How was your experience with Mark Damario at Center for Reproductive Medicine of Minnesota?
He did not seem to be aware of what was happening with my care. He couldn’t recognize me and didn’t know my name. He always had his nurse contact me, except once— Dr. Damario called me after my first BHCG to tell me I was pregnant and had “an honest to goodness good pregnancy level.” But two days later, when my BHCG dropped, Dr. Damario had one of the nurses contact me to tell me I was going to miscarry. Dr. Damario miscounted my follicles during my baseline ultrasound. During my ultrasound after miscarriage diagnosis, Dr. Damario looked around for about 3 minutes before confirming miscarriage will be happening and giving me my options to proceed with the miscarriage. He diagnosed me with a “blighted ovum” at 6.5wks, which I have read should never be diagnosed before wk 9. I also had a visible yolk sac, which I also understand does not meet the definition for blighted ovum. Here I am at 9.6wks and still have not miscarried (will likely still miscarry), but have chosen to follow up with further ultrasounds at a different clinic with a new provider.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Mark Damario at Center for Reproductive Medicine of Minnesota?
Do your research about your own situation and possible IVF protocols before meeting with Dr. Damario so you are prepared to ask specific questions & get the answers you need.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Mark Damario at Center for Reproductive Medicine of Minnesota?
I met with Dr. Damario for an initial consultation and then once more two weeks prior to Stimulation start for a baseline ultrasound and trial transfer. During the entire course of IVF treatment, egg retrieval, and transfer I did not see or hear from Dr. Damario at all. His nurses were always the ones in contact with me about my progress and with orders for stimulation dosage changes. Dr. Damario would not have been to recognize me in the waiting room or recall my name at any point, even once completed with treatment.
Describe the protocols Mark Damario used in your cycles at Center for Reproductive Medicine of Minnesota and their degree of success.
- Birthcontrol for downregulation 6 weeks prior to treatment start
- Lupron 20IU for further downregulation for 10 days
- Lupron decreased to 5IU from day 3-5 of stimulation, then stopped
-Stimulation Start: Menopur 150IU morning & Follistim 150IU for 14 days (Follistim bumped up to 300IU after day 3 d/t slow ovarian response/possible over sensitivity to Lupron)
- Trigger Shot: 10,000IU Novarel (HCG) injection 36 hours before transfer
* my body was downregulated significantly prior to treatment start, which required doubling the dose of the follistim and added an extra 2-4 days of stimulation before trigger shot. I also had two lead follicles and was told of a potential risk for cycle cancelation
* I had 16 follicles, but only 14 eggs retrieved. 8 eggs were mature and all 8 fertilized with ICSI. No embryos made to blastocyst stage.
* we transferred a morula and 8-cell embryo on day 5. All other embryos stopped developing by day 6 and we did not have any leftover to freeze.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Sue was great- explained everything in great detail, kept me informed about my lab work and my progress, described ultrasounds while doing them, remembered my name and things about me.
Julie- great, very kind and personable; remembered my name and things about me.
There were other nurses that didn’t even introduce themselves or attempt to build any rapport during the appt at all, were very blunt and jumped to worst case scenario. I don’t know their names because they never said their name.
Describe your experience with Center for Reproductive Medicine of Minnesota.
- front desk staff friendly and personable
- a few nurses were friendly and personable
- most of lab staff was nice and efficient (aside from one lab person)
- a few bad nurses that make you feel like a number
- care team didn’t seem to take time to understand our situation
- we were not given any possible explanation for the underdevelopment of all of our embryos
- our miscarriage was diagnosed immediately, and with 100% certainty before taking additional bloodwork or ultrasound to confirm— this seemed very insensitive, considering our entire process.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Mark Damario at Center for Reproductive Medicine of Minnesota.
IVF retrieval/transfer/ICSI- $11,800
Describe Mark Damario's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Center for Reproductive Medicine of Minnesota.
Dr. Colleen Casey did the embryo transfer. She recommended transferring only 1 embryo because the next most developed one was only 8 cells. She told us transferring two could be harmful to the morula which was further developed. We told her we wanted to transfer two anyway and asked for more information on how it could be harmful and she then said that it probably wouldn’t be harmful, but it just wouldn’t be likely to implant. We transferred two and all remaining embryos arrested the next day.
What specific things went wrong at Center for Reproductive Medicine of Minnesota?
- Lost paperwork
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Center for Reproductive Medicine of Minnesota.
We pre-paid $1200 for cryopreservation of embryos. More than 6 wks after all of our embryos stopped developing and it was confirmed we did not have any left for cryopreservation, we had still not received a refund for this or heard from the clinic about a refund. We finally had to reach out to them to initiate the refund process. 2 wks after we reached out, and we have yet to receive our refund (8 weeks after it was confirmed there would be no cryopreservation).