Dr. Anthony T. and Eileen K. Yeung make first of its kind Spine Center at UNM a reality!

March 15, 2013

Physicians and Patients Benefit with the Least Invasive Spine Techniques

Phoenix, AZ, March 13, 2013 – Dr. Anthony Yeung, of Desert Institute for Spine Care in Phoenix, Arizona attended The University of New Mexico School of Medicine. His training now comes full circle by the founding of a state-of-the-art spine center at his alma mater. In the 1990s, Dr. Yeung developed an FDA approved endoscopically guided laser spine technique, complemented by surgical tools that have revolutionized spine care. His work continues to evolve as he finds new ways to treat patients with the least invasive approach. He and his wife, Eileen, have donated $2.5 Million to develop a comprehensive spine center at the University of New Mexico, where he will continue his work in endoscopic laser spine care as a professor of spine surgery at UNM, teaching faculty, spine fellows, and residents, who will in turn offer patients this effective minimally invasive technique. Physicians will benefit from having a one-of-a-kind facility to learn Dr. Yeung’s techniques, including the FDA approved Yeung Endoscopic Spine Surgery (YESS™) system.

“This gift is, in a small way, a means of bringing endoscopic spine surgery to a university setting, providing training and clinical research that will fit in with the new health mandate for increased access, and in a more cost effective way,” stated Dr. Yeung.  “Endoscopic foraminal spine surgery offers the most minimally invasive surgical solution to visualizing and treating the pain generators without burning any bridges for traditional more invasive procedures that have higher surgical morbidity. It will greatly complement other specialized spine care providers, especially when working in a multi-disciplinary setting.”

Dr. Yeung will be working closely with Dr. Howard Yonas, Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at University of New Mexico, to develop the new Spine Center. Dr. Yonas stated, “I am excited about the opportunity that you have provided to our group at UNM. Because we have a very cohesive multi-disciplinary group in our spine program, it is clear that each part of the breadth of your work will be embraced by one or more member(s) of the team.” He went on to state that he envisions the endoscopic spine center will be a center of excellence where physicians can learn what Dr. Yeung has accomplished and also push the field forward as new techniques emerge in endoscopic spine surgery.

A distinguished colleague from the Texas Back Institute, Dr. Stephen Hochschuler, remarked, “This gift to UNM is a further demonstration of Tony’s unrelenting 30 year commitment to minimally invasive spine surgery. Tony’s leadership in this realm is known by all.” Dr. Hansen Yuan, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Orthopaedic and Neurological Surgery at SUNY and also a leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, commented, “Dr. Anthony Yeung and Mrs. Eileen Yeung are two very prominent individuals and well known in the Endoscopic Spinal Surgical field. Dr. Yeung has served as the catalyst for the development and progressive growth of the endoscopic approach to the lumbar spine as the least invasive approach to diagnose, decompress, stabilize, and even fuse the motion segments. He has brought together Surgeons, Inventors, and Device Companies to all work toward the success of his charge. His generous commitment to donate to his Alma Mater, The University of New Mexico, $2.5 Million for the establishment of an academic Spinal Endoscopic Surgical Center with the most current innovations, has the purpose of educating doctors for the benefit of patients.  I applaud Dr. and Mrs. Yeung for their vision and contribution.”

Pictured from left to right: Kim Kur, AZ Community Foundation Relationship Manager, Eileen Yeung, Dr. Anthony Yeung, Dr. Howard Yonas, & Wendy Stires, Associate VP of Principal Giving for UNM Foundation

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