Rated 7.5
Strongly recommend: 55%Neutral: 17%Don't recommend: 27%7.5
55% strongly recommend
18 reviews
Humanity
8.2
8.2
Humanity

Ratings of 1 mean patients felt this doctor treated them as "a number."

Ratings of 10 mean patients felt this doctor treated them as "a human."

Communication
8.5
8.5
Communication

Ratings of 1 mean poor communication.

Ratings of 10 mean excellent communication.

Frequency Seen
5.7
5.7
Frequency Seen

Ratings of 1 mean patients only saw this doctor once or twice during treatment.

Ratings of 10 mean patients saw this doctor at every appointment.

Responsiveness
6.7
OK
Responsiveness

Scale is "poor, ok, good, excellent" and measures how responsive a care team was when patients needed to speak to them.

Education

Medical School
St. George's U.
Residency
Methodist Hosp
Fellowship
Johns Hopkins

How Doctor Communicates

doctor, nurse available by email
nurse available by directline
nurse available by directline
not available by personal cell phone
not available by personal cell phone
Brad Swelstad works at

Shady Grove Fertility
Rated 8.5
Strongly recommend: 66%Neutral: 22%Don't recommend: 12%8.5

At 2 offices

Woodbridge
13580 Groupe Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22192
703-680-1770
Fair Oaks
12011 Lee Jackson Mem. Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22033
703.246.0500
Explore Clinic

4 patient reviews filtered by:

Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2018, Unsuccessful
8
8
Age 32
4 IUI
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Endometriosis
Male Factor
Unexplained
Other
European
Income $100K - $199K
2nd of 3 Docs
Neutral
Neutral
Unsuccessful
I was only able to meet Dr Swelstad once before he left the practice I saw him at. Because I was a new patient to him and he was in transition to move out of state to a different practice, I feel he had several things to juggle. I believe he couldn't be as concrete with his suggested plan/approach with IVF as he knew we would have to go through in a change of provider very soon.
Appointments are always on time, you can call 7 days a week, prompt replies from nursing team via email, and large(r) practice thus I believe they do a good job of staying current with evidence based practice to optimize pt outcomes. They [Pacific NW Fertility] also have many resources for fertility exercise classes, acupuncture, counseling etc. Only downside is this supplemental care is not reviewed with the provider
How was your experience with Brad Swelstad at Pacific NW Fertility?
I was only able to meet Dr Swelstad once before he left the practice I saw him at. Because I was a new patient to him and he was in transition to move out of state to a different practice, I feel he had several things to juggle. I believe he couldn't be as concrete with his suggested plan/approach with IVF as he knew we would have to go through in a change of provider very soon. The next provider may have a very different plan to his which could introduce doubt. He went the safest route with disseminating information to us.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Brad Swelstad at Pacific NW Fertility?
Ask clarifying questions about exact timelines for your specific scenario.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Brad Swelstad at Pacific NW Fertility?
My impression of Dr Swelstad may not be reflective of his normal care. I was transferred onto his caseload and ended up having a consultation with him just before he left that practice. I am sure he was pressured to continue seeing new patients up until he left due to clinic demands and shortage of providers so I can not fault him. In a perfect world I wish the clinic would have informed me he would be leaving the practice soon and allowed me to either keep the apt with him or wait to get in with another provider.
Describe the protocols Brad Swelstad used in your cycles at Pacific NW Fertility and their degree of success.
Interventions were previously established by another provider thus we did not change anything. We did discuss IVF as an option however did not review when we should consider this route more seriously.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Pacific NW Fertility.
I can not recall who my nursing team was while under care of Dr. Swelstad as I was only with him for one visit thus I communicated with previous MD's nursing team (at same clinic) since they were familiar with my case/care.
Describe your experience with Pacific NW Fertility.
Overall this clinic is excellent. Appointments are always on time, you can call 7 days a week, prompt replies from nursing team via email, and large(r) practice thus I believe they do a good job of staying current with evidence based practice to optimize pt outcomes. They also have many resources for fertility exercise classes, acupuncture, counseling etc. Only downside is this supplemental care is not reviewed with the provider. Pamphlets are nicely displayed and you have to specifically ask for details if you want further information.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Brad Swelstad at Pacific NW Fertility.
Visit was covered as I met my deductible for the year.
Describe Brad Swelstad's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Pacific NW Fertility.
We did not review this in detail.
What specific things went wrong at Pacific NW Fertility?
  • Failed to order appropriate test
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Pacific NW Fertility.
One provider discussed getting a number of labs drawn and forgot to include AMH on the orders (we verbally discussed this). This was not identified until 1 year later when another provider was reviewing results and surprised to see this was missed.
8
Doctor
Brad Swelstad
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
8
Clinic
Pacific NW Fertility
Seattle
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2016 - 2017, Successful
8
8
Age 28 - 29
1 IUI
1 IVF
Unexplained
European
Income $100K - $199K
2nd of 2 Docs
Neutral
Neutral
Successful
Overall we were very happy with Dr. Swelstad. he only negative thing we encountered was the way in which he approached his recommendation that we use ICSI in our first IVF cycle. According to my husband's sperm analysis all his numbers were above average, except for morphology, which was at the low end of average, but still in a normal range. To me, this indicated that there was no male factor, or at least not one that had been proven. Dr. Swelstad's rationale was that because we had unexplained infertility and had never conceived, it was possible that the sperm were having trouble fertilizing the egg despite the numbers being normal.
The quality of care is great [at Pacific NW Fertility], very easy to get appointments at times that work for you, overall atmosphere is very welcoming. The downside is it is extremely expensive when compared to the national average, especially for extra things like ICSI.... We opted for the refund plan, which, once you added the extra fees for ICSI, anesthesia, etc came to over $20,000. The terms were that if you used all your embryos in 12 months and still hadn't sustained a pregnancy to 12 weeks, you would be refunded 80% (not including those extra fees and add-ons).
How was your experience with Brad Swelstad at Pacific NW Fertility?
