The surgical care of children with cancer is a major emphasis of Dr. Lautz’s practice and the focus of his academic pursuits. He draws inspiration from the strength and resiliency of children fighting cancer and their families. Dr Lautz is an active member of the key national and international organizations working to cure pediatric cancer, including the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP). Within pediatric surgical oncology, he has particular expertise in soft tissue sarcomas (STS) and serves on the STS committee of the COG. He is also a member of the Cancer Committee for the American Pediatric Surgical Association. In his clinical practice, Dr. Lautz strives to provide patient-centered care using the latest techniques and according to the most recent and evidence-based guidelines. He performs major thoracic, abdominal and soft tissue tumor resections, minimally invasive resection of pulmonary metastatic disease, sentinel lymph node biopsy, and other novel procedures, including Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC).
In providing the full spectrum of surgical care for children with cancer, Dr. Lautz also has clinical expertise in fertility preservation surgery and vascular access. As part of the Fertility & Hormone Preservation & Restoration Program at Lurie Children’s, Dr. Lautz performs both ovarian and testicular harvest procedures to preserve tissue for future fertility options in children whose cancer care may result in sterility.
Dr. Lautz’s clinical practice extends far beyond the field of surgical oncology, and includes the full spectrum of pediatric general surgery. His other clinical interests include the surgical care of inflammatory bowel disease, congenital anomalies (malrotation of the intestine, diaphragmatic hernia, congenital pulmonary malformations, and intestinal atresia), spontaneous pneumothorax, inguinal hernia, hydrocele, undescended testis, splenic cysts, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Dr. Lautz is an advocate for the multi-disciplinary model of care. According to Dr. Lautz, “A major advantage of having your child’s care at an academic children’s hospital like Lurie Children’s is that you get the advantage of the entire team’s expertise, not just one doctor’s.” Complex cases are discussed at a weekly meeting of the surgical, radiology and medical teams. Within his practice of surgical oncology, Dr. Lautz also meets weekly with the solid tumor oncology team to review cases and sees patients in the multi-disciplinary Soft Tissue Sarcoma Program. Finally, he is an active participant in the multi-specialty Vascular Lesion Center.
In addition to his busy clinical practice, Dr. Lautz is also an educator and clinical outcomes researcher. He teaches Problem-Based Learning to medical students at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and mentors students, residents and fellows across the institution. In his research, Dr. Lautz has expertise in utilizing large national databases to analyze clinical outcomes in children with surgical conditions. His efforts are focused on identifying best-practices and reducing variation in the surgical care of children with cancer.