Cancer Patient Undergoes Four Procedures in One OR

Cancer Patient Undergoes Four Procedures in One OR

Alexandra Golby, MD (left), and Jessica Erdmann-Sager, MD (right), collaborated to treat Martha Zentis (center) for breast and brain cancer simultaneously.

A mother of two with a history of breast cancer, Martha Zentis had already been through several challenges when she started becoming disoriented and confused. Physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) determined Zentis’ breast cancer had metastasized to her brain.

They also determined Zentis’ treatment would require a complex set of procedures. She would need an MRI to show a detailed view and the location of the metastasis—but first, the surgical team would need to remove the post-mastectomy expander from her right breast and replace it with a silicone implant. Alexandra Golby, MD, director of Image-Guided Neurosurgery at BWH, assembled a multidisciplinary team, including Jessica Erdmann-Sager, MD, of plastic and reconstructive surgery, to coordinate Zentis’ breast reconstruction, followed by brain surgery to remove the metastasis.

All procedures took place in BWH’s Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite, where the co-location of advanced imaging technologies and interventional surgical systems made it possible to precisely guide treatment and complete Zentis’ multiple surgeries in a single OR session. Today, Zentis is undergoing physical, occupational, and speech therapy and staying focused on her future.

“I am blessed to have such an incredible surgical team,” says Zentis. “As I move forward, I take with me how important it is to be present in the moment and practice gratefulness. I am thankful every day for the extra time Dr. Golby and Dr. Erdmann-Sager gave me to be with my children.”

This article was originally featured in the 2017 Honor Roll, which celebrates donors to Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. Check out more profiles of patients, clinicians, and researchers that illustrate the power of transformative philanthropy at the Brigham.