Dr. Anthony Yeung: Lessons learned and predictions for endoscopic spine surgery

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

Anthony Yeung, MD, founder of Phoenix-based Desert Institute for Spine Care and developer of the Yeung Endoscopic Spine System, recently penned an article for the Journal of Spine about the lessons he has learned from 27 years of performing endoscopic spinal procedures.


In the article, Dr. Yeung outlines the challenges facing innovation in the healthcare space, especially the cost associated with clinical trials and publishing evidence-based research to disseminate findings. "It may be time to consider innovative disruption as a form of evidence-based medicine to migrate the unsustainable increase in the cost of care for spine treatment," he wrote. "Endoscopic spine surgery fits consideration as an innovative disruptive procedure.

During his career, Dr. Yeung has gathered data from more than 10,000 spine cases performed since 1991 to examine the value and outcomes of pain relief from endoscopic spinal procedures. He performs the surgeries under local anesthesia without sedation and finds the procedure safe and cost-effective.

However, it takes significant time and resources for surgeons to obtain the skills and experience necessary to perform endoscopic spinal procedures. "It will take approximately five years for the average trained technician to be skilled and confident enough to adopt endoscopic procedures as a dedicated subspecialty and 10 years to really experience and understand the role and future of endoscopic philosophy and techniques," Dr. Yeung wrote.

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