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Robert Campbell, MD: Part of my reason for coming to CHOP is to help build a new center of excellence. That has just been named The Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome.
John Flynn, MD: The Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome at CHOP is a multidisciplinary program designed to treat young children with chest wall, spinal, and pulmonary problems.
Robert Campbell, MD: We look at all forms of treatment and look at new devices that treat thoracic insufficiency syndrome. And with the research capabilities of CHOP, along with the University of Pennsylvania, do the science that enables us to understand this disease better and make the devices more effective.
John Flynn, MD: The goal of the center, of the group of experts who come together in the center, is to identify children who will most benefit from these novel approaches to managing spine and chest wall problems.
Michael Nance, MD: Many of these kids will be evaluated by the multidisciplinary team to try and decide whether they need a combined procedure with a VEPTR or simply a growing rod or just isolated scoliosis surgery.
John Flynn, MD: And there's all of us around the table -- the orthopedic and spine surgeons, the general surgeons, the radiologists, the pulmonologists, the engineers -- all around the table presenting child after child, showing all their imaging, and each person looking at the components of the child's problem.
Robert Campbell, MD: And we literally debate the merits of each problem of the child in terms of how it's going to contribute to the overall disease and how it affects our treatment options.
Michael Nance, MD: Everybody is going to have a little bit different spin and everybody brings a little bit something different to the table.
Robert Campbell, MD: As an orthopedist, I may say, "Straighten the spine." Then my pulmonologist says, "That will not affect the intrinsic lung disease."
Michael Nance, MD: There may be something that, as a general surgeon, I may not realize about the nuances of the orthopedic procedure or something that the pulmonologists may be concerned about relative to the surgery or changing the configuration of the chest.
John Flynn, MD: It's the way we communicate. It's the way we work together. It's the way we think of problems together and discuss them that really gives the families an advantage. Many heads looking at the problem from different directions.
Robert Campbell, MD: The consensus that emerges from these meetings provides a series of options for the parent that come from a great depth of multi-specialty expertise, which is unmatched anywhere.
John Flynn, MD: It all isn't going to be solved in their first visit. There's a level of complexity that is going to require an initial assessment then a stepping back and a thinking through the whole process and what the problems are-- sorting them out, getting certain subspecialists involved, and then a planning process and then a return to review imaging, and start to talk about the treatment options.
John Dormans, MD: The stakes are high. The risks are high for these children. And so having a team that really dedicates itself to the intricacies of care for these children with very, very difficult and complex problems is important to us.