Boston Children’s doctor appears in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ episode based off procedure he did

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If you’re one of the millions of fans who tunes into “Grey’s Anatomy” every week, you know they share cutting-edge medical stories that can move you to tears, or leave you wondering if it’s fact or fiction.

But what you may not know about this week’s episode is that it was based off a first-of-its-kind procedure done by one of Boston Children’s Hospital’s very own doctors — who even made an appearance in the show.

“Doctor by day, TV star by night…” Boston Children’s said as it announced on social media Friday that Dr. Darren Orbach, the chief of Neuroradiology at the hospital, appeared in Thursday night’s episode of ABC’s long-running hit medical drama.

In the 4th episode of “Grey’s” 20th season, Dr. Arizona Robbins (played by Jessica Capshaw) returns to Grey Sloan for a particularly complicated case, in which she attempts to make medical history with a clinical trial involving patient Vida Madera, a 26-year-old woman who is 30 weeks pregnant and recently found out that her baby has a vein of Galen malformation (VOGM) — a type of rare blood vessel abnormality inside the brain.

The standard procedure has been to wait until after delivery to address the VOGM, but Dr. Robbins says she wants to operate on the baby’s brain in utero.

According to Boston Children’s Instagram post, the episode features the story of real-life baby Denver, who was the first in North America to successfully receive fetal embolization to treat her vein of Galen malformation.

Dr. Orbach performed the procedure last year with the team at the Maternal Fetal Care Center, in affiliation with Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, where the surgery took place. Denver’s mom Kenyatta and dad Derek appear in a YouTube video for Boston Children’s in which they talk about their journey from finding out about Denver’s VOGM to the surgery, and how she was born early but healthy.

Access Hollywood’s Zuri Hall spoke to the interns starring in season 20 of “Grey’s Anatomy” ahead of their highly anticipated premiere.

In the video, Dr. Orbach talks about the historic VOGM procedure, saying when Denver was born, it was apparent from the beginning that she was fine — not requiring any medications or cardiovascular support.

“Denver turned out to be just the right patient at the right time, and it was definitely exhilarating to be able to treat her and finally after all these years have this success,” he said in the video.

According to Boston Children’s — one of the top pediatric hospitals in the nation — Dr. Orbach was contacted by series executives to consult and edit on the episode’s script….”The rest, as they say in Hollywood, is history.”

A series of photos posted to the hospital’s Instagram account show Dr. Orbach in scrubs alongside Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), Dr. Robbins, Dr. Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), and Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), as well as various other photos from set.

Raver posted to her Instagram account on Saturday, writing, “I am in awe of the incredible doctors we get to meet and have on the set of Grey’s Anatomy, especially Dr. Darren Orbach who was the doctor who actually performed the surgery shown in this week’s episode.”

“Absolutely incredible,” she wrote in the caption with the video showing behind the scenes footage from the episode featuring Dr. Orbach.

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