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Thread: Is Dr. Kao for real?

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  1. #1
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    Is Dr. Kao for real?

    Deciding not to have Dr. Kao's procedure was the best decision I made last year. He had examined me in March 2002 and told me he could restore my bowel, bladder and sexual functions.

    Dr. Kao is a rogue physician who does not have hospital privileges in the United States.

    I had been injured (T-9 complete) for two years, was desperate for a cure, and was going to take out a second mortgage to pay for the $30,000 surgery.

    After the surgery, his patients are given an exercise regimen that some of his patients said was far to difficult and time-consuming to follow.

    Ccommon sense took over and I asked myself: "How does he know that he can restore my bowel, bladder and sexual functions?" How can he promise me that? It seemed to be unbelievable and unethical.

    He showed me a film of his so-called successes, and they were not impressive. In one scene a guy was using a walker. In another scene a young female incomplete quad could -- with much difficulty -- shuffle forward with the help of huge braces. I was in a spinal injury ward and saw some patients regain significant function, including a guy could walk when he left the hospital. It's doubtful that Kao's surgery made much of a difference with these people.

    Some patients feel they have been led by God to have Kao's surgery. Beware of letting your faith overrule reason and common sense.

    Dr. Kao also stiched a pressure sore of a patient with thread and it became severely infected. This is among many questionable things he has done to people. Still, he has a group of True Believers who swear by him.

    A tremendous burden was released when I decided not to have his surgery. I am now focused on learning to adapt to my injury the best that I can, though I'm still haven't accepted it and am disheartened by it.

    Decent people threw a fundraiser to one guy to have Kao's surgery. They were duped by false claims that his surgery works. That's not right.

    What do you think of this? Where should we look for a cure? I'm looking at the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the Miami Project for accurate information about the lastest research done toward the goal of curing spinal cord injuries.

  2. #2
    Scribe, interesting thread. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with your assessment.

    Yes, MP and CRPF are two of the U.S. based contingents working on sci recovery (cure).

    However, you may want to read some of the information concerning Beijing (Dr. Huang) as this is probably one of the most popular avenues that other members are pursuing.

    There are others such as Taiwan, Portugal, etc.

    I'm sure, since you've been here a while, that you've also checked out places like Project Walk? If not, you may want to take a look at the Exercise forum for alternative PT related recovery approaches.

    Good luck. Onward and upward.

  3. #3
    Senior Member giambjj's Avatar
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    Dear Scribe:

    About half of Dr. Kao's patients show some progress after his surgery. That being said, I would also recommend to future SCI patients, that they consider less invasive and expensive treatments such as offered in China or Portugal.

    Sincerely:

    Kig Tut

  4. #4
    Scribe, I agree that Dr. Kao does not deliver what he promises.

    What I've always said about Dr. Kao's procedure is if you need a decompression/untethering, he is one of the best. If you are able to find someone good who will do the surgery in the US and your insurance will pay, even better. It's that simple.

    I had his surgery and am glad because now I'm ready for the next thing that comes along. And I've gotten some small return of function (limited use of hip flexors).

    I tend to think that his combination of therapies (i.e. hyperbaric chamber treatment after surgery, omentum, Schwann cells with decompression and untethering) along with his exellent skills as a surgeon make him a good choice IF YOUR SPINA CORD IS COMPRESSED AND YOU CAN'T HAVE IT DONE IN THE US.

    It is not a cure. And, yes, he does not deliver what he promises. Scribe, since yours is a newer injury, you probably don't need to be decompressed.

    BTW, there's nothing wrong with praying for guidance when you're making such a big decision as to have a major surgery. I've never spoken to anyone who said that God lead them to Dr. Kao. I've never prayed so hard as when I decided to go to Ecuador.

    Personally, I don't think the nerve graph works. If I had to do it over, I would try to see if he would do the surgery w/o the nerve graph. It is very invasive.

    Jan

    [This message was edited by Jan on 11-05-03 at 12:22 PM.]

  5. #5
    ChrisD and Schmecky please check your private topics.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Originally posted by Jan:

    Scribe, I agree that Dr. Kao does not deliver what he promises.

    What I've always said about Dr. Kao's procedure is if you need a decompression/untethering, he is one of the best. If you are able to find someone good who will do the surgery in the US and your insurance will pay, even better. It's that simple.

    I had his surgery and am glad because now I'm ready for the next thing that comes along. And I've gotten some small return of function (limited use of hip flexors).

    I tend to think that his combination of therapies (i.e. hyperbaric chamber treatment after surgery, omentum, Schwann cells with decompression and untethering) along with his exellent skills as a surgeon make him a good choice IF YOUR SPINA CORD IS COMPRESSED AND YOU CAN'T HAVE IT DONE IN THE US. It is a major surgery.. there are incomplete patients who have lost function! (which is why it is not usually done with stable patients in the US) I don't know of any completes who have lost function.

    Scribe, since yours is a newer injury, you probably don't need to be decompressed.

    BTW, I don't think there's anything wrong with praying for guidance when you're making such a big decision as to have a major surgery. I've never spoken to anyone who said that God lead them to Dr. Kao. I've never prayed so hard as when I decided to go to Ecuador.

    Personally, I don't think the nerve graph works. If I had to do it over, I would try to see if he would do the surgery w/o the nerve graph. It is very invasive.

    Jan

    [This message was edited by Jan on 11-05-03 at 12:22 PM.]

  7. #7
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    Jan, thanks for your thoughtfulness and articulate response. I agree about the decompression surgery. And I do not disparage your faith, prayers, and penchant to ask God for divine wisdom to make the right decision. Further, I'm happy you had the surgery because we all benefit from your knowledge about the subject.

    My biggest complaint was his assurance that I would regain bowel, bladder and sexual functions, his lack of followup, fundraisers to raise money for Kao's procedure, and, most of all, his empty promises to people who are desperate for a cure.

  8. #8
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    King Tut, what do you mean half of Kao's patients have made progress? That's about the same rate of progress that SCIs have without the surgery. Moreover, even if there's progress, his results are unimpressive. Further, we can all agree that his promises to me were without foundation and highly unethical. Thanks for your input. You obviously have much to offer in these forums.

    ChrisD, I'm much obliged for your civil and educational response. I look forward to seeing your posts in these forums.

  9. #9
    Yes scribe, desperation often leads to unrealistic expectations.

    I don't think that many doctors truly understand that desperation and can also manage it well. It's a very tough balancing act.

    I think Kao means well and is an excellent surgeon for the reasons Jan mentioned. Unfortunately, his claims have mostly gone unfulfilled for the vast majority of his patients.

    Sometimes desperation can be blinding.

    Peace.

  10. #10
    Senior Member giambjj's Avatar
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    Scribe:

    Kao's treatments have been mostly on completes that are 2 or more years post injury. Recovery in these individuals, without any treatments, are usually minimal. Like you, I discourage people from getting his surgery.

    The King!

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