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Dr. Lavinia Kolarczyk, MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology first conceptualized bringing Enhanced Recovery After Surgery to UNC in early 2013. She gradually engaged her colleagues, applied for, and was awarded an IHQI seed grant, which funded the first year of the program. In 2014, ERAS program manager Lyla Hance, MPH was hired by the Dept. of Anesthesiology to help introduce the pathway to one surgical population championed by Dr. HJ Kim, MD, Professor of Surgery. Soon after, Dr. Rob Isaak, DO, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, joined the program as co-director, to offer additional support and expertise.

During the subsequent years, UNC has emerged as a leader in developing and refining pathways to improve patient care before, during, and after major surgeries.

In July 2014, Dr. HJ Kim, Division Chief and Professor of Surgery, partnered with Dr. Lavinia Kolarczyk, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, to develop an Enhanced Recovery protocol for patients undergoing a Whipple, or distal pancreatectomy. Pancreatic surgery patients were considered good candidates for this new pathway as they are at high risk of perioperative morbidity, and the population is considered to be relatively homogeneous. Over the next year, 50 patients were enrolled and underwent the new Enhanced Recovery pathway. Their demographics and outcomes were compared to historical controls.



The pilot program demonstrated many improvements in patient outcomes, including:

  • Decreased length of stay
  • Reductions in PACU Phase 1 recovery times
  • Decreased number of pRBC transfusions
  • Decreased IV crystalloid administration


With leadership from Drs. Kolarczyk, Isaak, and Kim, and coordination by ERAS program manager Lyla Hance, the ERAS program has continued to grow at UNC. Take a look at our For Patients section to view all of our current pathways, and follow us on twitter to keep up with new pathways!
Thank you to all who have assisted with the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery project at UNC, including our past and current medical student interns, with a special thank you to Desiree Coutinho, who helped us develop this website.
Andrew Gruel * Evan Van Peursem * Lauren Poe * Daniella DiNizo * Yuel-Kai Jean * Chris Burns * Dayley Keil