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Astria Health launches brand new robotic surgery program in Sunnyside

(SUNNYSIDE, Wash., June 1, 2022) – Astria Health is proud to announce the start of its new robotic surgery program at Astria Sunnyside Hospital (ASH). The first-ever robotic surgical procedure in Sunnyside is scheduled for June 6.

On March 31, Astria Health received the da Vinci Xi® robot for its surgical suite. According to its manufacturer, Intuitive:

“There are several models of the da Vinci surgical system. The da Vinci surgical systems are designed to help surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery. Da Vinci systems offer surgeons high-definition 3D vision, a magnified view, and robotic and computer assistance. They use specialized instrumentation, including a miniaturized surgical camera and wristed instruments (i.e., scissors, scalpels and forceps) that are designed to help with precise dissection and reconstruction deep inside the body.”

Spearheading this program is Astria Health’s Board-Certified General and Thoracic Surgeon, Dr. Ernesto Dizon, Jr., MD, FACS. Dr. Dizon started seeing patients at Astria Health in November 2021. Before joining Astria, Dr. Dizon served as the Chief of Surgery and Trauma Director for RCCH Trios Hospital in Kennewick. He offers over 16 years of experience in minimally-invasive and non-invasive surgical procedures.

“One of the reasons why I joined Astria Health was to provide Yakima Valley residents with greater access to the latest surgical techniques and technology,” said Dr. Dizon.

 Developing a robotic surgical program is no small task, but Astria Health surgeons, surgical team members, and employees are up to the challenge.

“Robotic surgery is less-invasive and provides faster recovery periods for patients,” said Brian Gibbons, Astria Health Chief Executive Officer, and ASH Administrator. “We’re here to do what’s best for our patients, and offering more advanced surgical care locally is the right way to go.” 

Mr. Gibbons said that Dr. Dizon’s experience, vision and leadership are perfect for implementing this robotics program.

“Dr. Dizon is a highly-skilled and compassionate physician who focuses on the needs of patients while delivering exceptional care to individuals and their families,” said Gibbons. “His skill set, expertise and collaborative attitude with our other surgeons are just what we need to make this robotic program successful.”   

Three other surgeons will join Dr. Dizon to perform robotic surgery in Sunnyside: Dr. Manuel Ybanez, General Surgery; Dr. Miguel Brizuela, OB/GYN; and Dr. Robert Wells, OB/GYN. They will be performing surgeries including but not limited to hernia repair, colon resection, appendectomy (appendix removal), spleen removal, lung resection, tubal ligation and hysterectomy (partial or complete).

For more information about Astria Health’s Robotic Surgery program, please visit

Astria Health, headquartered in the heart of the Yakima Valley, is the largest non-profit healthcare system based in Eastern Washington state. Astria Health is the parent organization of Astria Sunnyside Hospital and Astria Toppenish Hospital, along with 23 outpatient clinics offering primary care and specialty services, including but not limited to behavioral health, cardiology, home health and hospice, neurosurgery, oncology, podiatry, rehabilitation therapy and sleep medicine. For more information visit



Posted June 01, 2022

Astria Health launches brand new robotic surgery program in Sunnyside

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