Describe your experience with Braverman Reproductive Immunology.
I think the strength is that the clinic is one of the only ones that has expertise in reproductive immunology. The clinic is perfectly nice and comfortable. The equipment is not as nice or 'cutting edge' as the one I left nor is the lab where I had the embryo transfer, but I didn't care because I trusted that they had the answer to my problem. And I would hands down prefer that than a fancy clinic that keeps throwing nearly the same protocol at me with the same negative outcome. Dr. Braverman's clinic saw patients both in Long Island and in Manhatten so they are clearly doing what they can to be accessible to patients, and Dr. Braverman will collaborate with other physicians elsewhere around the country and world as long as they are willing to acknowledge the partnership.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
Dr. Braverman personally responds to emails and makes himself available for phone calls or Skype. He has a small staff who are kind, responsive and helpful.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
My nurse was kind, thorough and responsive. She also talked me off the ledge a number of times when I had misstepped with the protocol (one time leaving very expensive medication out for hours that was supposed to be refridgerated). She was very helpful, understanding, and individualized the care for me. I asked her to email me instead of call me with the results of each blood pregnancy test because the call, for some reason, was so hard for me, and she did. She was understanding, compassionate, and competent. Another example that comes to mind is that she told me when a particular pharmacy was charging me through the nose for fertility medication and did some price comparison for me with other pharmacies she knew.
How was your experience with Jeffrey Braverman?
I was so relieved to find Dr. Braverman. I had experienced so many early losses or chemical pregnancies and I knew something was going on with my body because the story was always the same. Positive pregnancy test followed by declining betas, or betas that were increasing but not by enough to be viable or very early miscarriages at 5 or 6 weeks. Dr. Braverman was confident I was having an immune issue and after a thorough immunological work-up determined a protocol that he believed would address my issues. I left the clinic I had been at for years (and had helped me have my son) and moved my one remaining embryo to New York. Initially Dr. Braverman's more direct manner struck my Midwestern sensibilities as less compassionate, but after more interaction with Dr. Braverman, I found that to be completely untrue. He was kind, confident and accessible. I remember when I was 3 months pregnant and so scared to stop one of the medications he prescribed. I emailed him to seek reassurance and he wrote back an incredibly supportive email on a Saturday reassuring me that he would be there to monitor me and oversee my care. And it was a bit of a different arrangement where I had monitoring visits in DC area and everything was sent to Dr. Braverman for him to coordinate the care. I traveled to NY several times, but did much of the visits locally. He was flexible in making it work for me.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Jeffrey Braverman?
I would highly recommend Dr. Braverman. I think his work with reproductive immunology is so fascinating and makes so much sense. I think he's a genius, and having the ability and incredible knowledge to evaluate someone's immunological functioning with respect to pregnancy allows him to have success earlier. If your clinic, like mine, dismisses it, push forward and have a consult with Dr. Braverman. I had one remaining frozen embryo after transferring 4 PGS normal embryos with the same result. He had one chance to get it right and he did. His protocol helped me stay pregnant and have my baby girl, and I will be forever grateful.
Describe the protocols Jeffrey Braverman used in your cycles and their degree of success.
Based on my body's response to the prior embryo transfers, the number of early losses I had, and the results of my immunological work-up, Dr. Braverman prescribed neupogen, prednisone, and lovenox in addition to the medications common with IVF (progesteron, estrogen). He also monitored my body's response to the pregnancy. At the same time as my blood pregnancy test, he ordered another immunological work-up and it showed an increase of a particular cytokine, interleukin 17 (IL-17), which if I understand correctly research indicates is related to pregnancy complications and pregnancy loss. He doubled my steroid (prednisone) in response and I was able to progress through the period when I had lost each prior pregnancy. Clearly my body was reacting to the embryo so the medications he prescribed reduced the inflammation and, as I understand it, stopped my body's rejection of the embryo. I progressed through my pregnancy despite a number of high risks and my baby girl is now almost 4 months.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Jeffrey Braverman.
There were fees for a consult, the frozen embryo transfer, the immunology work-up, reading the lab results, and the medication. One of the most significant costs, for which I had insurance coverage, is the particular lab where the immune work-ups are done. If Reprosource is not a covered lab for you, the costs could be very high.