Rather than looking at adult research studies to figure out how kids should be treated, at Seattle Children's Hospital we do our own pediatric research in many areas.

Through Seattle Children's growing research program, we are discovering better ways to care for children before, during and after surgery. We are committed to bringing the new knowledge we gain from research to the bedside - so that our region's children receive the treatments and procedures that have the very best outcomes.

Here's a sampling of our current research projects:

Outcomes for Gastroesophageal Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux is not well understood, so the true effectiveness of doing surgery to treat this disease is not clear. Our research is beginning to uncover the issues so that, as physicians and parents, we can make more informed choices regarding the care of our children that will lead to better outcomes for kids in the future.

Dr. Adam Goldin, general surgeon, Pediatric Surgery Division

Dr. Adam Goldin is investigating whether surgery is the best method to treat  gastroesophageal reflux . Today, children often undergo surgery to control reflux symptoms. In the United States, anti-reflux surgical procedures are the third most frequently performed operation in children.

Goldin is currently studying which children need surgery for reflux and which surgery is best. His most recent published study found that surgery was associated with an overall decrease in the rate of hospitalizations for reflux-related issues for children 3 years old and younger.

He is currently working on several studies that will further define reflux and its impact, in order to identify which children are truly most likely to benefit from surgical procedures.

Outcomes for Intestinal Failure

As a result of advances in medical, surgical and nutritional treatments, children with intestinal failure have a better quality of life and are living longer than before. Dr. Patrick Javid 's clinical and research interests focus on developing the best strategies to improve long-term outcomes for these children. His lab's current projects include assessing brain and motor development function, and collecting quality of life data in children with intestinal failure and their families.

Outcomes for Liver Regeneration

Dr. Kimberly Riehle 's research focuses on how the liver responds to injury or resection (removal of part of the liver). Riehle's lab is part of the multidisciplinary Northwest Liver Research Program at the University of Washington, which involves collaboration of members from the Departments of Surgery and Pathology. Her work aims to allow diseased livers to regain their ability to grow back after injury or surgery.

Outcomes for Pain-Relieving Medicines

Through research, my goal is to find out how we can maximize pain relief for children and minimize bad side effects.

Dr. Anne Lynn, anesthesiologist, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Dr. Anne Lynn studies the different ways infants and young children respond to certain  analgesic  medicines, including  morphine  and  ketorolac . Lynn is recognized as an international leader in  developmental pharmacology . In the near future, she will study acupuncture as another analgesic treatment.

Outcomes for Regional Anesthesia

Dr. Lynn Martin has set up a registry to compile information about outcomes when ultrasound and other techniques are used to give children  regional anesthesia .

Our research will increase pediatric specialists' understanding of regional anesthesia for the benefit of children around the world.

Dr. Lynn Martin, director, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

The regional anesthesia registry is the world's first in more than a decade. It will gather data from many national and international medical institutions for the next three to five years using the Internet and Windows-based technology.

After that time, Martin anticipates that data collection will continue with clinical trials that measure the safety, cost and effectiveness of specific procedures with and without regional anesthesia.

Advances for Chest Wall Deformities

Our chest wall deformity team, which brings together specialists in general and thoracic surgery, orthopedic surgery and pulmonary medicine, has received national recognition for its work with prostheses.

New nonsurgical therapies for pectus carinatum , as well as surgical approaches when needed, can be used to treat this condition.