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Patrick J. Cahill, MD
Patrick J. Cahill
Director, Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome

Dr. Cahill's focuses on improving treatments for patients with early onset chest and spinal deformity, employing a combination of clinical, biomechanical, and basic science research approaches.



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Dr. Cahill's research employs a variety of approaches to improving care, ranging from investigating the effect of surgeon experience for diverse conditions such as cerebral palsy and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, to assessing outcomes for innovative treatments such as fusionless anterior surgery, serial body casting, and halo-gravity traction.

He is also the director of the Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (TIS), a multi-disciplinary team of physicians and scientists dedicated to improving care for TIS, the inability of the thorax to support normal lung function or growth. The program’s ongoing research efforts are dedicated to developing assessments of pulmonary function, improving clinical outcomes, and creating novel devices. The center's basic science research involves using animal models of disease and subsequent modification of that disease via novel device development. Clinical research efforts in the center involve efforts to improve the care delivered to patients with thoracic insufficiency and using informatics and image processing to develop new treatments and techniques. Biomechanical research by Dr. Cahill and his colleagues revolves around the design and testing of novel devices.

In addition, Dr. Cahill collaborates with the largest multicenter clinical study groups for pediatric spinal deformity as a core member of the Harms Study Group and Children’s Spine Study Group.

His notable career accomplishments include:

  • Being the first pediatric spine surgeon in the United States to use an FDA-approved magnetically expandable growing rod for early-onset scoliosis treatment
  • Serving as sponsor and principal investigator of active, open-label pediatric clinical FDA-approved device trial to assess the safety and feasibility of an anterior approach surgery for spinal deformity in pediatric scoliosis
  • Being a physician-scientist of surgical intervention and research dedicated to improving outcomes of the vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR), the only FDA-approved device approved for treatment of thoracic sufficiency syndrome

Education and Training

BS, Vanderbilt University (Mathematics), 1996

MD, University of Illinois College of Medicine, 2001


Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome

Attending Physician

Professional Memberships

North American Spine Society, 2006-

Pennsylvania Medical Society, 2010-

Montgomery County Medical Society, 2010-

Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, 2008-

Scoliosis Research Society, 2013-

Professional Awards

Resident Research Symposium - 3rd place, Orthopaedic Research and Education Fund, 2006

Sofield Traveling Fellowship, Orthopaedic Research and Education Fund, 2006

Louis A. Goldstein Award Nominee for Best Clinical Poster, Scoliosis Research Society, 2009

SRS Travelling Fellowship – Asia, 2015


Publication Highlights

Links of Interest