Overall we were very happy with Dr. Swelstad. The only negative thing we encountered was the way in which he approached his recommendation that we use ICSI in our first IVF cycle. According to my husband's sperm analysis all his numbers were above average, except for morphology, which was at the low end of average, but still in a normal range. To me, this indicated that there was no male factor, or at least not one that had been proven. Dr. Swelstad's rationale was that because we had unexplained infertility and had never conceived, it was possible that the sperm were having trouble fertilizing the egg despite the numbers being normal. He recommended that we use ICSI and gave us a ballpark figure of the price (not included in our IVF cycle plan) that turned out to be significantly lower than the actual price. Though he apologized for this later with the usual "I'm a doctor, I'm not in billing," we felt that if a doctor is going to strongly recommend an optional and expensive add-on treatment, that he should be informed about current pricing. After discussing it on our own and discovering the real price of ICSI, which seemed to be exorbitant compared to some other clinics we looked into and the national average, we decided we did not want to do ICSI. Dr. Swelstad then proceeded to call us to make the case again. In some ways we appreciated the personal attention, especially as he made the call at 5 pm, but we also felt quite pressured to proceed with ICSI. In the end, since we only had 7 eggs that were mature enough to be fertilized at all, we were glad we did ICSI, which resulted in 6/7 being fertilized. However, if we had had more eggs I don't think this procedure would have been necessary at all, and the clinic would not give us the option of making the decision after the egg retrieval. It is a fine line since the clinic does, of course, have a vested interest in achieving success, but we did feel pressured, despite Dr. Swelstad's generally kind demeanor and obvious commitment to getting us our positive outcome.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Brad Swelstad at Pacific NW Fertility?
I felt very good after our first consultation with Dr.Swelstad. He was a great conversationalist and seemed interested in our situation in both a professional and personal way.
Describe the protocols Brad Swelstad used in your cycles at Pacific NW Fertility and their degree of success.
We did a fresh IVF cycle using my husband's frozen sperm and my own eggs. I was on fairly standard doses of follistim (increased from 300 daily to 375 when I wasn't responding enough), mini HCG, and later Ganirelix. My follicles weren't getting big enough, thus the increased dosage. If I did it again I would want to be on the higher dosage from the beginning, as I believe this was the cause of our relatively mediocre-average egg retrieval count. But at the time there was no way of knowing how I would respond, and we definitely didn't want to over-stimulate. I needed a few extra days, and therefore extra doses of ganirelix, but it all worked out well in the end, and I experienced almost no side effects at all from the treatment. 11 eggs retrieved, 7 were mature, 6 were fertilized using ICSI, and 5 survived to day 5. We transferred two and are now pregnant with twins.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Pacific NW Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Alyssa Fox)
Alyssa, who no longer works at PNWF, was awesome at communicating with us by email while we were still overseas and trying to get everything organized to start our cycle. I contacted multiple clinics and never got a better or more prompt response than from her. This was crucial to our decision to go with this clinic and her continued support and communication made the whole process very smooth.
Describe your experience with Pacific NW Fertility.
The quality of care is great, very easy to get appointments at times that work for you, overall atmosphere is very welcoming. The downside is it is extremely expensive when compared to the national average, especially for extra things like ICSI.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Brad Swelstad at Pacific NW Fertility.
We opted for the refund plan, which, once you added the extra fees for ICSI, anesthesia, etc came to over $20,000. The terms were that if you used all your embryos in 12 months and still hadn't sustained a pregnancy to 12 weeks, you would be refunded 80% (not including those extra fees and add-ons).
Describe Brad Swelstad's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Pacific NW Fertility.
There was no option because we chose a refund plan that required us to transfer two at a time, and we were fine with that.
8
Doctor
Brad Swelstad
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
8
Clinic
Pacific NW Fertility
Seattle
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2014 - 2016, Successful
7
5
Age 22 - 24
14 Fertility Medications
Anovulation
PCOS
Uterine Fibroids
Other
Income $0 - $49K
1st of 2 Docs
Neutral
Doesn't Recommend
Successful
He [Dr. Brad Swelstad] was always busy and rushed but overall he seemed to care.... 3 cycles on any one thing was recommended before moving on. I did Femara for 2 with trigger shots due to still not ovulating. Next 3 rounds of clomid, surgery, found hyperplasia, northendrone, biopsy problem not solved, was sent to oncologist, put on m- something as last resort, biopsy all clear, 3 more rounds of clomid, 3 rounds of clomid plus shots 3rd was ectopic pregnancy, wait, another 3 rounds of clomid plus shots, after third planned IVF. 3rd round was heterotopic pregnancy, tube burst lost tube but baby in uterus survived. I dont remember doses now but I way over reacted to the clomid plus shots and kept going down in amounts month after month. The lowest # of mature eggs I ever recall was 4 and I was advised to cancel cycles each time.
Getting an appoinment to sit down and talk to the doctor [at Reproductive Care Center-Clearfield] was always hard but scheduling other than that was usually not difficult. Their insurance lady, Michele, was horrible. She was horribly rude every time I spoke with her and always seemed so inconvienced with questions. One time I called her with a quick insurance question, a week and a half later she had not called me back. I called again and she informed me that she was busy and my question was not important so that is why she did not respond.
How was your experience with Brad Swelstad at Reproductive Care Center?
My experience was unique...we ran into one problem after another and had many set backs. In the end I felt like he avoided doing additonal testing that could have diagnosed my issues sooner and saved me a great deal of greif simply because I didn't fit the standard age or weight for certain issues to be likely. I would have gladly undergone and paid for more testing upfront. I was not diagnosed with endometeiosis until AFTER an ectopic pregnancy AND a heterotopic pregnancy due to the issue. I really think that is something that should have been found and looked for instead of finding PCOS and thinking that was the answer to all my problems. I was also diagnosed with endometeial hyperplasia but not nearly as soon as I think a more througho eval would have found it.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Brad Swelstad at Reproductive Care Center?
