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Is Dr. Kao for real?

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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
    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.

    Comment


      #3
      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
      Jake's Pop

      Comment


        #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.]

        Comment


          #5
          ChrisD and Schmecky please check your private topics.

          Thanks.
          What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator

          Comment


            #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.]

            Comment


              #7
              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.

              Comment


                #8
                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.

                Comment


                  #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. [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

                  Comment


                    #10
                    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!
                    Jake's Pop

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Scribe, welcome and thanks for contributing. Several CC members have gone to Ecuador for this treatment and promised to share their progress reports upon return, one or two have but the progress they made failed to live up what they were led to expect, others haven't reported anything at all. Dr. Kao used to promise a return of sensation to the knees, since you didn't mention that I assume something has led him to adjust that opinion.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Dr. J. J.:

                        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!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks again King Tut and ChrisD for your insightful comments. I wish more people would visit this forum. It may inspire them to think about vulnerable we all are to anyone who promises a cure. I strongly recommend that SCIs not have Kao's surgery.

                          Maybe, as Jan says, he's a great surgeon. But if he is, why is he ostracized from the medical community and has no hospital privileges?

                          Also, does he pay taxes on these procedures? It appears he doesn't because he accepts cash only and no insurance claiims. I may be wrong about this, but I don't think I am.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I had dr.kao's surgery in jan 2001.I'am t-7 complete(they say).I've not seen one change since my surgery.Unless you have the money to pay a therapist to come to your house and work with you for 6-8 hour's a day?you won't be able to complete his work out program.And if you ever get him to come back out and see you after the surgery(took a year and a half)like he promise's.He say's that you have'nt got anything back because you have'nt completed his work out program exactly like he say's.I never got a detailed sheet of the program until after the surgery.I still workout 3 time's a week with a therapist,and i'am not giving up ever.I just think it's horseshit the thing's he said he could do for me(bowel,blatter,sexual function's and motor & feeling down to my knee's) and not anything at all happening.Oh ya,i live about 15 minute's from project walk(escondido)and there like a bunch of whore's working a corner in carlsbad.Everything is about money there,my mom and girlfriend went in there again last week and all they talked about is money.I guess one of the therapy's there now is showing poeple how to right a check.They showed a bunch of surfer kid's how to exercise poeple for 3 hour's while they go to the bank and then club med for happy hour......whatever....they where nice though

                            Comment


                              #15
                              overtheline,

                              If you had a chance to do it over again do you think the $30k you paid Dr. Kao would have been better spent on an exercised induced recovery program, like PW?

                              Are you going to pursue it, since you live so close?

                              I agree, the fees are getting exorbitant. But believe it or not Washington University in St. Louis charges something (I've heard) on the order of $3,000 a day! [img]/forum/images/smilies/eek.gif[/img] if you're "in residence".

                              It's a shame and obviously one of the primary reasons ($$$) why more of this community doesn't / can't engage in these types of programs.

                              Comment

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