The Doctors: Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Pterygium Eye Surgery


Dr. Ian Armstrong: Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

A lot of us suffer from neck pain. But Cain’s neck problems were interfering with his everyday life. That’s why spinal neurosurgeon Dr. Ian Armstrong decided to perform an Anterior Cervical Discectomy And Fusion.

The Doctors: Dry Eyes & Pain May Lead To Surgery

Dry Eyes and trouble focusing for long periods could indicate a need for eye surgery, according to The Doctors.


The Doctors shared graphic video of Cain’s surgery, where they implanted a cadaver bone and a product designed to promote bone growth and fusion. They also screwed a titanium plate to stabilize their work. Neck surgery is kind of gross, but still pretty interesting.

The Drs TV: Neck Pain Relief Surgery

After the surgery, Dr. Ian Armstrong and Cain joined The Doctors in the studio. Dr. Armstrong explained the surgery using an animation. They took a disc out of Cain’s neck and replaced with a stem cell placer, fixing it in place with the plate. He said that over the next three to four months, the bone will fuse with the implant.

Cain had progressive loss of function, numbness, and decreasing muscle size, which made him a good candidate for this procedure. Loss of fine motor movement of your hands, which you may notice in fastening buttons or changes in your writing, can be early indicators.


The surgery was just three days before this episode was taped, and Dr. Armstrong said Cain should be able to resume his active lifestyle in two to three months.

The Doctors: Pterygium Eye Surgery

A woman named Caprice said that she started having dry eyes about four years ago. She works with computers and had trouble focusing. She would have to take frequent breaks, and a red dot in her vision kept growing bigger. Finally, she sought medical advice.

Her opthalmologist, Dr. Kerry Assil, said Caprice had a Pterygium, a growth over the cornea, which is the clear part of your eye. These usually occur in the nasal corner of your eye. It is a reaction to ultraviolet energy. It can cause redness, irritation, and blurred vision.

The reparative surgery normally takes about 20 minutes, and the patient remains awake. It is a delicate procedure that involves using scissors near your eye. This is a reminder that I don’t have steady enough hands to be a surgeon.

Dr. Kerry Assil: Pterygium Surgery Rate Of Recurrence

Dr. Kerry Assil and Caprice joined Dr. Travis Stork in the studio to talk about this common problem with a hard-to-spell name. Pterygium actually means “wing-like,” and it’s caused by tissue breakdown from sun exposure. Scar tissue grows in its place, which causes the condition.

Caprice said her eye was irritated almost all the time. Dr. Assil used a 3D animation to describe the surgery. After removing the Pterygium, he had to insert medicated sponges to prevent scar tissue. Then they use biological glue to affix amniotic tissue to the formerly scarred surface, to keep it from coming back.

Since this new procedure has been developed, rate of recurrence has dropped from 50% to 2% in recent years, according to Dr. Kerry Assil. If untreated, in severe cases, Pterygium can lead to blindness.


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