Honors & Awards

  • Resident Research Award, American College of Surgeons (ACS) (2018-2020)
  • Transplant and Tissue Engineering Research Grant, Stanford University (2018-2020)
  • Consult Resident Of The Year Award, Stanford Surgery (2018)
  • Stanford University Li Ka Shing Travel Grant, Stanford University (2018)
  • Best Clinical Oral Presentation at Stanford University Holman Research Conference, Stanford University (2017)
  • Stanford University Undergraduate Major Grant, Stanford University (2011)
  • Stanford University Mechanical Engineering Summer Research Internship Grant, Stanford University (2010)
  • Stanford University Undergraduate Minor Grant, Stanford University (2009)
  • NASA Research Grant Recipient, NASA (2008)

Professional Education

  • MD, Icahn School of Medicine At Mount Sinai (2016)
  • BA Honors, Stanford University, Philosophy and Honors in Ethics in Society (2012)


All Publications

  • Perioperative opioid use and pain-related outcomes in the Veterans Health Administration. American journal of surgery Hernandez-Boussard, T., Graham, L. A., Carroll, I., Dasinger, E. A., Titan, A. L., Morris, M. S., Hawn, M. T. 2019


    Understanding variation in perioperative opioid exposure and its effect on patients' outcomes is critical for pain management. This study characterized perioperative exposure to morphine and its association with postoperative pain and 30-day readmissions. We utilized nationwide Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) data on four high-volume surgical procedures, 2007-2014. We identified 235,239 Veterans undergoing orthopedic, general, or vascular surgery; 5.4% high trajectories (116.1 OME/Day), 53.2% medium trajectories (39.7 OME/Day), and 41.4% low trajectories (19.1 OME/Day). Modeled estimates suggest that patients in the high OME group had higher risk of a pain-related readmission (OR: 1.59; CI: 1.39, 1.83) compared to the low OME trajectory. Yet when stratified by pain trajectory, patients with high pain and high OME had lower risk of a pain-related readmission compared to patients in the high pain low OME group (OR: 0.76, CI: 0.62, 0.94). In conclusion, patients receiving high perioperative OME are more likely to return to care for pain-related problems. This study highlights opportunities to reduce the amount of prescriptions opioids in the communities.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2019.06.022

    View details for PubMedID 31280840

  • Flexor Tendon: Development, Healing, Adhesion Formation, and Contributing Growth Factors. Plastic and reconstructive surgery Titan, A. L., Foster, D. S., Chang, J., Longaker, M. T. 2019; 144 (4): 639e?647e


    Management of flexor tendon injuries of the hand remains a major clinical problem. Even with intricate repair, adhesion formation remains a common complication. Significant progress has been made to better understand the mechanisms of healing and adhesion formation. However, there has been slow progress in the clinical prevention and reversal of flexor tendon adhesions. The goal of this article is to discuss recent literature relating to tendon development, tendon healing, and adhesion formation to identify areas in need of further research. Additional research is needed to understand and compare the molecular, cellular, and genetic mechanisms involved in flexor tendon morphogenesis, postoperative healing, and mechanical loading. Such knowledge is critical to determine how to improve repair outcomes and identify new therapeutic strategies to promote tissue regeneration and prevent adhesion formation.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PRS.0000000000006048

    View details for PubMedID 31568303

  • Patient expectations for recovery after elective surgery: a common-sense model approach. Journal of behavioral medicine Gehring, M. B., Lerret, S., Johnson, J., Rieder, J., Nelson, D., Copeland, L., Titan, A., Hawn, M., Morris, M., Whittle, J., Burns, E. 2019


    Patient perceptions of the causes of preoperative symptoms, expected impact of surgery on symptoms and anticipated timeline of recovery are likely to affect the risk of readmission following elective surgical procedures. However, these perceptions have not been studied. A qualitative study was designed to explore these perceptions, using the common-sense model of self-regulation (CSM) as the conceptual framework. CSM is grounded in illness representations, describing how patients make sense of changes in physical well-being (e.g. symptoms) and develop and assess management plans. It also establishes a broader framework for examining patients' a priori expectations and timelines for outcomes based on comparisons to prior experiences and underlying self-prototypes, or "Self as Anchor". A convenience sample of 14 patients aged 56-81 who underwent elective surgery was recruited. Semi-structured interviews informed by the CSM were completed on the day of discharge. Content analysis with deductive coding was used, and emerging themes were fit to components of the CSM, including the five domains of Illness Representations-identity, cause, timeline, control, and consequences. Two additional themes, outlook (toward the health care system, providers and recovery efforts), and motivation (external or internal for recovering), relate to self-prototypes, expectations for outcomes, and search for coherence. Misattribution of symptoms, unrealistic expectations for outcomes (e.g. expecting complete resolution of symptoms unrelated to the surgical procedure) and timelines for recovery (unrealistically short), and the (baseline) "normal healthy self" as distinct from the (temporarily) "sick self" were recurrent themes. Findings suggest that patient perceptions and the actual recovery process may be misaligned. The results underscore the importance of assessing patients' perceptions and expectations, actively engaging patients in their own healthcare, and providing adequate support during the transition to home.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10865-019-00097-2

