Research programs at the Pediatric Surgery Division at Texas Children’s Hospital are supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), private foundations, Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine.

The Pediatric Surgery Clinical Research and Outcomes Program, in conjunction with the Texas Children’s Evidence-Based Outcomes Center and Outcomes and Impact Services, has developed and evaluated evidence-based protocols for the management of children with appendicitis. The team standardized broad-spectrum antibiotic monotherapy, the use of clinical discharge criteria and guidelines for antibiotic treatment duration in cases of advanced appendicitis.

These initiatives have led to decreased resource utilization and costs and, most importantly, improved patient outcomes. Additionally, the creation of a patient and family education pamphlet has helped set expectations and shorten length of hospital stay. Future research directions include the implementation of clinical decision support tools and comparative effectiveness clinical trials.

Pediatric Surgical Oncology has an active research program. The team is studying neuroblastoma in their own basic science labs. They are also engaged in clinical research on neuroblastoma, Wilms tumors and hepatoblastoma, as well as leading a multidisciplinary study with Oncology, Radiology and Pathology to determine how the number of cycles of chemotherapy prior to surgery affects patient outcomes.