The Department of Surgery:
Innovations in Surgical Practice and Clinical Care


In 2014, the Department of Surgery continued to steadily increase its national presence through scholarship toward clinical advancements, applications of clinical standard work, quality improvement, translational research, simulation and outcomes research. Extramural funding for investigators in every clinical division included grants from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, American Otolaryngology Society, American Surgical Association, and other organizations.

Novel ideas from two of our investigators (Dr. Sam Browd of Neurosurgery and Dr. Tom Lendvay of Urology) are leading to patents and partnerships with the Center for Commercialization at the University of Washington with the hope that these important creations will yield improvements in child health. Dr. Jonathan Perkins created a collaborative translational research effort with investigators in Seattle Children’s Center for Tissue and Cell Biology to better understand the cellular signals that drive the growth of vascular anomalies. This promising work, which recently received a grant from Seattle Children’s Guild Association, may lead to new treatments such as smaller operations for these lesions – or possibly eliminating the need for surgery at all. The outcomes research of Dr. Adam Goldin – demonstrating the importance of pediatric specialization in the delivery of surgical care to children – helped the American College of Surgeons shape a national system for designating children’s surgery centers of excellence.

All these academic contributions supplement the department’s nationally ranked clinical training programs that have competitive fellowships in many disciplines and attract top candidates from around the world. Graduates from our fellowship programs continue to advance their fields by taking faculty positions at some of the world’s best academic medical centers. Several of our graduates are now in leadership positions at those institutions.

Innovative patient care and surgical techniques are being developed regularly, particularly in craniofacial surgery and neurosurgery. Patients from throughout the United States also come to Seattle for treatment in our nationally recognized Reconstructive Pelvic Medicine Clinic, which incorporates clinical expertise from Urology, Pediatric General Surgery, Gynecology and Gastroenterology. Innovative programs such as these help us provide the best possible care to children and advance our fields of pediatric surgical care.

Robert S. Sawin, MD, FACS, FAAP
Herbert E. Coe Professor of Surgery
Seattle Children’s Surgeon-in-Chief