    View details for PubMedID 31512105

  • Caring for Caregivers - Resident Physician Health and Wellbeing. Journal of surgical education Baiu, I., Titan, A., Kin, C., Spain, D. A. 2019


    There is a national epidemic of physician burnout and serious concerns exist regarding the well-being of future physicians. This project seeks to address resident physician health, by creating a sense of support and community during training, as a method to target one of the many facets of burnout.We created a program that allows residents who fall ill to receive a health package, delivered to work or home, consisting of essential medications, vitamins, nutrition, and hydration. The recipients were asked to answer a short survey regarding their experience.Stanford Health Care, Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery, Palo Alto California.Eighteen packages have been delivered since the start of the project. One hundred percent of residents agree that this program fulfills an otherwise unmet need in residency. Similarly, all felt that the supplies they received helped them recover faster. The majority (83%) of the packages were requested by colleagues of the ill residents.We present an innovative project aimed at improving resident physician health, fostering a feeling of support, and helping to reduce resident burnout. This is the first report of a program of this kind and we hope that it incentivizes a broader discussion and implementation of similar initiatives in other residency programs across the country.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jsurg.2019.08.007

    View details for PubMedID 31494061

  • Management of Ileal Neuroendocrine Tumors with Liver Metastases. Journal of gastrointestinal surgery : official journal of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract Fisher, A. T., Titan, A. L., Foster, D. S., Worth, P. J., Poultsides, G. A., Visser, B. C., Dua, M. M., Norton, J. A. 2019


    Assessment of treating metastatic ileal neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) with complete resection of primary tumor, nodal and liver metastases, plus administration of long-acting somatostatin analogues (SSAs).A prospective database was queried for patients with ileal or pancreatic NETs with pathology-confirmed liver metastases and tumor somatostatin receptors. Patients did not have MEN-1 and had no previous treatment. The impacts of SSA treatment on the primary outcome of survival and secondary outcome of progression-free survival were assessed with Kaplan-Meier analysis. Log rank test was used to compare overall and progression-free survival among groups.Seventeen ileal NET patients and 36 pancreatic NET patients who underwent surgical resection between 2001 and 2018, who had pathology-confirmed liver metastases and confirmed tumor somatostatin receptors, did not have MEN-1, and had no previous treatment were identified. Median follow-up for patients with ileal NETs was 80 months (range 0-197 months) and 32 months (range 1-182 months) for pancreatic NETs. Five-year survival was 93% and 72% for ileal and pancreatic NET, respectively. Progression-free 5-year survival was 70% and 36% for ileal and pancreatic NET, respectively. Overall 5-year survival for pNETs was greater in those patients treated with SSA (79%) compared to those who underwent surgery alone (34%, p?

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11605-019-04309-7

    View details for PubMedID 31346887

  • Clinical Trigonometry: Right Hepatic Trisegmentectomy After Radiation Trisegmentectomy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma DIGESTIVE DISEASES AND SCIENCES Titan, A. L., Devereaux, K., Louie, J. D., Poultsides, G. A. 2018; 63 (6): 1419?23

    View details for PubMedID 29119415

  • Homeless Status, Postdischarge Health Care Utilization, and Readmission After Surgery. Medical care Titan, A., Graham, L., Rosen, A., Itani, K., Copeland, L. A., Mull, H. J., Burns, E., Richman, J., Kertesz, S., Wahl, T., Morris, M., Whittle, J., Telford, G., Wilson, M., Hawn, M. 2018; 56 (6): 460?69


