How was your experience with Mark Leondires at RMA of Connecticut?
Our experience with Dr. Leondires and RMA-CT was a horror show. My 30-year-old sister offered to donate an egg to me and my husband so that we could make a family with genetic linkage to both of us. We live in NYC where there are many great fertility practices, but we chose Dr. Leondires due to the passion he purports to have for gay family building and the desire to use a facility in a state where surrogacy is legal. Dr. Leondires was arrogant and distracted. I am a physician, and I assured my husband, “it doesn’t matter how arrogant he is; if he gets good results, that’s all that matters.”
My sister’s stim was a disaster. They could not figure out how to coordinate monitoring closer to her home at Northwell, though they had promised that would not be an issue. They would only even communicate with Northwell after we called multiple times saying that my sister was having trouble getting in. She ended up having to go to RMA-CT for her monitoring, but saw Dr. Leondires zero times. He was apparently monitoring her stim, though did not seem to have a good grasp on it. Initially he thought she would have plenty of eggs, then a few days later feared that she would only get 8. A couple days later at her retrieval, she got 30. After this roller coaster of a stim, ALL OF THE EGGS died at one stage or another. Of the 30, 21 eggs were mature; 15 were fertilized and 6 were put aside for her to keep. Of the fertilized eggs, 13 of 15 died before they reached blast stage. One had abnormal PGS testing and the other was inconclusive. They thawed the second embryo for rebiopsy and it died. He called my sister to tell her and said, “have you heard the diagnosis of PCOS?” She said, “yes I told you I had PCOS in our first consultation.”
My sister then offered to let us fertilize the remaining 6 eggs. On thaw, 4 of 6 died. The remaining two fertilized. Neither made it to blast stage. We had to practically beg for communication during this time. RMA-CT would not return emails and Dr. Leondires would be impossible to get on the phone. He gave us his cell phone number to assure us he was invested and then would not text back. When he did call, it would be at 9 pm, of course with bad news. He would robotically tell us about the statistics again: “If you start with 10 eggs, 8 of them might fertilize, right? And then of those 8…” (as if we were supposed to believe that what happened was run of the mill) and we would have to stop him and say, “We KNOW about the statistics. Can you tell us what exactly happened IN THIS CASE?” And he would say, “Well we don’t really know.” Meanwhile, a second opinion suggested that it was a poor stim. Of course, he would not admit that.
Then, because of this heavy handed stim, my sister got hyperstimulation syndrome. She had 7 extra lbs of ascites. She called the office to tell them. She was scared and uncomfortable and called me every day saying she was not sure what to do. He returned her call FIVE days later. By then it was already starting to get better. Because of the terrible experience, she is reluctant to cycle again and anxious about her own fertility.
Please – save yourself from the heartbreak, the difficulty, the begging for communication, and stay away from this man and this clinic.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Mark Leondires at RMA of Connecticut?
Choose a different doctor. There is a great deal of emotion involved in this process: you want someone who gives you realistic expectations and feels trustworthy. Dr. Leondires fulfills neither of these requirements.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Mark Leondires at RMA of Connecticut?
Dr. Leondires never had a good handle on our names or the circumstances of our situation. Further, while he was present for the "consultations," he performed none of the medical procedures (ultrasounds, check ups, egg retrieval) for our donor.
Describe the protocols Mark Leondires used in your cycles at RMA of Connecticut and their degree of success.
We had Dr. Leondires's stim cycles reviewed by two other prominent fertility doctors, and both disagreed with his approach. He seemingly forgot that our donor had PCOS, something he mentioned to her only after.
Describe your experience with your nurse at RMA of Connecticut. (Assigned nurse: Nora Bolger)
Nora was very responsive and was great.
Describe your experience with RMA of Connecticut.
RMA's facilities are clean and well kept, but you will become a number in their system. It's not a personalized place for something that is such an emotional and vulnerable process. The nursing and administrative staff is great, and some of the doctors are compassionate, but overall our experience was pretty awful.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at RMA of Connecticut.
We were told monitoring appointments could be performed in Brooklyn. Not the case. We ended up making three trips to Connecticut during the nine day stim cycle.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Mark Leondires at RMA of Connecticut.
As a gay couple, the cost was largely not covered by insurance and was about the expected cost of an IVF cycle.
What specific things went wrong at RMA of Connecticut?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Lost or damaged samples