Ask for more testing if you feel its nessacary. Be your own adovate.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Brad Swelstad at Reproductive Care Center?
He was always busy and rushed but overall he seemed to care.
Describe the protocols Brad Swelstad used in your cycles at Reproductive Care Center and their degree of success.
3 cycles on any one thing was recommended before moving on. I did Femara for 2 with trigger shots due to still not ovulating. Next 3 rounds of clomid, surgery, found hyperplasia, northendrone, biopsy problem not solved, was sent to oncologist, put on m- something as last resort, biopsy all clear, 3 more rounds of clomid, 3 rounds of clomid plus shots 3rd was ectopic pregnancy, wait, another 3 rounds of clomid plus shots, after third planned IVF. 3rd round was heterotopic pregnancy, tube burst lost tube but baby in uterus survived. I dont remember doses now but I way over reacted to the clomid plus shots and kept going down in amounts month after month. The lowest # of mature eggs I ever recall was 4 and I was advised to cancel cycles each time.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Reproductive Care Center. (Assigned nurse: Not sure, but I frequently had the same one. Jen I think it was, and Heather after her.)
Jen always seemed annoyed. Too busy to be bothered with questions and getting phone calls returned was a nightmare. I dreaded calling with questions or concerns and she was very cold when dealing with ending my first pregnancy which was ectopic and devasting for me.
Describe your experience with Reproductive Care Center.
Getting an appoinment to sit down and talk to the doctor was always hard but scheduling other than that was usually not difficult. Their insurance lady, Michele, was horrible. She was horribly rude every time I spoke with her and always seemed so inconvienced with questions. One time I called her with a quick insurance question, a week and a half later she had not called me back. I called again and she informed me that she was busy and my question was not important so that is why she did not respond. This alone would make me recommend people not go there. Being as a lot of infertility treatments are not covered by insurance and its a sensitive subject matter I think the insurance lady should be expected to be kind and sensitive just as the nurses and doctors should be.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Brad Swelstad at Reproductive Care Center.
A lot, particularly when it came to shots and having to order them from another state. $7000 plus for each surgery Swelsted did.
Describe Brad Swelstad's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Reproductive Care Center.
Swelstad left the clinic right before we were going to start IVF so I dont recall discussing that with him.
What specific things went wrong at Reproductive Care Center?
  • Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
  • Failed to call with results
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
  • Canceled a cycle due to clinic error
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Reproductive Care Center.
When a cycle failed it was customary to call the nurses line and let them know so they could tell you what to do next. More often than not they would dismiss any new concerns and recommend doing the same thing as before without consulting the doctor or listening to my concerns. After several occasions I was upset and told the nurse she needed to consult the doctor as what she was telling me to do didnt make sense considering the circumstances and it was a waste of time and money. This finally got me an appointment with the doctor who agreed to do a hysteroscopy to address my concerns...this is when we first found endometrial hyperplasisa which likely would have gone undiagnosed through the IVF process had I not been adament I thought more was wrong.
7
Doctor
Brad Swelstad
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
5
Clinic
Reproductive Care Center
Clearfield
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2015 - 2016, Successful
8
8
Age 27 - 28
2 IVF
Male Factor
European
Income $50K - $99K
1st of 2 Docs
Neutral
Neutral
Successful
He [Dr. Swelstad] remembered our names, talked about our jobs, and our hobbies.... Strengths: knowledgeable in the treatment needed. Friendly and compassionate.... Weakness: sometimes too chatty. Always mentioned the possibility of needing a sperm donor which we were against.... When it came to medication dosage it changed day by day depending on how the body reacted.
Sometimes you had to wait a long time to get in to see the doctor even when you have an appointment. They [Reproductive Care Center- Clearfield] offer discounted cycle upgrades and different times during the cycle. They are friendly and personable.... They always called as soon as they got blood work results. Returned any phone calls promptly.... Medications $2100-3500 ICSI $1900/cycle About $17000 for 2 cycles
How was your experience with Brad Swelstad at Reproductive Care Center?
Strengths: knowledgeable in the treatment needed. Friendly and compassionate. During my first cycle I found out that the embryo attached in the wrong place and my body wouldn’t miscarry it. Dr. Swelstad was very concerned and took good care of me making sure that everything went well. Weakness: sometimes too chatty. Always mentioned the possibility of needing a sperm donor which we were against.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Brad Swelstad at Reproductive Care Center?
He remembered our names, talked about our jobs, and our hobbies.
Describe the protocols Brad Swelstad used in your cycles at Reproductive Care Center and their degree of success.
When it came to medication dosage it changed day by day depending on how the body reacted.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Reproductive Care Center. (Assigned nurse: Heather)
They always called as soon as they got blood work results. Returned any phone calls promptly.
Describe your experience with Reproductive Care Center.
Sometimes you had to wait a long time to get in to see the doctor even when you have an appointment. They offer discounted cycle upgrades and different times during the cycle. They are friendly and personable.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Brad Swelstad at Reproductive Care Center.
Medications $2100-3500 ICSI $1900/cycle About $17000 for 2 cycles
8
Doctor
Brad Swelstad
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
8
Clinic
Reproductive Care Center
Clearfield
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere