Describe your experience with UPMC Magee.
Strengths - long history of treating patients in our area, experience with difficult cases, clean, convenient hours for scans and bloodwork.
Weaknesses- after initial appt with doctors, you only see and speak to them for retrieval and transfer. The nursing staff could be a little more compassionate considering where they are working. For out of pocket (we were completely out of pocket), the estimates should be more realistic. We stimmed for a long period of time and spent $15,000 on the medication alone, this was completely underestimated during our earlier appts with finance team, and finally, this clinic doesn’t have adjusted guidelines for patients that have only one ovary. You have to hit a set number of follicles and E2 level or they won’t continue. This can be difficult for patients with DOR or in my case, one ovary.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Anthony Wakim at UPMC Magee?
For the first part of the treatments (consultation, work-ups), he was very kind and listened to everything we had concerns with. Once in treatment, we were only able to speak with the nurses which made us feel more like a number, and very stressful.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
During the treatment this was the most stressful part. I was never able to speak to dr. Wakim if I had any questions. I was on cancellation notice for the first 7 days due to poor initial response (before it was increased). The nurses were generally cold and straight down to business. There was no flexibility in assisting with medication needs short notice, no compassion for a bad bloodwork, or scan. No suggestions on ways to help my body respond (ended up doing acupuncture to help E2 levels). The phlebotomist team though was AMAZING!
How was your experience with Anthony Wakim at UPMC Magee?
Dr. Wakim has years of experience helping women in our area with becoming pregnant. He is hands down the best for difficult cases as mine was (1 tube, 1 ovary, only tube blocked, diminished ovarian reserve). He was thoughtful during consultation and no nonsense during the procedures.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Anthony Wakim at UPMC Magee?
Ask all your questions when you are with him. You speak to the nurses for the rest of the treatment (other than during retrieval and transfer).
He is blunt, tells you exactly what is going on, but not harshly. I actually prefer this.
Describe the protocols Anthony Wakim used in your cycles at UPMC Magee and their degree of success.
Antagonist protocol. We were “going to squeeze out all the eggs we could” as he said. I was on an average dose of Gonal-f, and menopur. I was not on birth control prior as this doesn’t help a sleepy ovary (my ovary was in temporary POF due to a traumatic ovarian rupture from an ovarian ectopic). The dosage was adjusted after no major change in Estrogen level after 5 days. I was maxed out on both and continued to stimulate for another 10 days. We added the holding drug in at day 10. He was successful in getting my ovary to respond with this protocol. The goal was to take an aggressive approach and it worked. We had 8 eggs retrieved (again, only one ovary so this was great for us), 6 fertilized, 4 made it to day 3. Our clinic has a requirement on number of embryos to do a day 5. So we did a 3 day transfer of 2, then held our breath for our other 2. We ended up being able to freeze the remaining 2!!
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at UPMC Magee.
They offered early morning monitoring appts which while early, worked wonderfully for anyone working long hours.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Anthony Wakim at UPMC Magee.
Procedure - $11000 (retrieval, transfer, scans, etc)
Medications - $15000
Storage - $750
Describe Anthony Wakim's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UPMC Magee.
Due to my age at transfer (33), they recommended one but left it up to us. He made sure to explain why they recommend one at my age.