How was your experience with Rafael Cabrera at Brown Fertility?
It took a few visits for Dr. Cabrera to "warm up", but through the stim process I realized how invested he was in our success. He is a man of few words, unless you engage and ask questions. If you speak up he is more than willing to spend the time explaining.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Rafael Cabrera at Brown Fertility?
Engage him and he will respond!
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Rafael Cabrera at Brown Fertility?
Brown Fertility did a great job providing personalized care - from the nursing staff to Dr. Cabrera. They took their time and never made me feel like they were rushing to get through my appointment and on to the next. During stims we had six appointments leading up to egg retrieval and each appointment Dr. Cabrera opened up more and more and you could tell he felt invested. He traveled to Jacksonville to perform my egg retrieval and was generous with his time that day by stopping by before the procedure to see how I was feeling. Due to the number of eggs retrieved and the risk of OHSS he decided it would not be safe to proceed with a fresh transfer as planned. I felt throughout the whole process he was concerned with ultimately creating healthy embryos and a take home baby, but my health and well being as well. When we had out FET training a few weeks post ER we ran into him and he was genuinely concerned with how I was feeling. It felt good to know that he remembered me and I wasn't a name on his long list of patients.
Describe the protocols Rafael Cabrera used in your cycles at Brown Fertility and their degree of success.
My protocol first called for 225 units of Gonal-F and 20 units of hCG daily. Through the course of stims we lowered the Gonal-F to 175 units and ultimately raised it again to 250 units. Dr. Cabrera closely monitored my US's and bloodwork and made adjustments as necessary. Ovidrel was used as my trigger shot. I was on 12 days of stims, triggered on day 13 and retrieval took place on day 15.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Brown Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Maria 'Mena' Frey )
Our nurse Mena was assigned our case from day one and has literally held my hand through all of the ups and downs. She has showed so much compassion and frankly went above and beyond when I had crazy questions. She never once acted as if I was bothering her. I always felt like I was her only patient. It realized so much anxiety knowing that she knew us and our case.
Describe your experience with Brown Fertility.
Everyone at the Orlando office was friendly and helpful anytime we called or visited. We feel that they are just as invested in a successful take home baby! They only weakness became apparent after egg retrieval. We originally planned to do a fresh transfer, but due to the risk of OHSS we had to freeze all. After ER, while still coming out of anesthesia, they told me how many eggs were retrieved and mentioned I would receive a call in two days with a fertilization update. ER was on a Friday and the call came on Sunday around 7:30am just as promised. I was told that 22 had fertilized and 9 looked to be growing appropriately. I asked when I would receive the next update and was told to try to wait to call back until the following Friday as the Embryologist would be busy with fresh transfers that coming week. I patiently waited and call first thing that next Friday. When I called in I was told the information wasn't available. I would receive a card in the mail in two weeks with the requested information. That seemed absurd to me, so I took to a FB IVF Support Group to ask if this was the norm. Remember I hadn't planned to do a FET so I wanted to make sure I wasn't overreacting. Turns out I wasn't. Most IVF patients get a fertilization update, day 3 update and a day 5 update. All as phone calls or emails. I didn't receive any of those and became very frustrated. I reached out to my nurse to explain the frustration and was told unfortunately that's their procedure and until the Embryologist inputs the information into their system the nurses don't have access to the information. After a emails and calls, someone was able to get our embryo info and called me back. I don't know if it was the hormones or the fact that I felt like me went through so much and I just wanted to know if it was all worth it. Did we have anything to freeze at the end! The clinic did recognize that their process is flawed. Most patients would not be willing to wait for an embryo update to be sent in the mail two weeks post ER. I hope this something they are working to revise.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Rafael Cabrera at Brown Fertility.
We paid $8995 for our first IVF cycle, that did not include the trial transfer ($300), anesthesia ($300) for the egg retrieval or the first round of medications ($4500). In total we paid $14,095. Since we weren't able to do a fresh transfer we have to pay $1000 for the FET conversion and $500 for additional medications. In total we will have spent $15,595. This includes one year of storage fees for our frozen embryos. We did not do PGS/PGD testing.
Describe Rafael Cabrera's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Brown Fertility.
Brown Fertility highly recommends single embryo transfer, especially for a fresh transfer and anyone 30 or younger. They do allow two embryo transfers during a FET or patients over 35.