How was your experience with Frederick Licciardi at NYU?
I think Dr. Licciardi is a very caring doctor and has a lot of patients and I appreciated his attention during our appointments but wish I had called him more often during actual treatments to see how he would have responded. As I wrote earlier, he does always call back within a reasonable amount of time but doesn't always seem to know why I would be calling and he would answer questions that I think are significant pretty quickly, so that I wondered if he was considering all of my own unique information or just answering generally what he would tell a patient in a similar situation.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Frederick Licciardi at NYU?
He is very honest and up-front. Be in touch with him a lot if you want actual feedback re your protocol. Don't rely only on the nurses. He will not oversee your actual case but if you want him to check something, he will. I think in all of our cycles I only saw him in the ultrasound room once during morning monitoring periods.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Frederick Licciardi at NYU?
Dr. Licciardi was great about calling me back when I requested a phone call, but he didn't always seem to know who I was or where I was or in what kind of cycle. As a result, I think I was addressing one concern while he was talking about something else, that I didn't even know related to me. When we had actual appointments, he was attentive at those times. Once, I ran into him on my way out after an IUI under his care/protocol, and he didn't wish me good luck or even smile; I thought this was a little odd, but then realized he was probably very busy and/or preoccupied.
Describe the protocols Frederick Licciardi used in your cycles at NYU and their degree of success.
For the egg freezing/retrieval I think he went to highest dose on everything because of my age and other health issues. I was at first freezing eggs as a single woman (with my first doctor, not Licciardi) then embryos with partner for future use (with Licciardi) and eventually thawed the eggs I'd frozen with another doctor (now working with Licciardi) to make those into embryos and did 2 cycles of FET using the eggs from my youngest age. He had me on progesterone shots for one FET cycle, with estradiol pills, even though my cycle is very regular; I was never sure why. And I was on progesterone suppositories for the second FET cycle, no estradiol. I don't remember the egg freezing exactly as it was a few years ago but it was some combination of Gonal-F and Follistim and ovidrel. I know I didn't do the medication that you have to mix together at home when i did the cycle for freezing with him. I'm not really sure of his rationale for the egg freezing -- I guess it's the usual protocol he starts with then adjusts if it doesn't work? For the FET I also didn't know why we were using estradiol when estrogen always normal and I ovulate on my own. Second cycle of FET we tried suppositories because of the pain at my injection site. Also would only transfer one embryo at a time because he said was big risk in having multiples and did NOT recommend PGD or any other biopsy pre implantation. I think he said because egg quality was good. I did have an IUI with letrozole days 3-7 (was supposed to be days 5-9 but there was a miscommunication re what day my period actually started). Also used trigger shot in the morning about 27 hours before IUI. I got pregnant but miscarried around 9 weeks (I had been transferred to OB after heartbeat.) Went back for another IUI two months after miscarriage; not successful.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Very hit or miss. Some excellent nurses. Some not so excellent nurses. It seems in the five years that I've been a patient at NYU that things have gotten more like a factory and there is just a huge volume of patients, more than there was when I was first there. For the most part, everyone is cheerful and upbeat, but they don't all have the same level of experience and I was given misinformation at least once. Also came away from blood taking very bruised once or twice. Had to ice and it wasn't when I was having daily blood tests. On the plus side, if you do get to know one of the nurses, sometimes you can get that person's direct line if you want their opinion. Nurse's take of picture was sometimes different than my doctor's so it was confusing at times.
Describe your experience with NYU.
The staff at the clinic are friendly and upbeat and are generally good about being efficient. They are great about calling roughly when they say they will. Not as much personal attention as I would like because I have multiple health issues. If you are considering IUI, there is one nurse who i think is much better at it than the others but that might just be a personal preference. Be prepared to show up closer to 6:45 a.m. if you want to get in and out of monitoring fast. If you come later, definitely longer waits, especially if you need an ultrasound, too. Definitely be proactive and make sure to communicate with your doctor as much as you are comfortable doing. You must be proactive. I have not been to other clinics so I don't know how this one compares.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at NYU.
It went relatively smoothly when I was able to be there by 6:45 a.m. Hours don't start till 7 a.m. but like everything in NYC, people get there early and start to line up. When I really needed some sleep and went in a little later, different story. Also, the nurses would ask me for my allergies and what medications I was taking each time even though it was in the computer. I started carrying a list. I think all they cared about was latex but if you have a long list of allergies that you yourself can't remember, it's frustrating to have to recite it every other day. Then sometimes the doctor would make a change of protocol and I wouldn't know why or know that I needed to have my partner there with me for consent forms. It sometimes went flawlessly, other times, not at all so.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Frederick Licciardi at NYU.
First round, years ago, all out of pocket and nearly $20,000 for an egg retrieval and embryo creation (for freezing). Then the clinic went in network and my 2 FET's were covered by insurance but I reached my lifetime maximum fertility benefit with the 2 FET cycles and everything is out of pocket. I haven't gotten the bill for the IUI but looks as if it will cost a couple thousand because of all the morning monitoring. (I never get the home ovulation test kits to work right for me so I chose to have monitoring done at the clinic and I required a lot during the cycle post-miscarriage.)
Describe Frederick Licciardi's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at NYU.
For me, he definitely was set on single embryo transfer and would not even discuss allowing me to have more than one embryo transferred. He would not budge.
What specific things went wrong at NYU?
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance