Publications by authors named "Ann Friedrich"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A Fast-track Pathway for Emergency General Surgery at an Academic Medical Center.

J Surg Res 2021 Jun 8;267:1-8. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Department of Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts. Electronic address:

Background: Fast Track Pathways (FTP) directed at reducing length of stay (LOS) and overall costs are being increasingly implemented for emergency surgeries. The purpose of this study is to evaluate implementation of a FTP for Emergency General Surgery (EGS) at an academic medical center (AMC).

Methods: The study included 165 patients at an AMC between 2016 and 2018 who underwent laparoscopic appendectomy (LA), laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC), or laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair (LI). The FTP group enrolled 89 patients, and 76 controls prior to FTP implementation were evaluated. Time to surgery (TTS), LOS, and post-operative LOS between groups were compared. Direct costs, reimbursements, and patient reported satisfaction (satisfaction 1 = never, 4 = always) were also studied.

Results: The sample was 60.6% female, with a median age of 40 years. Case distribution differed slightly (56.2% versus 42.1% LA, 40.4% versus 57.9% LC, FTP versus control), but TTS was similar between groups (11h39min versus 10h02min, P = 0.633). LOS was significantly shorter in the FTP group (15h17min versus 29h09min, P < 0.001), reflected by shorter post-operative LOS (3h11min versus 20h10min, P< 0.001), fewer patients requiring a hospital bed and overnight stay (P < 0.001). Direct costs were significantly lower in the FTP group, reimbursements were similar (P < 0.001 and P = 0.999 respectively), and average patient reported satisfaction was good (3.3/4).

Conclusion: In an era focused on decreasing cost, optimizing resources, and ensuring patient satisfaction, a FTP can play a significant role in EGS. At an AMC, an EGS FTP significantly decreased LOS, hospital bed utilization while not impacting reimbursement or patient satisfaction.
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June 2021

Association of Medicaid Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act With Breast Cancer Stage at Diagnosis.

JAMA Surg 2020 08;155(8):752-758

Section of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Importance: The expansion of Medicaid sought to fill gaps in insurance coverage among low-income Americans. Although coverage has improved, little is known about the relationship between Medicaid expansion and breast cancer stage at diagnosis.

Objective: To review the association of Medicaid expansion with breast cancer stage at diagnosis and the disparities associated with insurance status, age, and race/ethnicity.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study used data from the National Cancer Database to characterize the relationship between breast cancer stage and race/ethnicity, age, and insurance status. Data from 2007 to 2016 were obtained, and breast cancer stage trends were assessed. Additionally, preexpansion years (2012-2013) were compared with postexpansion years (2015-2016) to assess Medicaid expansion in 2014. Data were analyzed from August 12, 2019, to January 19, 2020. The cohort included a total of 1 796 902 patients with primary breast cancer who had private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid or were uninsured across 45 states.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Percent change of uninsured patients with breast cancer and stage at diagnosis, stratified by insurance status, race/ethnicity, age, and state.

Results: This study included a total of 1 796 902 women. Between 2012 and 2016, 71 235 (4.0%) were uninsured or had Medicaid. Among all races/ethnicities, in expansion states, there was a reduction in uninsured patients from 22.6% (4771 of 21 127) to 13.5% (2999 of 22 150) (P < .001), and in nonexpansion states, there was a reduction from 36.5% (5431 of 14 870) to 35.6% (4663 of 13 088) (P = .12). Across all races, there was a reduction in advanced-stage disease from 21.8% (4603 of 21 127) to 19.3% (4280 of 22 150) (P < .001) in expansion states compared with 24.2% (3604 of 14 870) to 23.5% (3072 of 13 088) (P = .14) in nonexpansion states. In African American patients, incidence of advanced disease decreased from 24.6% (1017 of 4136) to 21.6% (920 of 4259) (P < .001) in expansion states and remained at approximately 27% (27.4% [1220 of 4453] to 27.5% [1078 of 3924]; P = .94) in nonexpansion states. Further analysis suggested that the improvement was associated with a reduction in stage 3 diagnoses.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study, expansion of Medicaid was associated with a reduced number of uninsured patients and a reduced incidence of advanced-stage breast cancer. African American patients and patients younger than 50 years experienced particular benefit. These data suggest that increasing access to health care resources may alter the distribution of breast cancer stage at diagnosis.
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August 2020

Approach to the Diagnostic Workup and Management of Small Bowel Lesions at a Tertiary Care Center.

J Gastrointest Surg 2018 06 25;22(6):1034-1042. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

Department of Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, MA, 01655, USA.

Background: Small bowel lesions (SBL) are rare, representing diagnostic and management challenges. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate diagnostic modalities used and management practices of patients with SBL at an advanced endoscopic referral center.

Methods: We analyzed patients undergoing surgical management for SBL from 2005 to 2015 at a single tertiary care center. Patients were stratified into gastrointestinal bleed/anemia (GIBA) or obstruction/pain (OP).

