November 2019 – Dr. Anthony Yeung attended the 14th Annual Congress of Chinese Orthopaedic Association held in Shanghai, China. There, he was invited to give a Master Talk about emerging technologies in the field of endoscopic spine surgery.
This historical update and discussion on the current status of endoscopic spine surgery summarizes Dr. Anthony Yeung’s 30 years at DISC. Dr. Yeung retired from DISC in 2019, leaving his legacy to his son, Dr. Chris Yeung, and his team of fellowship trained spine surgeons with similar interest and in-house training in MIS spine.
Dr. Anthony Yeung, DISC Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and the Executive Director for the International Intradiscal Therapy Society (IITS), announced his retirement in an official statement on the IITS website. Below is an excerpt from the announcement.
“2019 was time for me to finally stop operating (at age 78) to focus my time on publishing my extensive experience of over 11,000 cases since 1991. I became very comfortable that my legacy will be carried on my son Chris Yeung and his team of fellowship trained spine surgeons with similar interest and in house training in MIS spine at our ASC, Squaw Peak Surgical Facility. The DISC team put together by Chris Yeung provides a wide spectrum of spine surgery options based on what is best for their patients Using training in open MIS spine surgery and endoscopic spine surgery. It was time to finally officially retire.”
From the desk of Anthony Yeung, MD Executive Director of IITS
I have witnessed the exponential acceleration of interest in endoscopic spine surgery in the past two years, from 2017-2018, especially in Asia. Tremendous interest and growth now comes from China, where Chinese President Xi’s directed economic reform has produced visible changes not only in news reports about their military presence, but in Health Care Reform. I have also personally experienced, and witnessed the changes and directives in spine care in my recent travels to China as an invited keynote speaker, stimulating more surgeon visits that I can accommodate.
Chinese minimally invasive surgical organizations, Chinese medical associations, and now even Chinese traditional medicine have embraced endoscopic surgery for their members. My concern is that interest should be accompanied by appropriate training in the United States. China is different than the West where Key Healthcare opinion leaders and Political leaders are more focused on volume and have their own requirements for training. China has a universal health care system where almost all providers are employed by Nationally ranked health care entities that filter down to regional and local facilities. More private practice hospitals are being developed. Their training centers are much different than in the West.
I report on my activities this year, along with pictures that chronicle interesting geographic, tourist, and historic sites in Asia. I encourage those interested to visit iits.org for updated material.
From the desk of Anthony Yeung, MD Executive Director of IETSS
New sub-societies are being established in China and Taiwan, as I step up training all over the world. One such society is the “Yeung Fellow’s Endoscopic Spine Society,” in China made up of my spine fellows and other physicians who are embracing the YESS endoscopic technique. A parallel “Academic Yeung” is also being formed for the Taiwanese Spine Surgeons currently being trained by me.
Below you will find excerpts from a personal message from the President of the “Yeung Fellow’s Endoscopic Spine Society,” Xifeng Zhang, M.D, PhD. about his encounters as both student, teacher and practitioner of MISS endoscopic techniques, as well as the values, beliefs, and establishment of the “Yeung Fellow’s Endoscopic Spine Society.” I encourage you to download and read the full statement.
From the desk of Anthony Yeung, MD Executive Director of IETSS (formerly IITS and IITTSS )
Spinal Therapies announced its dissolution after the company determined that it is unlikely to ever regain profitability since the early days when chymopapain was promoted by the likes of Eugene Nordby, who is still alive and thriving as the first Executive Director of IITS.
I took over IITS at the request of Dr. Nordby and maintained an emphasis on the Organization’s focus on Intradiscal therapy aided by the endoscope as the least invasive, visually-guided treatment for discogenic pain.
Intradiscal therapy is still the only Level I validated EBM. Unfortunately, events adversely affecting Pharma and Surgical company profitability have caused both entities to turn toward the more profitable implant and hardware devices to follow the money and the road to profits.
We have, however, a core of highly trained and dedicated surgeons who recognize the future of spine care who are are lifetime members of IITTS, and each proudly wears the wears the Gold IITS pin on their lapels at spine meetings, still promoting Intradiscal therapy through an endoscope.