How was your experience with Dana Ambler at Denver IVF Albrecht Women's Care?
I liked Dr. Ambler’s bedside manner and she did an okay job of explaining things the few times we saw her. However, when we got very, very bad results from our first and only IVF cycle with her (0 embryos from 14 eggs) we had to request a phone call with her to go over what happened when the nurse had no explanation. Dr. Ambler told us that it was my egg quality and gave us a devastatingly bad prognosis. She was willing to do another cycle but wouldn’t change anything. We decided that didn’t make much sense and switched to CCRM, who did additional testing and suggested a different approach. We got 12 beautiful embryos from 20 eggs with my first cycle with CCRM. I’m currently looking at my beautiful 3 month old twins from that cycle. Dr. Ambler said I had DOR and poor egg quality but CCRM found no evidence of that and said it was unexplained infertility. We asked Dr. Ambler if it could have been her lab or the protocol that gave us such poor results but she refused to take any responsibility and was unwilling to try anything than her standard one-size fits all approach. We thought we were saving money by going to her but we would have saved so much if we just went to CCRM first. We also would have saved the heartache of hearing our doctor, who we had trusted and been under the care of for nearly a year, tell us that we would probably never have our own biological children. The few months between hearing her prognosis and getting the positive pregnancy test were the hardest of my life. I know it’s impossible to have any certainty in this area, but if we had listened to her we would have likely given up on IVF. Instead CCRM gave us hope, 12 embryos, and 2 beautiful babies (so far!).
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Dana Ambler at Denver IVF Albrecht Women's Care?
If you are able, go to CCRM. They have the best lab, doctors, and nurses. When we did IVF it was about $5,000 more per cycle, but the quality of care was noticeably better in every way and the results were worth every penny.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Dana Ambler at Denver IVF Albrecht Women's Care?
Nurses for IUIs were great. When we moved onto IVF they were terrible. Communication was poor and my file (including test results) were mixed with another patients. I had to point this out when they were reviewing my test results in person and I could see the patients name on the paperwork. We very rarely got any face time with Dr. Ambler.
Describe the protocols Dana Ambler used in your cycles at Denver IVF Albrecht Women's Care and their degree of success.
Even though she suspected DOR, Dr. Ambler had me on birth control to prime for my egg retrieval and help with timing (they only do egg retrievals one week per month). CCRM did estrogen priming instead and we got many more eggs and better quality eggs as well, and we followed my body for the perfect time instead of the clinics schedule. Dr. Ambler would only do frozen transfers, but we had nothing to transfer. CCRM said for us, if egg quality might be an issue, we should try fresh (which worked) for our 2 best embryos and the remaining 10 were frozen, even though they typically recommend frozen. Dr. Ambler had me on DHEA for several months prior to my retrieval. CCRM took me off of it immediately. They said my levels were so high it looked like I had a tumor and the test doesn’t run that high, not to mention I was having horrible side effects that I complained of to Dr. Ambler. Dr. Ambler ran this test but did not share the results with me, only cut my dose in half and did not retest.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
For IUIs, the nurses were fine. I expected the same or better for IVF but they were terrible and were a big reason why we switched clinics. I was not assigned one nurse or coordinator and they did not communicate well with each other. I had to repeat information multiple times. The biggest issue was that another patients test results were in my file and despite several emails about something seeming off - I wasn’t in the office the day they said I took certain tests and I didn’t remember them being performed - it wasn’t until our meeting a few days before my egg retrieval where I had to physically show them that someone else’s name was on the piece of paper that this issue was finally corrected, and I had to take the test before my retrieval. They were also not very compassionate and had no explanation or next steps when they called with sometimes very bad news. I didn’t feel that my IVF cycle was being competently managed which obviously added unnecessary and possibly harmful stress to an already stressful process.
Describe your experience with Denver IVF Albrecht Women's Care.
The clinic is fine. Does not have the bells and whistles of CCRM. Dr. Ambler’s office was working on the new lab at the time of my retrieval so we had to go to HQA (High Quality Affordable) in Colorado Springs for retrieval. I didn’t know any better then but compared to CCRM, it was terrible. The nurses couldn’t get my IV started and when they called the anesthesiologist to try he wasn’t even wearing gloves. He couldn’t get it right away and blood was spurting everywhere. He had my husband, without gloves put pressure on it while they tried the other hand. Not very comforting! They had me walk way too soon after surgery and the whole place just didn’t seem clean or professional. I felt terrible for the next 48 hours, compared to feeling back to normal later that day at CCRM. Not sure if/when the new lab opened or if it’s any better. Dr. Ambler assured us that HQA was the best in the area which in retrospect is laughable.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Dana Ambler at Denver IVF Albrecht Women's Care.
I can’t remember exactly but I think IUIs were around $1k each and IVF was around $25k without a transfer.
What specific things went wrong at Denver IVF Albrecht Women's Care?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Lost results
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information