General Information

Dear Colleagues,


The Art and Science of Spine Surgery worldwide has enormously evolved at an unreachable pace. Emerging technologies in the field have also widened the disparity between the have and the have-not countries. In this context, spine specialists from developing countries find it insurmountable to update themselves so that they can provide their countrymen the latest trend in spine surgical techniques.

Ten South East Asian countries with a combined population of 630 million have bonded together into a regional intergovernmental organization called the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that promote economic, political, cultural, educational and medical cooperation. The ASEAN MISST is one of the solutions of these countries to help each other in being up to date in the latest of spine care concepts specifically minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS).

MISS techniques are however very difficult to adopt due to inaccessible training, need for specialized equipment, and a very steep learning curve. The plight of spine specialists from the ASEAN region in learning these techniques is long and arduous from the socio-economic standpoint. ASEAN MISST sort of espouses the principle taken from the old Turkish proverb- “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” If ASEAN spine specialists cannot travel outside to learn the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery then let us bring the education to where they are. And thus, begin the journey of the ASEAN MISST to the South East Asian countries.

It is also a showcase of remarkable innovations from developing countries where many experts from first world countries learn from specialists in the ASEAN region- a reversal of roles where the masters learn from their students as well. We welcome you to the Philippines for the 5th ASEAN MISST. We promise a high caliber meeting but do not fail to See, Hear, Feel, Smell, and Taste the Philippines. Find out why “It is Fun to learn MISS in the Philippines.”

All the best,


Executive Committee
Chair: Rafael C. Bundoc, MD (Philippines)
Co-Chair: Pornpavit Sripirom, MD (Thailand)
Executive Director: Gerardo Legaspi, MD (Philippines)
President: Gun Keorochana, MD (Thailand)

Country Representatives

Jose Manuel Ignacio, MD (Philippines)
Nurul Bin Mohamad Noor, MD (Malaysia)
Dennis Hey, MD (Singapore)
Luthfi Gatam, MD (Indonesia)
Kyaw Min Soe, MD (Myanmar)
Akarawit Asawasaksakul, MD (Thailand)
Vo Van Thanh (Vietnam)

Scientific Committee

Ronnie Baticulon, MD (Philippines)
Dave Dizon, MD (Philippines)
Samuel Arsenio Grozman, MD (Philippines)
Jose Miguel Lumawig, MD (Philippines)
Elmer Jose Meceda, MD (Philippines)
Frederick Nicomedez, MD (Philippines)

Organizing Committee

When Neurosurgeons and Orthopedic Surgeons bond together for a common interest called Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

L-R: Frederick Nicomedez (Ortho), Samuel Arsenio Grozman (Ortho), Dave Anthony Dizon (Ortho), Jose Miguel Lumawig (Ortho), Rafael Bundoc (Ortho), Elmer Jose Maceda (Neuro), Kenny Seng (Neuro), Ronnie Baticulon (Neuro).

History of the ASEAN MISST

In 2014 Professor Wiwat Wajanavist and Pornpavit Sripirom founded the Thai MISS (Thai Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery) with the main objective of grouping together surgeons in Thailand with a common interest in MISS and to help promote the practice of endoscopic spine surgery.

The following year Pornpavit Sripirom thought of organizing the ASEAN MISST to invite spine specialists in the ASEAN region who share the same passion for MISS.  Organized by the Thai MISS and the Rajavithi Hospital who provided the budget to support the meeting- the 1st ASEAN MISST Congress was held in Bangkok in August of 2015.

The subsequent meetings of the ASEAN MISST would be held in Thailand.  The partnership of the Rajavithi Hospital and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is responsible for the maiden voyage of the ASEAN MISST across the seas with the Minimally Invasive Surgery Study Group of the PGH Orthopedic Spine Section taking the lead in the organization of the 5th ASEAN MISST Congress.

Organized in 2011, the UP-PGH Ortho Spine MISS Group was created to help propagate minimally invasive spine surgery across the Philippine archipelago which the University Hospital pioneered in 2004.