How was your experience with Prakash Thiruppath at Columbus Center for Reproductive Endocrinology?
He seems like a skilled physician with lots of experience. He does have a friendly and approachable demeanor. He spends plenty of time with his patients during their initial consult. My spouse and I did not always like how he explained medical issues and procedures to us. He glossed over the details and used language that was dumbed down (for example, saying he wanted to do an exploratory laparoscopy to "go in there and clean up some stuff"). The medical records are not electronically kept (paper copies only) and the cursive and scribbling on your patient chart can be inconsistent and disorganized. Dr. T also tends to drag out treatment and waiting periods so he can treat everyone himself. I wish he was forthcoming to his patients about how long the waiting time can be for IVF. He only does it four times a year and there is a 3 month waiting list. If your body is not ready-to-go on his schedule, your IVF cycle will get canceled and you'll have to wait another 3-4 months to try again. I ended up waiting for 9 months to begin IVF due to the waiting list and being canceled on Day 1 multiple times. My body could not adjust to his timeline. I was kept on birth control pills during those 9 months, which was incredibly frustrating and demoralizing. It would have been nice if Dr. T and his staff let me know that there were other clinic options for me. They really make you feel like his clinic is the only option. I wish they had let someone like me know that there were clinics in Atlanta that offered IVF 365 days a year according to when MY body was ready. Instead, they seemed happy to cancel me and have me wait on birth control pills for almost a year.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Prakash Thiruppath at Columbus Center for Reproductive Endocrinology?
TI and IUIs are fine at Dr. T's office. But please research clinics in Atlanta and do multiple consults before you sign up for IVF. Dr. T's office will make it sound like it's impossible to commute to Atlanta for treatment. It ended up being far more convenient for me to commute to Atlanta than to wait around for 9+ months on birth control because my IVF cycles kept getting canceled. The final time that Dr. T canceled my IVF cycle by another 3 months, I went to a clinic in ATL for a 2nd opinion and was signed up to begin IVF a couple weeks later. They didn't cancel my IVF cycle... when the same issue came up, they delayed me by one week before trying again. That did the trick, and I finished a full round of IVF with a fresh embryo transfer in half the time I would have waited to attempt IVF with Dr. T again.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Prakash Thiruppath at Columbus Center for Reproductive Endocrinology?
Staff didn't really seem to remember me or care to greet me with familiarity despite how often I had appointments at the office. The overall morale was very much "blah." Also, IVF is only offered every 3-4 months and 20+ women are grouped together and done at the same time. There is a waiting list. If you get canceled, you have to wait for another 3-4 months to try again. I felt like my body had to work on his schedule (which is why our treatments didn't work out).
Describe the protocols Prakash Thiruppath used in your cycles at Columbus Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and their degree of success.
I had a problem with ovarian cysts, which is why I only had two TI treatments completed during the year I spent under Dr. T's care. All other cycles were canceled and I was told to go on birth control to treat the cysts. At one point, I spent 7 consecutive months on birth control pills while under his care. I understand the necessity, but the BCPs didn't seem to help and nothing was improving.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbus Center for Reproductive Endocrinology. (Assigned nurse: Haley)
I really liked the nurse practitioner, Haley. She's a good communicator and seemed to stay on top of everything. She tends to be the #1 person you work with when you have treatments at CCREI.
Describe your experience with Columbus Center for Reproductive Endocrinology.
The clinic is accessible and convenient for Columbus residents. Appointment wait times are not long. But the clinic tends to treat patients as a "one-size-fits-all." If you need basic treatments like medicated TI and IUI, then they're spectacular. But if you have multiple infertility factors or keep getting canceled, don't be afraid to shop other clinics.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Prakash Thiruppath at Columbus Center for Reproductive Endocrinology.
$60 copay per appointment (2-3x weekly)
$400 copay for mandatory diagnostic test
$11,000 downpayment for IVF egg retrieval
$4,600 per IVF embryo transfer (did not get to that point)
After being canceled multiple times on Day 1 of IVF rounds, I asked for a refund. The office manager gave me a prorated portion back and kept $2,100 for the multiple consultations that took place to sign paperwork and do a baseline ultrasound. While that seems fair on paper and I did not dispute it, it did hurt knowing $2,100 and 6+ months of my life went down the drain with no treatment other than birth control pills.
Describe Prakash Thiruppath's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbus Center for Reproductive Endocrinology.
The default setting at CCREI is to transfer two embryos at one time. Best practice is to transfer one embryo at a time in order to minimize the risk to both the mother and the baby. Clinics in Atlanta will not transfer more than one embryo unless you've already failed multiple rounds of IVF. The question you need to ask yourself -- why is it standard IVF protocol at CCREI to transfer two embryos at once? Is this what is best for the patient, or what is best for the clinic and its published success rate?
What specific things went wrong at Columbus Center for Reproductive Endocrinology?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to send your chart to another clinic
- Lost results
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbus Center for Reproductive Endocrinology.
It can be difficult to get your medical records from the office staff. They did not like when I wanted a copy of my chart after each appointment for my own records. They often made me fill out a form to request my records, and then they would lose the paperwork and forget about it. I had to follow up multiple times, and they lost the paperwork multiple times. All medical charts are stored physically (not electronically). There were multiple times when I received medical records that were clearly not mine, including a post-op report about someone else that was somehow mixed in with my chart. Privacy was a concern.