How was your experience with Andre Denis at ACRM?
Dr Denis is a wonderful Doctor. He is caring and compassionate and he truly wants to see all of his patients become parents. He always went above and beyond to ensure I was comfortable with each procedure and test being done. He also doesn't give up on his patients, he is willing to continue with treatment as long as you are willing and able. He never pushes treatments on you, though. If you aren't ready to try ivf, he will continue other treatments as long as you would like. He always offers options. After we had multiple failed transfers with our own eggs, he layed out all of our options... Continue ivf with our own eggs, use donor eggs, or adoption. He didn't try to persuade us in any direction, he wanted us to make the best decision for us. He truly has a personal connection with his patients.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Andre Denis at ACRM?
Go in with an open mind, but don't be afraid to ask questions, don't be afraid to tell him your fears as well as your expectations and desires, he will listen and take it to heart.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Andre Denis at ACRM?
Dr Denis always greeted us with a hug and a smile. He always took into account our emotional and financial stability. He never pushed procedures on us simply to benefit him and the practice, he wanted what was best for us.
Describe the protocols Andre Denis used in your cycles at ACRM and their degree of success.
For my first IUI, I was on Clomid. I responded very well, a little too well for a typical IUI, I produced 5 follicles. For my second IUI, he switched me to Femera. Clomid and Femera "talk" to the brain differently, he explained. Clomid tells your body to ovulate where as Femera tells your body to choose the best egg to ovulate. I produced 1 follicle that cycle. For my third IUI, he kept me on Femera and I produced 2 follicles. All of those resulted in negative pregnancy tests.
For my first IVF, I was on birth control pills for 2 weeks. When I stopped taking the birth control pills, I began injectable hormones 3 days later, Gonal-F and Menopur. For my first egg retrieval, I was on lower doses of both of these medicines because of the way I had responded on Clomid, he believed I would respond well on the injectable medicines and didn't want me to develop OHSS. However, I didn't respond as well as they thought I would so after 6 days they increased my dosage some. After 12 days on the hormones I had my egg retrieval. We retrieved 11 eggs, 9 fertilized and 4 made it to day 5 embryos. We transferred one embryo on day 5 for a fresh transfer. It resulted in a negative pregnancy test. A few months later, we did a frozen embryo transfer. For that cycle I was on estrace pills for a few weeks and then we added progesterone injections 5 days before the transfer. That transfer resulted in a positive pregnancy test. I miscarried, though, at 8.5 weeks. A few months later we transferred our remaining two embryos during a frozen transfer cycle. That resulted in a chemical pregnancy.
For my second egg retrieval, Dr. Denis doubled my dosage of medications from my first cycle. We were hoping to get a lot of eggs so we could send the embryos off for PGS testing. I produced a lot of follicles, 17 on the day of the retrieval, however only 6 of those follicles had mature eggs in them. Out of those 6, 2 fertilized and 1 made it to day 5 to transfer resulting in a negative pregnancy test. That is when Dr. Denis diagnosed me with poor ovarian reserve.
We then switched to donor eggs. For our donor egg cycle, we used frozen eggs. They were thawed and fertilized and on day 5 we transferred 1 embryo. I was on the same protocol I was always on for frozen embryo transfers, estrace pills and progesterone injections. I am now 34 weeks pregnant with that baby.
Describe your experience with your nurse at ACRM. (Assigned nurse: Mikesha Middlebrook)
My nurse, Mikesha, was extremely easy to work with. She was always quick to respond to any questions or concerns I had. She called me in a timely manner with all test results. She also seemed to care on a more personal level, like Dr. Denis. When the results were good, she celebrated with you, when they were bad, she was compassionate and sensitive.
Describe your experience with ACRM.
Overall the clinic and the staff are very caring and compassionate. All of the nurses, doctors, and coordinators seem to understand what a difficult, sensitive, emotional time this is for the patients. They all are happy to see successful endings. One of their weaknesses is that they have gotten so big and have so many patients that it is sometimes difficult to get the answers you want as quickly as you'd like. For the "less important" test results, you don't always get a call on the same day even though they will tell you they'll call you that afternoon, especially if my nurse was out of the office. There were times I had to call in order to get my results. The weekends were when this happened most often because only one of their 4 locations saw patients and their weekend staff was limited.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at ACRM.
Monitoring appointments were typically very smooth. There was a specific window in the mornings, 8-10 that they scheduled monitoring appointments and blood work. If you were not having blood work done, you could come in at a later time for the monitoring ultrasound. The appointments were scheduled, but it was more of a first come first serve basis. If my appointment was scheduled for 8:30, but I arrived at 8:15 and the person who's appointment was at 8:15 was not there yet, they would see me first. They didn't make you wait until your appointment time. This was very nice because you rarely had to wait long to be seen.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Andre Denis at ACRM.
The cost for our IVF cycle was $16,700. This did not include medications and this was with no insurance coverage. This included all monitoring visits, the egg retrieval, fertilization, monitoring of the embryos, the lab fees, doctors fees. Once you paid that amount, you did not receive another bill from them for that cycle.
What specific things went wrong at ACRM?
- Failed to call with results