Describe your experience with ArkLaTex Fertility and Reproductive Medicine.
The scheduling needs LOTS of help. As I've stated before, the hours of waiting for a consultation are a problem. I know that they are trying their best, but it's super frustrating to have a 2:00pm appointment and not get seen until 5:30pm. Plus, I'm sure they are all ready to go home, too! The only other thing that I would HIGHLY recommend is that you let them drain your bladder after your transfer. Sorry if that's TMI, but trust me, you will thank me for that little tip.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
He would call me by name, and seemed to know about my information without completely relying on looking at my chart. He may have practiced before he walked in the exam room, but he did make me feel like he at least recognized me.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
The IVF coordinator is Cindy. She was so sweet, answered all of my questions, returned my calls quickly, etc. My favorite nurse was Lauren. She did most of my blood draws and was so sweet to talk to. She answered lots of questions about how to inject meds, etc. in a way that I understood. She understood that what I was doing and the info she gave me was important, but she didn't take herself too seriously.
How was your experience with David Vandermolen?
Dr. Vandermolen was kind, but a little bit difficult to understand sometimes. He talks very fast and uses lots of big words. When I would ask him what something meant, he would explain it in almost too much detail. I appreciated that he took plenty of time with me; I never felt rushed in or out of his office. However, we would wait 2-3 hours for a consultation. This was very frustrating, but I would remind myself (and my husband) that he takes plenty of time with us, and we want the same for other couples. I wish there was a better way to schedule for consults. Waiting for regular monitoring appointments during IUI or IVF cycles weren't so bad...maybe 45 minutes at the most? I know of several couples who had great success with Dr. V, but we just didn't. The main thing that was NOT explained to me was the egg retrieval, embryo development process. I had 17 eggs retrieved. Since we are unexplained, he said they would do ICSI on half and let the other half fertilize naturally. Of the half that were supposed to fertilize naturally, NONE of them fertilized at ALL. I wish I would have been given the option to ICSI all eggs, and I'm not sure why I wasn't? I know that he didn't want to end up with 17 embryos, but I would have liked to discuss that more. So, we ICSI'd 9...of the 9, 5 fertilized, and only 3 made it to day 3. All 3 were very weak embryos. So weak that he transferred all 3. When we got there on transfer day and he told us how weak our embryos were, my husband even asked, "is there any point in transferring if they are so weak?" to which Dr. V said "yes, we should definitely transfer...you never know what could happen once these embryos are in the womb". Fast forward, our transfer failed and we didn't have anything left to freeze. $18k down the drain. I haven't been back to see Dr. V since the consultation after the failed IVF. Bottom line...he did explain some things well, but there were other, crucial things that were not explained. If I would have had a positive pregnancy test and healthy baby as a result of that IVF, I would have been so grateful, but I would have also sighed in relief that we had a baby despite the lack of information about the most crucial part of the IVF cycle.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of David Vandermolen?
Do your own research. Ask WHY he's recommending something. Ask if there are other options. If you're doing IVF, ask to ICSI ALL mature eggs! Be prepared to wait a LONG time when you go for your consultation.
Describe the protocols David Vandermolen used in your cycles and their degree of success.
Oh wow...I did 3 IUIs and 1 IVF cycle. When we first met with him, he said we could skip the IUIs and go straight to IVF if we wanted to (I had done several rounds of clomid and an IUI with my OBGYN). Due to the costs, we decided to try the IUIs first. It's been a few years, so I don't remember the exact protocol of my first IUI?? I think it was clomid only, but possibly Menopur? I know that the second IUI with him, we used Menopur (1 vial per day for 8-9 days) and I'm pretty sure Novarel for trigger. The third IUI was LOTS of Menopur and Novarel for trigger. I was on 1 vial a day, then increased to 2 per day at the end. My IVF meds were Menopur, Follistim, Ganirelix, and Lupron for trigger. I was on 2-3 vials of Menopur per day, maybe 100 of Follistim, and I only took Ganirelix like twice. My memory is TERRIBLE!! I feel like this part isn't helping at all! Sorry!
Describe the costs associated with your care under David Vandermolen.
I don't remember individual costs exactly, but I want to say that the doctor portion of my IVF was around $11-12k.