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The one hundred honoree: Henning A. Gaissert, MD

Profile in Medicine

The one hundred honoree: Henning A. Gaissert, MD

Mass General Giving

“Dr. Henning Gaissert has been my hero since the day we met in July of 2006,” declares Jane Fenton, a long-time patient. After undergoing a successful lobectomy to treat her squamous cell carcinoma, Jane continued to see her “old friend” Dr. Gaissert, chief of Thoracic Surgery at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and thoracic surgeon at Mass General, at semi-annual screenings and appointments. However, three years later, Dr. Gaissert discovered an aggressive and invasive tumor unrelated to her initial diagnosis, and with compassion and care, broke the news to Jane.

Although candid with Jane about the potentially devastating nature of the tumor, Dr. Gaissert suggested that a tracheal resection with reconstruction was possible and could overcome the tumor’s challenges. With incredible skill and positivity, he performed the surgery, and in Jane’s words, “gave me back my life.”

As a teacher, Dr. Gaissert is a mentor to many talented thoracic surgeons who will follow in his footsteps, and his warm demeanor is as much an inspiration to them as his immeasurable surgical skills. Says Jane, “His big smile and gentle manner never fail to fill me with hope and inspire me to be a better person.”