Lenox Hill Hospital – a premier destination in NYC for exceptional care November 17, 2022
Feature Specialty: Neurosurgery
The Department of Neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital is led by David J. Langer, MD, a recognized expert in cerebral revascularization and cerebral aneurysms. Vice chair, John Boockvar, MD, is internationally known for his surgical expertise and for providing patients with safe, effective and minimally invasive treatment for brain tumors.
As seen in the Netflix docuseries Lenox Hill, we’re a premier destination for care in our region. Lenox Hill is ranked top 3 in New York City for best-value outcomes for spine surgery, and we remain at the forefront in navigated exoscopic surgery. Our surgeons combine their unique expertise in minimally invasive surgical techniques and Gamma Knife radiology to treat rare and complex conditions of the brain and spine.
Back in the act after brain surgery
Actress and filmmaker Marie is tumor-free after a specialized procedure at Lenox Hill Hospital.
Brain surgery was frightening, but Marie got through it with the help of her doctors and family. When Marie Calfat Nascimento was 12 years old, she fell off a horse and bumped her head. An MRI revealed no traumatic injuries, but her doctors in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she lived, noticed an area of her brain that contained what they referred to as a “stain.”
“Because I was so young, they really didn’t say anything else about it,” said Marie, now 23 and living in Manhattan. “And they really didn’t explain it to my parents either. They never mentioned the word ‘tumor’ ever.”
At 15, Marie moved to New York City with her mother to attend performing arts high school. At her doctors’ recommendation, she had follow-up MRIs every six months, flying home to Brazil for brain imaging year after year. Now an aspiring actress and filmmaker, Marie made a decision to move her care to her adopted city, and asked her New York City-based primary care doctor, Albert Levy, MD, whom she should see about MRI imaging. He sent her to neurosurgeon David Langer, MD, chair of the neurosurgery department at Lenox Hill Hospital.
Dr. Langer evaluated Marie’s MRI scans and discovered that she had a brain tumor that was about the size of a kiwi. He explained it was called a cavernous malformation. “I let her know the tumor was likely slow-growing but needed to come out in someone as young as she was because of the long-term risk of it getting bigger,” said Dr. Langer. He also showed Marie 3D models of her brain on a computer and guided her through what surgery, her best treatment option, would entail.
“Dr. Langer was very clear with me about the need to have surgery, but he was also very positive and made me feel comfortable,” said Marie. “He didn’t view me as just a patient. He was interested in my life, my films and my acting.”
Marie arrived at Lenox Hill Hospital for the procedure with her support system, which included her parents, grandmother, sister and boyfriend. “It was a weird feeling and I was a bit nervous, but honestly very hopeful,” recalled Marie. She was sitting in a waiting area with her family when Dr. Langer came in. “He had the biggest smile I’ve ever seen.
All of my fears just immediately went away. He told me that we were going to crush this thing. He was cheering for me, and I felt invincible.”
The most difficult part was saying goodbye to her mom and dad before going into the operating room and the anticipation she felt seconds before going under general anesthesia. However, when Marie woke up seven hours later in the recovery room, she learned Dr. Langer had been able to remove the entire tumor. “It was the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life,” said Marie.
Marie’s recovery process went relatively quickly. Though she initially had some trouble with the peripheral vision in her right eye and experienced some loss of movement and feeling on the right side of her body, she knew to expect that, thanks to Dr. Langer’s pre-surgery preparation.
“The tumor was on the left side of her brain, which could affect function on the right side,” said Dr. Langer. “To get the whole tumor out for the best chance of a cure, you have to take some manageable risk of having mild deficits, with the goal of full recovery."
For Marie, thankfully, full movement, sensation and vision returned two weeks after surgery. “I woke up and I was completely back to normal.
My legs, my movement, my feeling—everything was like it never happened. It was pretty fast.”
Today, she describes her body and life as fully back to normal as she continues to pursue her love of film. “I just had a really amazing role in a feature film that we just wrapped up,” said Marie. “I'm also a writer and I recently finished a feature film script that I hope to shoot in the near future.”
She will continue to have regular MRIs to check for any recurrence. Her last scan, performed in May, came back tumor- free. She credits Dr. Langer for saving her life. “He gave me so much strength that I apply to everything in my life,” said Marie. “And, I tell anyone I know with a medical need to go to Lenox Hill Hospital because everyone there is so intelligent, amazing and calming.”
Lenox Hill Hospital, part of Northwell Health offers world-class inpatient and surgical care and is part of the largest and most sophisticated health systems in New York State.
We offer a wide range of services in heart and lung care, neurosciences, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, orthopedics, sports medicine, otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, maternal/child health, and more. With 22 hospitals and over 850 outpatient facilities, you have access to over 16,000 physicians and to a full continuum of care.
As a GMMI member, personalized, concierge services are provided to you for every appointment. Northwell’s International team will coordinate the care you need and will be with you every step of the way to ensure your experience is seamless. To inquire, contact (212) 434-6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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