The caring surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and staff of Mahaska Health’s Surgical Services go the extra mile for patients every day to ensure a comfortable, personalized experience for patients of all ages.

Our specialist surgery team at Mahaska Health are well-versed in the latest surgical procedures and technologies, and are equipped to work with your entire family with skill, care and compassion. Their disciplines include ear/nose/throat (ENT), general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedics (bone and joint), podiatry (foot), ophthalmology (eye), urology.

Even when a procedure is strictly outpatient, such as mole removal or a colonoscopy, we know our patients appreciate having experienced and compassionate health professionals with them every step of the way.


Tim Breon, MD, FACS Chief Medical Officer, General Surgeon

Chief Medical Officer, General Surgeon

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Common Surgical Procedures

At Mahaska Health, our surgeons have years of experience performing surgical procedures of all kinds. However, the most common outpatient surgical procedures we perform at our campus in Oskaloosa are as follows:

• Appendectomy
• Tubal ligation
• Esophageal-reflux surgery
• Gallbladder removal
• Hernia repair
• Colonoscopy

• Biopsy
• Lumpectomy
• Mastectomy
• Benign cyst removal

Bone and Joint
• Fracture Care
• Knee Arthroscopy
• Rotator Cuff repair
• Shoulder Arthroscopy

• Biopsies
• Chemotherapy ports
• Skin cancer lesion removal

Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT)
• Ear Tubes
• Tonsillectomy

• Cataracts

• Plantar Fascial Release (heel spurs)
• Hammertoes
• Toenail removal

• D&C
• Hysterectomy
• Cystocele
• Rectocele repair

• Cystoscopy
• Hemorrhoid removal
• Vasectomy

Limb and Skin
• Carpal tunnel release
• Wound Care
• Trigger finger release
• Cyst removal
• Skin and soft tissue lesion removal
• Mole removal

Throat and Chest
• Thyroid biopsy
• Bronchosc

Surgical Services

The week before surgery at Mahaska Health, a Surgical Services staff member will call you to review a brief history of your past/present medical conditions, allergies and any medications you take, including prescribed and over-the-counter.

The night before surgery, plan to get a good night’s rest:

  • Shower or bathe with soap while taking special care to clean the area where the procedure will be performed
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight. This includes food, chewing gum, coffee, water and mints. Failure to do this may cause your surgery to be delayed or cancelled
  • Refrain from smoking, chewing tobacco and second hand smoke
  • Take medications as directed with a small sip of water. Follow any specific guidelines as directed by your doctor

The morning of surgery:

  • Arrange for transportation to and from the hospital from a family member or other adult.
  • Do not wear makeup or nail polish. Contact lenses will be removed prior to surgery so bring your case.
  • Leave all jewelry and valuables at home.
  • Bring your insurance card and picture ID.
  • Check in at the registration desk, located on the north side of the Mahaska Health campus, entrance #4. Campus Map
  • Notify your doctor or nurse of any changes in your physical condition such as fever, chills, sore throat, new cough, diarrhea or urinary problems
  • Blood test, X-rays or EKG (electrocardiogram) may be performed if ordered by your doctor
  • A pregnancy test may be required
  • Write down any questions you have and bring them with you the day of your surgery.
  • An anesthetist will meet with you to:
    • Review your medical information
    • Sign the necessary consents
    • Review current medications you are taking
    • Discuss the type of anesthesia to be given
    • Answer any questions or concerns you may have

During and After Surgery:

  • Your family and friends will be shown to the spacious surgical visitor’s lounge, complete with vending machines and free coffee. Volunteers are available to communicate updates during your procedure and a consultation room is nearby where the surgeon will meet with your visitors after your operation.
  • Once you are awake after surgery, you will be moved to recovery where you will be monitored before returning home.

Robotic Surgery at Mahaska Health

The surgeons at Mahaska Health often utilize a da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System. This equipment represents one of the most advanced surgical robot available.

Robotically-assisted surgeries are becoming the standard of care. The da Vinci robot is a great tool used by surgeons to treat patients in a minimally invasive way.

Robotic Surgery

da Vinci is a surgical robot that revolutionized minimally invasive surgery in the early 2000s.

Although the word robot can be misleading, the technology does not perform surgery on its own. The system is designed to help doctors perform minimally invasive surgery as they control the system from a console.

The da Vinci offers doctors 3D-HD advanced visualization of highly magnified, immersive views of the operative field. Tools include a surgical camera and precision instruments such as scissors, scalpels and forceps that can be used deep inside the body through only a few small incisions. The goal of da Vinci is to enhance the surgeon’s precision, dexterity and control.

Mahaska Health’s General Surgeons Paul Riggs, MD, FACS, and Tim Breon, MD, FACS, along with Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialist Jeffrey Fowler, DO, utilize the da Vinci in their practice.

During treatment, if you and your doctor determine surgery is required, your doctor will discuss options with you. Whenever possible, robotically-assisted surgery will be used. However, there will still be procedures which require laparoscopic or open incision.
Robotic-assist is commonly utilized for colorectal/lower GI, gallbladder, general gynecology procedures, hernia, hysterectomy and women’s health reproductive procedures.

Below is a list of common procedures, but surgeons can utilize a robotic-assist for many more.
• Gallbladder removal
• Hernia repair
• Colon resection (due to partial removal)
• Colorectal procedures (related to rectum)
• Hysterectomy
• Vaginal Colpopexy (reinforcement)
• Ovarian/Tubal procedures
• Fibroid removal
• Vaginal Prolapse (uterine reconstruction)
• Reproductive procedures

With the da Vinci Surgical System, surgeons operate through just a few small incisions. They maneuver the arms of the robot from a control panel where they see the area they’re operating on with a magnified, 3D-high definition view.

Through the use of specialized instruments, the surgeon’s hand movements are translated into smaller, more precise movements with instruments inside the body. Furthermore, due to the size of the robotic instruments, there is less disruption to internal organs not involved in the surgery and their versatility allows for the tools to be utilized in a 360 degree manner, even upside down if needed, which are movements the human wrist cannot accommodate.

Benefits to patients who have robotically-assisted surgery can include reduced pain; smaller incision sites; shorter hospital stays with quicker recoveries; and less scarring.

Patient Benefits
• Minimally invasive with smaller incisions
• Less scarring and faster healing at surgical site
• A shorter hospital stay and recovery time
Surgeon Enhancements
• More precise and controlled movements
• Magnified 3D-HD vision allows the Surgeon to see where they’re operating in more detail
• The robotic arms of the Xi system have greater range of motion providing a multi-positional reach not possible with older models

Hysterectomy is the second most common surgical procedure women have. Traditionally, the procedure required a large, open incision in the lower abdomen and a six to eight week recovery.

Robotically-assisted hysterectomies make it possible to perform a minimally invasive hysterectomy, using only five tiny incisions. Many women who were previously told they had to have an open hysterectomy instead of laparoscopic have had successful outcomes with robotic-assist.

A hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus and sometimes fallopian tubes and ovaries. The decision regarding what is removed as well as the surgical technique used is based on a woman’s condition, body type and surgical history.

Overall, studies have shown that robotically-assisted surgery results in less pain, fewer complications, less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery, helping patients get back to their normal activities sooner.