr. Avi Lebenthal 

Becoming a World-Renowned Mesothelioma Specialist

Dr. Avi Lebenthal is an alumnus of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. He began his medical training shortly after graduating in 1993.

He performed his residency training at the Hadassah Ein Karem University in 2003. Dr. Lebenthal furthered his medical training in the United States. He received training at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He studied general surgery during his training to learn how to properly care for various surgical patients.

Following his training in general surgery, Dr. Lebenthal undertook a fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He remained in Boston and became board certified in general surgery in 2004.

Dr. Avi Lebenthal is a former director of the mesothelioma program at the Boston VA Healthcare System. He is fluent in Arabic, English, Hebrew, and Spanish. He is a member of the International Mesothelioma Program, which helps gather research worldwide to treat the disease.

If you are a veteran who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to additional health care benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Request our free Veterans Packet to learn more about these VA benefits.

Treating Veterans With Mesothelioma

Dr. Avi Lebenthal specializes in minimally invasive surgery, which he believes is better for mesothelioma patients because the recovery time is typically shorter.

Here are some ways Dr. Lebenthal treats pleural mesothelioma:

  • Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D) surgery: Surgeons remove any visible evidence of mesothelioma in the chest and lung. They also remove the lining of the diseased lung. By sparing the lung, patients often have a better quality of life.
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): As the first effective surgery for pleural mesothelioma patients, surgeons remove the diseased lung and the areas in the chest cavity with tumors. They may use this procedure if they feel a P/D can’t effectively remove tumors from the space between the lobes of the lung.
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS): This is when an endoscope is inserted into the pleural space through tiny incisions in the thorax. The endoscope has a tiny video camera and surgical tools at the end of a tube that help in removing various types of lung cancer, including mesothelioma.

Aside from the above surgical procedures, Dr. Lebenthal uses multimodal treatments, which combine chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery. Many mesothelioma specialists agree that multimodal treatment is the best way to extend life expectancy.

If you're a U.S. veteran with mesothelioma, our team can help you file for mesothelioma benefits right now.

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A Mesothelioma Specialist in Boston, Massachusetts

Mesothelioma patients who live in or near the Boston area can meet with Dr. Hassan Khalil, who serves as the current mesothelioma specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Additionally, the Mesothelioma Veterans Center’s nursing support staff can help you locate other top mesothelioma specialists nearby. We can also help you file for VA benefits and other types of financial assistance to help you pay for your treatment costs and other expenses.

Call (877) 450-8973 or fill out our contact form to learn more about top doctors.


The Mesothelioma Veterans Center has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Avi Lebenthal or Dr. Hassan Khalil. The contact information above is listed for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Avi Lebenthal or Dr. Hassan Khalil directly.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA Boston health care. “Asbestos and Mesothelioma.” Retrieved from: https://www.boston.va.gov/services/surgical/Asbestos_and_Mesothelioma.asp. Accessed on March 1, 2024.