Newman Regional Health Surgeon Performs First Robotic-Assisted Surgery in Lyon County

June 9, 2022

Newman Regional Health announces their first robotic-assisted surgery was performed on June 8, 2022 by Newman Regional Health Medical Partners general surgeon, Dr. Tim Harris, together with proctoring physician, Dr. Jeremy Howes. The surgery was a cholecystectomy performed with the fourth generation da Vinci Xi surgical system, Intuitive Surgical’s most capable and advanced instrumentation.

“This day marks yet another monumental and milestone moment in Newman Regional Health’s 100-year history.”

Bob Wright, Newman Regional Health CEO

The da Vinci Xi is a surgical robot for minimally invasive procedures. It enhances surgical performance by creating a natural extension of the surgeon’s eyes and hands. At Newman Regional Health, the services that will benefit from this system include general surgery, urology, obstetrics and gynecology.
Robotic surgeries are preferred for certain procedures over conventional laparoscopic or open procedures for the following reasons:

  • decreased post-operative pain,
  • decreased use of narcotic pain medication,
  • decreased length-of-stay for hospital post-operative admission,
  • better visualization due to the 3D high-definition views, and
  • a greater range of motion due to the ergonomics of the robot versus laparoscopic instruments.

“I’m very excited to have robotics in the community. This availability will keep more surgeries local as well as enhance recruitment for new surgeons in the years ahead.”

Dr. Harris, general surgeon in Emporia for 30+ years

Physicians utilizing the da Vinci Xi for surgical cases are already proficient in laparoscopic surgery and are required to complete additional training to be fully certified, including:

  • a two-day surgeon-led education in Houston, TX with classroom and cadaver training,
  • simulator training with the surgical team at their home hospital, and
  • completion of at least two cases supervised by a highly experienced robotic surgeon at their home hospital.

Newman Regional Health is one of only three Critical Access Hospitals in Kansas to now offer robotic-assisted surgical procedures. Patients are encouraged to visit to learn more or speak directly with their healthcare provider for more information on the robotic-assisted surgical procedures available at Newman Regional Health.

“The initiation of the robotics program at Newman Regional Health is such a benefit to the health needs of those within Lyon and surrounding counties. This will provide our community with the most effective and less invasive options for their surgical care. The improved visualization and precision in our dissection during surgeries will help us continue to improve patient outcomes for years to come.”

Dr. Rebecca Douglass, Newman Regional Health Medical Partners general surgeon.

About Newman Regional Health: Newman Regional Health is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital owned by the citizens of Lyon County, Kansas. Recognized as a Level 4 Trauma Center, Newman Regional Health provides inpatient acute and medical rehabilitation services along with a full range of emergency and outpatient care to patients of all ages in Lyon County and surrounding areas in East Central Kansas. Newman Regional Health offers 24/7 care with a newly renovated, state-of-the-art 19-bed emergency room and 10-bed Clinical Decision Unit. With a mission to improve health in the community by providing high quality care and a vision to be a valued, trusted partner and regional provider of exemplary services, Newman Regional Health receives recognition as a top Critical Access Hospital each year.

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1201 W 12th Avenue
Emporia, KS 66801
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1301 W 12th Avenue
Emporia, KS 66801