How was your experience with Bradford Kolb at HRC?
The first time I became a patient of Dr. Kolb was over 10 years ago. After years of infertility and multiple failed IUIs at another clinic, we decided to do IVF with Dr. Kolb. Our first IVF failed and Dr. Kolb changed our protocol. Second cycle failed as well. Dr. Kolb was great about getting us back in for a follow up appointment after each failed attempt and also giving us options going forward (i.e. We could change our approach and do GIFT or ZIFT). While on a treatment break, we miraculously conceived on our own. While we weren't technically under his treatment plan at the time, Dr. Kolb monitored us throughout the first trimester. Over 7 years later we returned for more treatments to try for another child after not being able to conceive on our own for all those years, again. Dr. Kolb seems to stay up to date on current treatments, testing, and research. He was very thorough, performing a hysteroscopy and running new blood tests, all of which came back great. I mentioned having a high ANA level at one time, as I was concerned it could effect cycle outcome, but he felt it didn't matter. I don't necessarily agree with this, but not all doctors believe that treating a high ANA makes a difference. I'm still not convinced of that, so I'd say that's one negative I personally feel about his treatment plans. He does prescribe Medrol, but I don't feel it's enough if there are immune issues going on with me.
We then we started a new cycle with injections. It failed. Again. Dr. Kolb, was caring, as always, and re-evaluated our plan right away and added some meds (i.e. Lovenox). Our next cycle was an FET which was successful, but ended in a second trimester miscarriage (genetically normal baby). When I returned to his care again following the miscarriage, he immediately ordered a loss panel. This was helpful and thoughtful for me as you always want answers no matter what. Some doctors make you wait for a loss panel until several losses. The only negative with the follow-ups is that I feel like I am constantly re-living the past cycles and reminding him of what worked/didn't work, what he said about treatment changes, etc. We are currently undergoing (so far failed) IVF treatments with Dr. Kolb. He has been encouraging and hopeful the entire time we have been cycling with him. He has a calming and supportive bedside manner and I would recommend him to friends/family. Unfortunately all of treatment costs are out of pocket. It's devastating and heartbreaking each time it fails. I'm not sure if the doctors truly understand how difficult it is to just hand over, in our case tens of thousands of dollars, for something that has no guarantee of success at the end. As compassionate at Dr. Kolb is, I'm not sure he understands this aspect of treatments and how it influences the decisions we've had to make along the way.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Bradford Kolb at HRC?
Research treatments, possible problems that might impede success, and pay attention as you're cycling so that you are knowledgeable about choices and can ask for changes in protocol. I wish I would have adovocated more for myself when it comes to possible immune/high ANA issues.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Bradford Kolb at HRC?
Dr Kolb is a compassionate physician. He has great bed side manner and takes the time after failed cycles to follow up and go through what we could change. Sometimes I do feel as if he forgets pieces of my history, but I guess that's understandable with having several patients.
Describe the protocols Bradford Kolb used in your cycles at HRC and their degree of success.
First cycle was injections with Lupron, delestrogen, progesterone injects, metformin and prednisone. Second, Centrotide was used instead of Lupron and heparin was added. Both produced highly fragmented day 3 embryos which resulted in a negative beta. When I returned this time around he has been having me use low-stim (hopes for better quality eggs), centrotide for a couple days before retrieval, then retrace progesterone, medrol and lovenox after retrieval or transfer (depending on the med). These past three cycle have been negative as well, although I do make it to blasts now (vs the cycles 10 years ago). Frozen transfer resulted in a pregnancy and I was on progesterone suppositories, estrace, medrol, lovenox, and delestrogen. Medrol is prescribed to try to prevent embryo rejection at transfer, lovenox to try to prevent blood clots and hopefully help with implantation.
Describe your experience with your nurse at HRC. (Assigned nurse: Natalie Pena)
Natalie is wonderful. She is kind, compassionate and understanding. She always responds to me as soon as possible when needed and answers (or finds the answers) I need in a timely manner.
Describe your experience with HRC.
The clinic is clean, beautiful and organized. The surgery center is on location so everything is done at one place (hsg, hysteroscopy, retrieval, transfer, etc). Waits can vary. Sometimes I'm seen right away, sometimes I have to wait, but I understand surgeries can take longer than expected.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at HRC.
Monitoring appointments are available for several hours in the morning. You simply make an appt (usually at your previous appt). You sign in when you arrive and your name is called for you to go back into an exam room. Exam room are very nice.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Bradford Kolb at HRC.
We are completely out of pocket so we have spent about $50,000 (IVFs in past and present). IVF cycles are about $10000 each, although they do have packages. FETs cost $3500. Drugs are separate and are charged through the pharmacy. They are several thousand each cycle. Surgery (hysteroscopy) was covered by my insurance. Pregnancy monitoring was not covered so I had to pay out of pocket for all of those.
Describe Bradford Kolb's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at HRC.
Dr. Kolb always lets me decide (1 or 2), but recommends 2 embryos for each transfer because of my history. I agree with this approach in my case.
What specific things went wrong at HRC?
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Provided conflicting information