How was your experience with David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility?
While I was one average patient in a very large clinic and usually didn’t see my own doctor for procedures, I still received care that I felt was thoughtful and individualized. I appreciated having Dr Saffan direct my care even if I didn’t see him in person very often. I knew that that would be the case in a very large practice so I didn’t mind. When I did see him in person, each visit made me like him more and more. If my initial consultation appt made me feel like a number, bu the end I felt like I had truly received individualized care unique to my needs. I appreciate his dry humor and very matter of fact manner, and I felt he respected my level of knowledge and health care professional background
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility?
Keep seeing him— he grows on you:)
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility?
Dr Saffan gave me honest answers and didn’t sugarcoat anything— I appreciated his candor and dry humor and really came to enjoy having him as my doctor. While I would have liked to be able to email him directly, it was obvious any time I had questions that my nurses were consulting with him before answering me. Even tho I wasn’t an unusual patient, I felt like I received good, thoughtful care with attention to my particulars.
Describe the protocols David Saffan used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility and their degree of success.
38-39 years old thruout treatment. Perfectly healthy with great lab numbers and using donor sperm as a single mother by choice. Polycystic ovaries but not pcos.
Ovulation induction with clomid and trigger for iui x3, then tiny dose clomid and a bit of Gonal F plus trigger for iui #4. Chemical pregnancy. Then letrozole plus Gonal F plus trigger for iui #5. Just Gonal F for iui#6.
On to Ivf: down regulation with bcps. Stimmed with Gonal F plus menopur, add cetrotide, trigger then egg retrieval. 19 eggs, all mature, 15 fert with icsi, 9 blasts sent for PGS. 4 normal. Pregnant after first FET and delivered a healthy baby boy!
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Perri then replaced by Toni diLeomardi)
I disliked how my first nurse, Perri, delivered bad news — as soon as I said hello on the phone I could hear her tone as she started speaking. She left the clinic and my next one, Toni was much better and I appreciated her compassion and willingness to find answers to my many questions. Other nurses I interacted with were fine for the most part, with an occasional dud. Kim was fantastic also
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility.
Shady Grove is a huge practice but there are plenty of advantages to that— yes, it’s big but it’s a well oiled machine. Lots of resources. There is always someone to talk to, always another doc or nurse available, always another location to go to and many locations to be able to get appointments that work for your schedule. Fantastic support groups for free, I highly recommend attending. I met some good friends at my group! Who else would have a support group just for single women??? A practice large enough to have seen the trends and the need for this! I appreciated all of that.
Downside would be that I mostly saw my doctor at just a few appointments and not for procedures. But I expected that and wasn’t surprised. Some people are more used to having ‘their’ personal doctor for visits or have a different expectation for fertility treatment. One drawback I experienced as a single woman was very surprising-- some of the staff not being familiar with instructions for someone using frozen donor sperm. This was true for my experiences during both iui and ivf. I learned the hard way to ask repeated questions until I had confidence in what I was being told. I found this problem very surprising for such a large practice as I clearly was not the first woman doing this here! And I made sure to voice my concerns.
Describe the costs associated with your care under David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility.
Huge. Costs were huge. But I received m, with much gratitude, a professional discount as I am an RN. And the discounts at their preferred pharmacy were significant also. It was super to have a specific person to reach just for my financial and insurance needs, who could tell me a lot more about my insurance coverage than my actual insurance could. For six iuis and an ivf package and medication and all the little things, over the course of a year, I spent around $30K. I had some insurance coverage for some of the iuis and for a few meds.
Describe David Saffan's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility.
I knew eSET was strongly supported by my clinic and had read about it and the results, numbers etc. I was fine with transferring one embryo so it wasn’t much to discuss. Dr Saffan recommended eSET but it wasn’t an in depth discussion because I was in agreement and understood the risks of multiple pregnancies
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility?
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility.
Issues with some clinic staff not being familiar with processes for a patient using frozen donor sperm. Once or twice for iui trigger instructions the nurse (not my nurse, whoever was there for that day’s monitoring) walked into the room with a sample cup and instructions for my nonexistent partner to produce his sample! Hmm- read the chart, please! For my first iui I also was caused a LOT of unnecessary stress by being given incorrect instructions on where and when I had to provide my frozen donor sperm. After many phone calls and questions I figured out the right process. After that I knew what the correct steps were so the next time it happened before another iui I could correct the staff. But it still happened again. Unacceptable. And, before ivf there was also confusion about when I had to have the frozen sperm at the location where my egg retrieval would take place. My nurse totally owned that error and we made it right. Some of those issues relating to the sperm may have been because I used a local sperm bank and picked it up and dropped it off myself, instead of having it shipped to the clinic ahead of time.