[quote]Experimental treatments should all be voluntary with the person having sufficient intelligence to understand he is taking on serious risk with the likelyhood of success small and the likelyhood of failure or catastrophic failure high.
The problem is, this is not exactly how things have been portrayed thus far.[/quote]
I am a realist. If I thought there was any realistic chance of Dr. Nigam reversing my hairloss back to a NW 2, I’d get on a plane right now for India and visit Dr. Nigam. I haven’t seen any kind of photos or indisputable evidence from Dr. Nigam thus far that would warrant that decision. But I’m still very, very interested in his research work, I respect him for it, and I appreciate the fact that he’s doing it.
The trouble is that on these forums there are a lot of impressionable people who literally will fly around the world to a succession of HT clinics, whatever doctor is offering the latest technique (proven or not), and when they inevitably become disappointed, they jump on the forums and condemn those doctors as charlatans who “butchered” their scalps, with their evil new experimental techniques. And then a bunch of morons on the forums pile on the bandwagon supporting these people, condemning all experimental procedures and new ideas as fr@ud, and the doctors as quacks and butchers.
I have NO sympathy for these people. They are adults and they assumed the risk. They read and saw everything, all the photos, all the evidence, that was available to everyone else. They were privy to all the debates, all the exact same information we all saw. Yet they jumped head first into the unknown.
I am sick and tired of these people being held up regularly as “poster children” for doctors like Nigam, Gho, etc. destroying their lives.
Truth is, you take the exact same risks with any HT surgeon. If you go to any HT surgeon in the USA, you have the same risks of your scalp being mangled or disfigured, losing all your usable donor hair, getting permanent, unsightly scars, being a poor responder and having the procedure fail. It’s a consequence that comes with the territory.
At least the cell therapies that Dr. Nigam is researching, if used alone WITHOUT any HT surgery, have a possibility down the road of making slicing and dicing the scalp obsolete. Let’s let him do his work without defaming him and lynching him regularly on the internet.
How many American doctors do you see doing this kind of research? Last time I checked, it was none. And oh, by the way, it’s illegal in America. You see, the FDA changed one word in a regulation, 21 CFR 1271, back in 2006, officially making it illegal for doctors to inject patients’ own cells back into them, without going through a long, expensive FDA approval process. That’s why you see no doctors doing this right now. Somehow, PRP was exempted from this regulation, because it’s a blood product and blood is removed and put back into patients all the time. But any other type of cell – nope. It violates FDA regulations.
There are many, many fast-talking, hard-sell charlatans in the US hair transplant industry, who hawk phony cures (like PRP, Acell, etc.), new procedures which are almost as bad as old procedures, etc.
They may not all be putting photoshopped pictures on their websites, but India is a bit behind the times. Dr. Anjali Shere of Mumbai, who until very recently (about 1 month ago) had a website full of the most outrageously photoshopped pictures anyone’s ever seen, was the one condemning Dr. Nigam for (1) not being a real doctor; (2) stealing her photos (I have to laugh at that one) and (3) lying to and cheating patients. Meanwhile she says on her website that “Dr Anjali Shere provide the best hair transplant in Mumbai”.
The cosmetic surgery “industry” in India is extremely competitive and cutthroat. Putting photoshopped photos on websites is par for the course, it’s standard operating procedure. If you don’t do it there, there’s something wrong with you. These guys hire the same website developers (there are hundreds to choose from, but they all work the same way), who circulate stock “patient photos”, often doctored by the web developers themselves, because they know what the doctors want. And because it’s the norm, the doctors don’t object. Since everyone is doing it, each doctor feels he must go along with the pack or lose patients. Regulation is weak, oversight by the medical boards is almost nonexistent. India is a country of over 1 billion people (more than 3 Americas) and it’s generally a poor country outside the big cities. Unless lots of people are dying outright from medical negligence, government and medical boards don’t have a lot of time or money to go around policing each and every infraction by a doctor.
Polished, sophisticated American-style sc@mming, where the sc@mmer is very aware of what patients know and fine-tunes his sc@m to evade detection, has largely not reached India yet. American HT docs use double-talk which technically isn’t quite a lie, but is far from the truth. They use patient before-and-after photos or other evidence in a much more sophisticated way, appearing to be legit while not disclosing that the patients are also on drug therapy, by using cherry-picked photos, or even by not showing photos at all, or the same 5 photos from 10 year ago, claiming that they can’t show more for legal reasons, and giving such a slick psychologically-tuned pitch that prospective patients are overwhelmed by the BS and sold without even seeing any convincing evidence. American doctors use every trick in the book. Indian HT docs are about 20-25 years behind their American colleagues in this regard.