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.
Among other symptoms, children with GERD spit up frequently, which leads to poor nutrition, lack of normal development and aspiration pneumonia – the result of inhaling food particles into the lungs. Some spitting up is normal, and GERD-like symptoms can be caused by other conditions. The result can be a lot of uncertainty about how to diagnose and treat the disease.
Seattle Children’s surgeon Dr. Adam Goldin developed a unique algorithm to diagnose GERD and determine if surgery is the best option. In the United States, anti-reflux surgical procedures are the third most frequently performed operation in children. Patients who come to Seattle Children’s are now evaluated using Goldin’s model, and he is tracking their outcomes to analyze how well the system works. 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. Dr. Goldin 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.