    Homeless Veterans are vulnerable to poor care transitions, yet little research has examined their risk of readmission following inpatient surgery. This study investigates the predictors of surgical readmission among homeless relative to housed Veteran patients.Inpatient general, vascular, and orthopedic surgeries occurring in the Veterans Health Administration from 2008 to 2014 were identified. Administrative International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes and Veterans Health Administration clinic stops were used to identify homeless patients. Bivariate analyses examined characteristics and predictors of readmission among homeless patients. Multivariate logistic models were used to estimate the association between homeless experience and housed patients with readmission following surgery.Our study included 232,373 surgeries: 43% orthopedic, 39% general, and 18% vascular with 5068 performed on homeless patients. Homeless individuals were younger (56 vs. 64?y, P<0.01), more likely to have a psychiatric comorbidities (51.3% vs. 19.4%, P<0.01) and less likely to have other medical comorbidities such as hypertension (57.1% vs. 70.8%, P<0.01). Homeless individuals were more likely to be readmitted [odds ratio (OR), 1.43; confidence interval (CI), 1.30-1.56; P<0.001]. Discharge destination other than community (OR, 0.57; CI, 0.44-0.74; P<0.001), recent alcohol abuse (OR, 1.45; CI, 1.15-1.84; P<0.01), and elevated American Society Anesthesiologists classification (OR, 1.86; CI, 1.30-2.68; P<0.01) were significant risk factors associated with readmissions within the homeless cohort.Readmissions are higher in homeless individuals discharged to the community after surgery. Judicious use of postoperative nursing or residential rehabilitation programs may be effective in reducing readmission and improving care transitions among these vulnerable Veterans. Relative costs and benefits of alternatives to community discharge merit investigation.

    View details for PubMedID 29746348

  • Tendinopathy: Investigating the Intersection of Clinical and Animal Research to Identify Progress and Hurdles in the Field. JBJS reviews Titan, A., Andarawis-Puri, N. 2016; 4 (10)

    View details for DOI 10.2106/JBJS.RVW.15.00088

    View details for PubMedID 27792676

  • The Choice Between Total Hip Arthroplasty and Arthrodesis in Adolescent Patients: A Survey of Orthopedic Surgeons JOURNAL OF ARTHROPLASTY Kelman, M. G., Studdert, D. M., Callaghan, J. J., Farid, M. S., Titan, A. L., Dietz, F. R. 2016; 31 (1): 70-75


    For adolescent patients with end-stage hip disease, the choice between total hip arthroplasty (THA) and arthrodesis is complex; the clinical evidence is not definitive, and there are difficult trade-offs between clear short-term benefits from THA and uncertain long-term risks. We surveyed nearly 700 members of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. Respondents chose between a recommendation of THA or arthrodesis in four clinical vignettes. A clear majority of surgeons recommended THA in two of the vignettes, however opinion was somewhat divided in one vignette (overweight adolescent) and deeply divided in another (adolescent destined for manual labor job). Across all vignettes, recommendations varied systematically according to surgeons' age and their attitudes regarding tradeoffs between life stages.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.arth.2015.07.020

    View details for Web of Science ID 000366677000014

    View details for PubMedID 26298281

  • Variations in chondrogenesis of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in fibrin/alginate blended hydrogels ACTA BIOMATERIALIA Ma, K., Titan, A. L., Stafford, M., Zheng, C. H., Levenston, M. E. 2012; 8 (10): 3754-3764


    Fibrin and alginate hydrogels have been widely used to support chondrogenesis of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) for articular cartilage and fibrocartilage tissue engineering, with each material offering distinct advantages and disadvantages. Attempting to produce a gel scaffold exhibiting beneficial characteristics of both materials, we fabricated fibrin/alginate blended hydrogels at various blend ratios and evaluated the gel morphology, mechanical properties and their support for BM-MSC chondrogenesis. Results show that when the fibrin/alginate ratio decreased, the fibrin architecture transitioned from uniform to interconnected fibrous and finally to disconnected islands against an alginate background, with opposing trends in the alginate architecture. Fibrin maintained gel extensibility and promoted cell proliferation, while alginate improved the gel biostability and better supported glycosaminoglycan and collagen II production and chondrogenic gene expression. Blended gels had physical and biological characteristics intermediate between fibrin and alginate. Of the blends examined, FA 40:8 (40 mg ml(-1) fibrinogen blended with 8 mg ml(-1) alginate) was found to be the most appropriate group for future studies on tension-driven BM-MSC fibrochondrogenesis. As BM-MSC differentiation appeared to vary between fibrin and alginate regions of blended scaffolds, this study also highlighted the potential to develop spatially heterogeneous tissues through manipulating the heterogeneity of scaffold composition.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.actbio.2012.06.028

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309301400022

    View details for PubMedID 22750738

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3429695

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