How was your experience with Lyndon Chang at Hanabusa IVF?
Dr. Chang is VERY knowledgeable. He is cutting edge. He is an out-of-the-box thinker and doctor. He takes some of the most difficult cases with woman such as me whose egg count is diminishing significantly and whose egg quality is not always the best and gives them hope. I was told to use donor eggs after our embryos didn't make it past day three during our first egg retrieval with another doctor. I found Dr. Chang, who uses a unique approach called "Mini IVF," which simply means less medication so as to coax out the eggs and not drown them with medicine. At first, it was tough, because each new cycle, Dr. Chang would check my hormone levels and follicles and if they weren't perfectly balancing each other, he didn't want to move ahead with the cycle. He taught me patience in that respect. But eventually, his methodical approach worked and we got two normal embryos after cycle 3 and 4. Following those cycles, we didn't have much success with retrievals 5, 6, and 7, all of which ended in abnormal embryos. While we had a few issues with communication with Dr. Chang from time to time, he eventually understood how important it is to me to promptly return my emails and calls. He provides thorough information and ensures I gain clarity.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Lyndon Chang at Hanabusa IVF?
Make sure you tell Dr. Chang how you best prefer to communicate and what works for you in regards to communication. He is an amazing doctor--so progressive. However, his clinic is getting busy, so it's really important that he knows you need very quick communication, if necessary.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Lyndon Chang at Hanabusa IVF?
Most of the time, Dr. Chang is amazing, returning emails promptly and calling me back even late into the night when I am confused or worried. He explain everything at great detail. However, after our 6th retrieval with him that failed miserably, we didn't get an email and it took several weeks to communicate with him. While it was a busy time (the holidays), we felt devastated and would have loved to have received an email or phone call regarding such a bad cycle. Following that cycle, he and I eventually talked and I relayed to him my disappointment regarding the lack of communication. He now replies to all of my emails and phone calls within a few hours. He gets it. :)
Describe the protocols Lyndon Chang used in your cycles at Hanabusa IVF and their degree of success.
With Mini IVF, you approach each cycle quite methodically. I often have a dominant follicle that is very quick to develop. So, at first, I hated cancelling a cycle, but I soon learned how to be more patient and wait for the "right" cycle, so that my dominant follicle didn't kill off all the rest.
With each Mini IVF cycle, on day 4 or 5, you typically take Clomid. Then, around day 7 or 8, you begin taking low doses of Follistim. Ganirelix might be added around day 10 to avoid premature ovulation. But each cycle could be different. For example, I would sometimes start Follistim earlier, or take Clomid for less time. It just depends on how many follicles I have and what my hormone levels indicate. For Dr. Chang, it's a balancing act--one that requires patience and precision.
I would trigger and 36 hours later go in for egg retrieval. Because Dr. Chang is San Diego, and I live in Los Angeles, I did all of my ultra sounds and blood work with Dr. Jain in Los Angeles, and he would fax the results down to Dr. Chang. It was a little tiring, because I'd often not get results back until later in the day. Nonetheless, come egg retrieval time, my fiance and I would drive down to San Diego the night before, get a hotel room, and then wake up the following morning for the procedure. During the procedure, I am completely awake. I don't take any medication, aside from a few IbuProfen. I am not medicated because Dr. Chang uses a very tiny needle to extract the eggs and has a unique method where you breath very deeply as he pulls out the eggs. Most of my procedures didn't hurt; however, for some of them, they were painful. But, I liked not being zapped out for the rest of the day, as you would if you were under normal anesthesia. As a result of such a unique method, one cycle one with Dr. Chang, we got 4 eggs. All fertilized and 2 made it to blast. They came back abnormal. Cycle #2, we got three eggs. 1 fertilized normally, and 1 abnormally. The other didn't fertilize. One made it to blast and came back PGS normal. One cycle #3, we got 4 eggs. All 4 fertilized and 2 made it to blast. One came back PGS normal. On cycle #4, 3 were retrieved, 2 fertilized, and only one made it to blast, which was abnormal. For cycle #5, we got 2 eggs and both fertilized; one made it to blast and was abnormal. On cycle #6, we retrieved 5 eggs, 3 fertilized, and none made it to blast.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
So patient. Very educated. Top notch service.
Describe your experience with Hanabusa IVF.
The clinic is only one year old, but it is already thriving. The staff is great and quite organized. However, because they got so busy so fast, communication became a little challenging. I think they have it squared away now, though.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Hanabusa IVF.
I did outside monitoring at another office, since Dr. Chang was not in my area.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Lyndon Chang at Hanabusa IVF.
Because it's Mini IVF, it's less expensive. Nonetheless, we did 6 retrievals with them. They gave us a discount for doing so many cycles.
What specific things went wrong at Hanabusa IVF?
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Hanabusa IVF.
On one cycle, I didn't hear back from the doctor or the nurses regarding if I should trigger that night or keep going with my meds. There was some sort of mix-up with the nurses and finally, I heard back from the doctor just in time to trigger. Another time, the front staff sent me a bill which had my results from the retrieval on it, but my doctor hadn't even told me about my results. It was another miscommunication.