How was your experience with Steven Spandorfer at Weill Cornell Medical College?
Dr. Spandorfer was good to work with. He's pretty down to earth, pleasantly jocular (but professional), and in my experience was able to both level with me and my husband as well as be sensitive at tough times. He also rolled with my husband's inappropriate sense of humor.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Steven Spandorfer at Weill Cornell Medical College?
He's a good RE for you if you appreciate the facts. He can be very empathetic, and is always pleasant, but he's not going to be a touchy-feely hand-holder. For my money, that's good, because you know he's giving you the lay of the land and not b.s.'ing you.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Steven Spandorfer at Weill Cornell Medical College?
He was always very pleasant, could crack a good (but still professional) joke here or there, and even though he may have simply glanced at my chart right before he walked in every time to remind himself who I was in the first month or so (I mean, let's be honest), it never felt like that - it always seemed like he knew just who I was.
Describe the protocols Steven Spandorfer used in your cycles at Weill Cornell Medical College and their degree of success.
We started with a Clomid 100mg+TI cycle, as I'd done one unmonitored Clomid cycle with my OB and apparently not ovulated (PCOS), and my husband's MFI wasn't so pronounced as to make TI a complete waste of time. It took that cycle to discover I needed a trigger to ovulate, and we repeated Clomid 100mg+TI the next cycle, when I successfully ovulated. The following cycle we stepped up to IUI. Our 3rd cycle with Dr. Spandorfer I didn't respond to the initial dose of 100mg so was bumped up to 200mg (I think?) and did ovulate, again IUI. In December, continuing with 200mg/IUI I had visual disturbances on the Clomid, which Dr. Spandorfer took very seriously, and gave me the IVF talk. Due to my very high AMH, he was not open to doing injects IUIs with me, so we went to IVF+ICSI after our final IUI cycle was a bust. We did a standard antagonist protocol with ICSI. Started at 125iu FSH, went down after bloodwork monitoring, then back up, then down again, added in 1 vial Menopur/day after about 5-6 days, along with Ganirelix. Triggered with 5,000iu hCG. 23 retrieved, all 23 mature, which I think says something very impressive about Dr. Spandorfer's management of my crazy PCOS ovaries. 16 fertilized with ICSI (which is around the 70% fert rate "they" look for with ICSI). I developed mild OHSS ahead of the transfer, but Dr. Spandorfer had me come in for close monitoring to ensure the transfer would be safe. We did a 5dt of one blastocyst (Dr. Chung did it - he was lovely and very encouraging) and were able to freeze an additional 7. I realized I was successfully pregnant when my OHSS returned (moderate this time - incredibly unpleasant). The upside of the OHSS was that I got a bunch of early ultrasounds to confirm an intrauterine pregnancy by 4 weeks 6 days, onward. I was released to the care of my OB by 7+ weeks, and the result is my almost 4-month-old daughter who's sleeping in her crib as I type this. If we decide to try for a second, we'll go back to Dr. Spandorfer, even though he's not on our insurance any longer.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Weill Cornell Medical College. (Assigned nurse: Jackie Stahl)
Jackie Stahl is amazing. I cannot say enough about her. She is knowledgeable, funny, kind, encouraging, efficient but will take the time you need, generous, organized... I really could go on and on.
Describe your experience with Weill Cornell Medical College.
The facilities are pretty up to date and not overly cold or clinical. The waiting room is large, which is in a sense nice because when it's crowded (every morning) you get a sense of how many people are in the infertility journey with you. I appreciate that the egg retrievals and embryo transfers are done in a sterile OR environment, not in an office, though I was a little sad my husband couldn't be in the OR for the transfer. The billing staff is courteous and will help you navigate things.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Weill Cornell Medical College.
IVF monitoring hours are "monitoring hours." TI or IUI monitoring hours are (with the exception of weekends) all with your dedicated RE, and specifically scheduled.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Steven Spandorfer at Weill Cornell Medical College.
IVF was about $15K. TI/IUI cycles were about $4-5K. I had to tack on extra costs for OHSS management at the end of the IVF cycle. I was fortunate that diagnostic testing early on and blood work throughout were covered, otherwise that would have added up astronomically in the IUI cycles. (IVF fee covers blood work until actual pregnancy testing and evaluation.)