Results: One hundred and twelve patients underwent surgery after presenting with either GIBA (n = 67) or OP (n = 45). The mean age of our study population was 61.8 years and 45% were women. Patients with GIBA were more likely to have chronic or acute-on-chronic symptoms (100% vs 67%) and more often referred from outside hospitals (82 vs. 44%) (p < 0.01). The most common preoperative imaging modalities were video capsule endoscopy (VCE) (96%) for GIBA and computer tomography CT (78%) for OP. Findings on VCE and CT were most frequently concordant with operative findings in GIBA (67%) and OP (54%) patients, respectively. Intraoperatively, visual inspection or palpation of the bowel successfully identified lesions in 71% of patients. When performed in GIBA (n = 26), intraoperative enteroscopy (IE) confirmed or identified lesions in 69% of patients. Almost all (90%) GIBA patients underwent small bowel resections; most were laparoscopic-assisted (93%). Among patients with OP, 58% had a small bowel resection and the majority (81%) were laparoscopic-assisted. Surgical exploration failed to identify lesions in 10% of GIBA patients and 24% of OP patients. Among patients who underwent resections, 20% of GIBA patients had recurrent symptoms compared with 13% of OP patients.

Conclusion: Management and identification of SBL is governed by presenting symptomatology. Optimal management includes VCE and IE for GIBA and CT scans for OP patients. Comprehensive evaluation may require referral to specialized centers.
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June 2018

How the Military is Changing Civilian Medicine.

Conn Med 2015 Sep;79(8):498-9

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September 2015

Timing and choice of intervention influences outcome in acute cholecystitis: a prospective study.

Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech 2014 Oct;24(5):414-9

Acute Care Surgery Program, Department of Surgery, Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.

Purpose: Determine which management strategy is ideal for patients with acute cholecystitis.

Materials And Methods: Prospective enrollment between August 2009 and March 2011. Large academic center. Patients with acute cholecystitis. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, intravenous antibiotics followed by laparoscopic cholecystectomy or percutaneous cholecystostomy. Primary endpoints were postoperative complications and 30-day mortality.

Results: A total of 162 patients were enrolled, 53 (33%) with simple acute cholecystitis and 109 (67%) with complex acute cholecystitis. Of the 109 patients with complex cholecystitis, 77 (70.6%) underwent successful laparoscopic cholecystectomy during the same hospital admission and 6 patients (5.5%) had an unsuccessful laparoscopic cholecystectomy requiring conversion to cholecystostomy. Radiology performed cholecystostomy in 19 (11.7%) patients with complex acute cholecystitis and 4 (2.5%) patients with simple acute cholecystitis for a total 23 patients of the 162 patients in the study. Nine of the 23 patients had dislodged tubes (39.1%). Two of the 23 patients (8.7%) had significant bile leaks resulting in either sepsis or emergency surgery. One patient (4.3%) had a wound infection. Overall, patients with complex acute cholecystitis had a higher morbidity rate (31.2%) compared with patients with simple acute cholecystitis (26.4%).

Conclusions And Relevance: A high complication rate seen with radiology placed percutaneous cholecystostomy tubes prompted our center to reevaluate the treatment algorithm used to treat patients with complex acute cholecystitis. Although laparoscopic cholecystectomy is considered to be the gold standard in the treatment of acute cholecystitis, if laparoscopic cholecystectomy is not felt to be safe due to gallbladder wall thickening or symptoms of >72 hours' duration, we now encourage the use of intravenous antibiotics to "cool" patients down followed by interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy approximately 6 to 8 weeks later. Patients who do not respond to antibiotics should undergo attempted laparoscopic cholecystectomy and if unable to be performed safely, a laparoscopic cholecystostomy tube can be placed under direct visualization for decompression followed by interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy at a later date.
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October 2014

Modulation of visceral hyperalgesia by morphine and cholecystokinin from the rat rostroventral medial medulla.

Pain 2003 Jul;104(1-2):93-101

Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Bowen Science Building, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Using a model of visceral nociception, we examined whether cholecystokinin (CCK) acts as an anti-opioid peptide in the rat rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM). Because such interaction may be affected by inflammation, rats with and without inflamed colons were studied. The visceromotor response to noxious colorectal distension (CRD), quantified electromyographically, was recorded before and after intra-RVM administration of CCK, CCK receptor antagonists, and morphine. Either 50% ethanol/saline (vehicle) or 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS), which inflames the colon, was instilled into the colon 5 days before experiments. Intra-RVM morphine dose-dependently attenuated responses to CRD in intracolonic vehicle-treated rats. In TNBS-treated rats with inflamed colons, responses to CRD were significantly increased and 0.3, 3.0 and 6.0 microg doses of intra-RVM morphine reduced responses to control (i.e. were anti-hyperalgesic); the greatest dose tested (30 microg) further reduced responses to 40% control. In intracolonic vehicle-treated rats, intra-RVM pre-treatment with a selective CCK(B) (but not CCK(A)) receptor antagonist dose-dependently and significantly enhanced the effect of a low dose of morphine. Intra-RVM CCK-8 peptide enhanced responses to CRD in intracolonic vehicle-treated, but not TNBS-treated rats. Intra-RVM naloxone was without effect in intracolonic vehicle-or TNBS-treated rats, suggesting an absence of tonic opioid activity in RVM. These results document a CCK-opioid interaction in RVM, suggesting that colon inflammation leads to tonic activity at CCK(B) receptors in RVM.
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July 2003