» First off, I want to say that after a cursory reading of the posts on this
» site, one quickly gets the impression that Coen Gho is not a reputable
» scientist or dermatologist. But if you actually look more closely, this is
» not the case at all, and I am at a loss as to why people are so angry about
» Gho. Is it because he tried to develop HM and failed? I think we have to
» mature about this and accept failure as a necessary step to success. In
» fact, I recall one eminent Nobel Prize winning scientist saying that he
» only achieved more success than his peers because he was willing to fail
» more often.
It at least in part was fueled by one particular poster who was refused treatment by a HT surgeon who posted at this site. If I recall, the surgeon cited the reason for the refusal as “patient mental unbalance” or something along those lines. I don’t know, the flame got so tedious, I lost track. As I recall, the poster grew very agitated at the HT surgeon and began a public Internet campaign to destroy the surgeon. The surgeon became angry and publicly threatened the poster. I have no idea of that surgeons credentials. For all I know he could have been full of BS or not full of BS. Things continued to heat up. As time went on, the poster’s hatred of HT doctors began to spread, and he started a personal smear campaign against Dr. Gho that had very little basis in fact. Many posters of this site who were unrealistically bitter about being bald jumped on the negativity bandwagon against Dr. Gho and the level of attacks continued to increase as did the unsubstantiated nature of the claims made again him.
In those days, I warned that these style of attacks would cause Dr. Gho and other HM scientists to refuse to provide interviews and research updates to the public. In fact, we had come to expect yearly updates from Dr. Gho, but after the attacks, he stopped providing us the updates. Since that time, the only public interview I recall Dr. Gho has provided was arranged and provided by me. The owner of hairsite.com was kind enough to post the interview on his website. At that time, the attacks against Dr. Gho increased into a frenzy. I warned that I would not provide future interviews with HM scientists as I could not ethically continue to jeopardize their professional credibility. The attacks continued, thus I have never again posted interviews with HM scientists on hairsite.com. In fact, I think Dr. Gho’s interview was probably the last time any scientist ever provided an interview for this website. In short, the kind of behavior exhibited by some of the posters at this website was not only unethical and damaging to the people who were personally attacked, it was also damaging to the public’s interest and helped to fuel an outright information black-out.
» Anyway, back on Gho: the guy has published in the British Journal of
» Dermatology, which is a very respectable journal (please take my word on
» this, as I live in the UK). Additionally, he recently spoke at a
» conference chaired by the Royal Society of Medicine in the UK (see
» Again, this is a prestigious organization and they don’t get clowns to
» speak at their seminars. So, the guy didn’t fully develop HM as everyone
» here would like, but we should not make the mistake of dismissing his
» other research or techniques(such as Hair Stemcell Transplantation)
» because of whatever he failed to do with HM.
I agree 100%, and I made a similar argument on this website repeatedly. But in trying to make my point, the delusional unsubstantiated attacks against Dr. Gho only increased in severity. You are one of the few posters who has looked at the scientific credibility of this researcher objectively. Believe it or not, the attacks were borderline insanity. Some posters claimed Dr. Gho didn’t exist and that the owner of hairsite.com made him up to drive up website hits. Others claimed that Dr. Gho was a real person but that he had no scientific credentials and had simply made up HM in order to bring business into his HT clinic. Others went on to claim that he falsified his claims about his HT technique and was nothing short of the worst and most evil con artist who graced the earth. The delusional attacks against this man are IMO a tradgedy. But as you have pointed out, this is par for the course of anybody who dare think in a futuristic manner and refuse to follow the safe and proven techniques preached from the rooftops by the herd mentality.
» JB - you seem extremely knowledgeable on Gho and his techniques. My query
» to you is, have you seen or heard from any former patients of Gho’s? It
» seems a little surprising to me that no one is willing to talk about their
» experiences with Dr. Gho. One explanantion could be because most of his
» patients are Dutch, and typically do not visit English based sites such as
» this one. Also, I saw the transcript of your interview with Gho and was
» wondering what you think of the guy personally?
