Anthony T. Yeung is a distinguished physician based in Phoenix, Arizona. With twenty-six years of experience in endoscopic spine surgery, Dr. Yeung specializes in diagnosing and treating the causes of back pain and sciatica from painful degenerative conditions of the lumbar spine. His group’s practice, Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC), is best-known for their traditionally fellowship trained spine surgeons, including his son, Christopher Yeung, who specializes in sports spine, working with professional sports teams such as the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Arizona Cardinals, and during Spring Training season the Los Angeles Angels, the Chicago Cubs, the Kansas City Royals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Seattle Mariners, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Colorado Rockies.
As he tells it, Dr. Yeung’s decision to become a physician was due to his experience with a helpful doctor after his family escaped to the United States from communist China:
When we escaped communism in October 1949, we went to Tucson, Arizona, and my mother was befriended by an ENT doctor there named Dr. Jack Klein. Realizing we had no money, he gave my mother some hospital beds and became our family doctor. I decided then that I wanted to be like him because of his effect on our family and how he helped us.
As an immigrant who had to start school in America at seven years old without speaking a word of English, Dr. Yeung became obsessed with working hard to get ahead and ended up graduating near the top of his class in high school. After earning his medical degree from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, he went on to complete his internship at the Good Samaritan Hospital and a residency in general and orthopedic surgery at the Maricopa County Medical Center. Before going into private practice, Dr. Yeung spent two years in the Philippines as Chief of Orthopedics for the U.S. Navy. His ambition and drive propelled him through all of his years of schooling and military service, and into his career as a top endoscopic spine surgeon.
Board-Certified in General Orthopedic Spine Surgery, Dr. Yeung was the first to use endoscopically guided lasers and is the developer of the FDA-approved Yeung Endoscopic Spine System (YESS™). YESS™, a form of Selective Endoscopic Discectomy™ (SED™), is a minimally invasive spine surgery technique that utilizes an endoscope to treat herniated, protruded, extruded, or degenerative discs that are a contributing factor to leg and back pain. Today, Dr. Yeung is known for his patented technique as well as the compassionate care he provides patients. Guaranteeing improvements in the patients he treats, he inspires confidence and exudes trustworthiness.
As a thought-leader in his specialty, Dr. Yeung is the author of over a hundred scientific publications on his YESS™ technique, which is taught in the private fellowship program directed by Dr. Yeung onsite at the Squaw Peak Surgical Facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Internationally renowned, Dr. Yeung is the recipient of numerous awards, including Top Doctor for 2011 by Phoenix Magazine, "100 of the Best Spine Surgeons and Specialists in America" by The Becker's Orthopedic Spine Review, and was named a "Health Care Hero" by the Phoenix Business Journal.
This vantage point gives Dr. Yeung a unique perspective from which to keep himself apprised of prevailing trends in medicine. In particular, he notes the increasing complication of dealing with insurance companies:
I became a doctor to take care of my patients and I can’t do what I think is needed when we constantly have to look to see if the insurance will pay.
After nearly five decades dedicated to medicine, Dr. Yeung shows no signs of slowing down. Looking to the future, he hopes to preserve a physician’s autonomy and patient’s choice, whether that means clients are coming to him because he is the best in his specialty or simply because he accepts their insurance. Passionate and confident, Dr. Yeung plans to remain a standard-setting expert in endoscopy for many years to come.
Education, Training, & Certification
Board-Certified in Orthopedic Spine Surgery
Professional Memberships & Community Involvement
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons • Western Orthopedic Association • Arizona Orthopedic Society • American Medical Association • Arizona Medical Association • Maricopa County Medical Society • Chinese American Medical Society • International Society for Minimal Intervention in Spinal Surgery • International Intradiscal Therapy Society • North American Spine Society • American Academy of Minimally Invasive Spinal Medicine and Surgery • American College of Spine Surgeons • International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery • Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery – founding member • World Congress Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery and Techniques – President • International Intradiscal and Transforaminal Therapy Spine Society – Executive Director
Awards & Honors
Asian and Pacific Islander Community in Action’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2014) • Becker’s Spine Surgeon Leadership Award (2013) • Greater Chinese United Association’s Professional Achievement Award (2013) • Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery’s Kambin Award for MIS Spine Surgery (2012) • Becker’s Top 100 Spine Surgeons in the US (2012) • Phoenix Magazine’s Top Doctor Award (2011) • Best Poster Award (2005-2006, 2011) • Arizona Medical Association’s National Leadership Award (2004) Phoenix Business Journal’s Health Care Hero (2003, 2010) • Arizona Medical Association’s Humanitarian Award (2003) • Lyman Smith’s Best Paper Award (2003) • Western Orthopedic Association Board of Directors’ Best Clinical Presentation Award (1994)