Describe your experience with Pacific Fertility Center.
The clinic definitely feels like a spa, so physically it’s a nice place to be considering the number of appointments involved in a cycle.
I didn’t feel that people at the clinic were on the same page or coordinated in an organized way. They have different coordinators for everything (e.g. clinical nurse coordinator, financial coordinator), which made me assume there would be a lot of individual subject matter expertise, but the reality was they were rarely in sync and I found myself repeating a lot.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
It was somewhere in the middle. The clinic is not an over-crowded factory type atmosphere, but I sometimes felt like a number because important details of my care often slipped through the cracks. I felt that Dr. Ryan’s care team, in particular nurse coordinator Doris Dalida at the time, didn’t do a good communicating clearly about my specific case, but would speak more generically meaning important details were left out.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
I found Doris, Dr. Ryan’s nurse coordinator to be very underwhelming. She wasn’t very helpful in providing the information I needed and was not helpful in organizing my overall care. There were other nurses who was nice, but I never felt that I had someone really competent, who cared, who was on top of things for me.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Lost results
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance
- Canceled a cycle due to clinic error
How was your experience with Isabelle Ryan?
Isabelle Ryan has a very direct, succinct, blunt manner. That didn’t bother me at first, but at a later stage in my care I realized that many crisply communicated statements really glossed over important nuances, and areas of uncertainty.
Our meetings were always very quick, and I left thinking I had gotten all the information I needed, but it’s hard to know what you don’t know. As a small example, I was a first-time patient, and it was never communicated to me that at PFC my doctor likely wouldn’t be performing my retrieval surgery. I now know this is very common, but this shouldn’t be communicated to a patient the first time in the middle of a stimulation cycle.
Most importantly, I feel she handled my case poorly from a medical standpoint, and made critical errors which, subsequent doctors pointed out, introduced unnecessary risk. She and her care team overlooked disturbing symptoms that I had and, in retrospect, gave me a treatment which was dangerous rather than helpful. This aspect of my case would not apply to most patients, but I think it speaks to a lax attitude about complications, and an unwillingness to take the time to think beyond the obvious norms.
Finally, she was coordinating care with an outside specialist, and the communication about the status of this coordination was bad -- I realized months later that the tests from the outside specialist had actually given me the opposite results that Dr. Ryan had used in her assumptions and care.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Isabelle Ryan?
I probably would see a different doctor unless you are ready to go home and independently fact check what you hear, and almost act as your own secondary doctor.
Describe the protocols Isabelle Ryan used in your cycles and their degree of success.
Before cycling she had my husband and I do prophylactic antibiotics (zithromax and cipro).
First cycle (which ended in a cycle cancellation with no retrieval): 3 weeks birth control pills, started 200 IU Follistim & 75 IU Menopur, this was increased but not sure to what levels. Never triggered because cycle was canceled for poor response.
Second cycle: Removed IUD; no birth control pills. Estrace priming before cycle start (4 mg daily). At baseline ultrasound start micro-dose lupron (10 units, twice per day); then starting dose 300 IU Follistim and 150 IU Menopur. Trigger 10,000 IU hCG. Resulted in 19 eggs retrieved.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Isabelle Ryan.
Not sure how much we paid for the first canceled cycle.
Second cycle where we did a retrieval was about $12,000, though they gave us a $1,500 discount because of issues in our first cycle, and because we were self-pay patients. This did NOT include all of the lab tests and drugs, which added several thousand dollars, or the $1500 to Natera which is the outside reference lab used for PGS testing.