The owner of this website is a former patient of Dr. Gho using the old FM technique. In addition to that, I met with and observed the results of one patient who had Gho’s old FM procedure. This patient claimed he recieved 80% donor regrowth. I had no way of verifying this claim, but I also had no reason to doubt his claim. IMO, the patient I saw was too bald to benefit from Dr. Gho’s technique, but he was happy with his result. The hair that was placed in the recipient area was nowhere near normal density, and I got the impression that Gho’s procedure moved too few of grafts to make that much of a difference in such a bald area. To put it into perspective, the bald area was huge, and the patient had planted something like 350 grafts there. He had previously used up his donor with strip surgery, so his delight was that he was able to continue HT using Gho’s donor stingy technique.
Gho claims his new HST procedure provides a lot more grafts per procedure than the old FM procedure and that the donor regrowth is more consistent. In the study I provided that showed the donor regrowth with the old FM technique was about 72%, it is important to realize that this figure could not be counted on with FM. The regrowth was very inconsistent because follicles grow to various depths in the skin. There is no way to know how deep to transect the follicle, so there is no way to perform FM consistently. If you cut too deep, only the recipient graft would grow. If you cut too shallow, only the donor would regrow. If you happened to cut at just the right depth, you would get two grafts for one. As unbelievable as that seems, the fundamental research that proves this is possible was done as far back as the 1960’s.
Gho claims he improved the consistency with HST by transecting the grafts horizontally instead of vertically. This allows him to see how to cut the graft as opposed to doing it blindly in the old FM procedure. The claim is that all you need is a portion of the follicle that possesses stem cells, and with the correct pre-treatment, it will regenerate.
I have corresponded with Dr. Gho but have never personally met him. He has always been extremely polite to me and very forthcoming with my questions about HM research. I have for the most part not had a large interest in HST or FM, but I did focus on that subject in my interview with him as it perks my curiosity somewhat. Much like you, I wonder what can be accomplished with HST. I can’t provide answers about how well it works, because I know too little about it. I can say that after reading numerous research papers by the most famous hair researchers, I came to the conclusion that Dr. Gho’s claims about FM were fundamentally sound from a scientific standpoint. Everything he stated about the technique exactly matched with the scientific studies I had read. That is why I became so frustrated when I saw all the personal attacks Dr. Gho received. And it is why I have so many times stated that ICX HM was directly paralleling where Gho had already been, and that it was important that ICX phase II studies break real ground into the future or they could end up in a similar place as Gho. I’m not particularly down on ICX these days, but I am a little shocked they have abandoned phase III trials, because a few years ago I asked Dr. Gho his personal opinion of ICX, and he predicted they would not make it through phase III. I privately believed he was completely wrong about his prediction, so having it come to fruition has indeed been surprising.
Is HST as scientifically sound as FM? I don’t know. I don’t know of a single person who has ever gotten it. Dr. Gho pretty much dropped off the map after the posters at hairsite and other forums mounted a smear campaign against him. I believe my interview (was it 2005?) was probably the last public info anyone has ever seen from Dr. Gho. He is mostly content to provide his services to local clients and stay out of the spotlight. I can’t say that I blame him.
As to my opinion of Dr. Gho. I believe his scientific claims bear a lot of weight, but I have questions as to his skills as a surgeon. I have never seen a “dense” restoration come from his clinic. When I asked him about density, the numbers he provided sounded good, as he claimed he could give denser results than standard FM due to using a smaller needle. I have no way of verifying that statement, and I have never seen evidence that this is indeed possible.
I have sometimes wondered if Dr. Gho’s expectations are out of line with patients because he has a full head of hair and thinks deeply about science as opposed to heading down to the local bar to try to pickup chicks. I think surgeons with full heads of hair are somewhat at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding the exact expectations of their patients. But my statement about this is purely speculative. I feel Dr. Gho’s intentions are 100% genuine. He is a human being subject to strengths and weaknesses like everybody else. I do not believe he is out to con anybody or rip anybody off. The real question is whether or not he can deliver a good HT and how consistent his donor regrowth procedure is? My belief is that Dr. Gho is an outstanding hair scientist. However, I suspect that he is a much better scientist than a HT surgeon because that is where he focuses his time.
Since you live close to Gho, why don’t you make an appointment to go see him and some of his patients in person? That would provide you with a much better understanding of the potential results of his technique than I can provide you.
» Finally, wishing all a happy Easter - take it easy guys!
Happy Easter to you too! I hope you are able to get some good info on Gho’s technique. Please share anything you find out.