Describe your experience with The Infertility Center of St. Louis.
Dr. Silber is in high-demand, so knowing this up-front may help relieve some anxiety for a new patient who may not know if he will be the right doctor for their situation. He has been in the game for decades, he knows what he's doing, and while he will be gently blunt with you, he will let you know everything you need to know before starting any cycles with him. There are infertility clinics that are set up with multiple doctors and a team of support, however Dr. Silber's office is set up around him, supported by his attending physician (who does the egg retrieval while Dr. Silber does ICSI immediately post-retrieval), and further supported by a staff of Coordinators assigned to each couple and various office staff to take care of the rest.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
Dr. Silber is world-renown and knowing this going in, we realized he would be a very busy man. His office staff has been very friendly, professional and understanding. We have met with Dr. Silber in-person 3 times now: first for our initial consult; second just before our 1st egg retrieval surgery; and third immediately following the retrieval and ICSI. We are currently in the middle of our 2nd egg retrieval and will personally see Dr. Silber at least 2 more times before the end of May. In the interim, we have been paired with a Coordinator who we can contact via email or phone during business hours Mon-Fri. She has gotten answers for us quickly, she has shared in our joy and she has commiserated with us when our numbers weren't where they were expected to be. She has been so patient with us in all our questions, she has explained any situation and answered every question in such a way that we understood completely what we were facing in the days/weeks to come. I also had an appointment with the attending physician before the egg retrieval to go over the procedure. He was very personable, professional, and easy to trust. My husband and I both agree we have found our "fit" with the Doctors, Nurses, Aides, Technicians, and Coordinators.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
Our coordinator, Rachel, seemed always available and ready with answers to any and all questions I had. She was sympathetic to our situation, understanding and was very helpful for a couple who lives a 3-hour drive away from St. Louis. We couldn't have asked for a better coordinator to be paired with!
How was your experience with Sherman Silber?
Our initial consultation was delayed due to a high-risk procedure he had been called on. Once we were led to his office, we met a very funny man who takes his job seriously and personally. We discussed our medical histories, his practices and what he thought would be our best route to take in our journey to build our family. He assigned us a coordinator and from there, we had continued nearly all communication with Dr. Silber through her. When we met Dr. Silber again for our surgical consult immediately prior to our 1st egg retrieval, he was alert, concerned for our nerves (understandably a high-anxiety moment), and was easily able to put both of us at our ease. After the retrieval, Dr. Silber met with my husband (I was in the room coming out of anesthesia) to discuss the procedure and its results, the ICSI and its results, as well as our next steps for the following 48 hours. We are looking forward to seeing him again in the weeks to come.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Sherman Silber?
I would suggest any prospective patient to be prepared. He will answer any and all of your questions, and you should be prepared to discuss intimate details of your infertility with a man who may resemble your Grandfather. His office may be busy, as is he, but he will treat your time together personally.
Describe the protocols Sherman Silber used in your cycles and their degree of success.
We are "ideal candidates" for Dr. Silber's Mini-IVF procedure. This is "minimal stimulation IVF" where the woman is given lower doses of Clomid, Follistim, Ganirelix, Indocin, Lupron, Gonal-f, and/or Prefera during the egg retrieval cycle. The body will still stimulate multiple eggs to mature, however the quality of the eggs is the main target and not so much a large quantity of poor eggs. Our retrieval cycles included Clomin, Follistim, Ganirelix, Indocin and Lupron. Our 1st cycle resulted in 5 mature eggs retrieved, and 2 successfully fertilized embryos. Our 2 little embys are chilling out, waiting for their sibling embryos to join them in May, and their chance at life in September.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments.
My monitoring experience was what I would expect while in a hospital setting rather than in a clinical office setting: between certain morning hours (6am-8:30) on the days I was directed to monitor, I would write my first name only on the list and wait in the waiting room with any other waiting patients. Sometimes there were quite a few people, other times it was just me and one other person. It being a hospital, not every person in the waiting area is a patient of Dr. Silber, however the technicians are highly skilled and very adept at their careers. In our first cycle, I saw roughly 4 different ultrasound technicians who were very kind, professional and understanding. Their level of discretion is outstanding, and I felt each one respected me and my body during the entire process.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Sherman Silber.
In our initial consultation, we were provided with a bill of $10,400 which covered fees for the Doctors, hospital, anesthesiologist, and diagnostic imaging for our 1st round of egg retrieval and includes 1 transfer at a later date. The cost of medication was separate, and totaled roughly $1,052 for the 1st cycle. We have signed on for a separate egg retrieval cycle, which is totaled at $7,050, not including medication which will total roughly $1,052 again. In addition to the costs of care, we do not live near the St. Louis area and so we would have also incurred hotel and transportation fees, if not for a very hospitable friend-of-a-friend who opened her family home to us during our time in the area. Also as gas prices have been on the decline in the Midwest, our transportation fees have been manageable.