Describe your experience with RBA.
RBA has 3 offices. I have been to 2- the main office in Atlanta and Dr. Slayden's office in Gwinnett.
The main office is very nice. The appearance is upscale and the staff is professional. This is where most of the procedures and surgeries take place.
Dr. Slayden's office is older and more run-down. The nicest thing about this office is that they validate your parking.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
My husband and I felt great about our doctor choice at the beginning- however as time went on, it became evident that nobody at the doctor's office had our best interest at heart. We have the overwhelming feeling that this is almost like an IVF factory...all treatment plans are the same- patients are just looked at as data, not individuals with individual needs and circumstances.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
I was told I was assigned to a particular nurse, Tracy. She seemed knowledgeable and friendly. However, I spoke to a number of nurses throughout my phone calls and appointments at this office.
My first cause of frustration was when we began our first cycle and it wasn't clear why I was taking the medication. I may be unusual- however I like to understand the purpose of medications I'm putting in my body. Common answers were, "This is what Dr. Slayden wrote on your chart." ...or... "Don't worry about that, it will be fine." Most frustrating was when I saw the warning label on my progesterone medication mention DO NOT take if you have a history of miscarriage. I called the nurse to address my concerns since I have had 3 miscarriages. She told me, "Just ignore that part...don't even look at it."
I also find it frustrating that the nursing staff rarely calls with test results. I can only remember 2 times (out of probably 15) that I have gotten a call with my results. I always have to call them or wait until my next appointment so I can ask about my results.
The most concerning issue is that the nurses have (more than once) miscommunicated the medications I have taken or am currently taking. For example: When I first started treatment, Dr. Slayden had me on a thyroid medicine because my number was slightly higher than average. I asked the nurse how long I needed to take the medicine and she said, "For a long time, probably until another doctor down the road tells you to stop." (I prefer my medical staff to be more specific than that.) When I started my most recent cycle, the nurse told me I needed to come in and get my thyroid checked because it had been 6 months since my last check. She then (mistakenly) corrected herself and said, "No you're actually fine since you have never had any issues or had to take medication for your thyroid." I have taken medication for my thyroid...prescribed by them.
The overall feel of the nursing staff is that they just want to get me out of the office, or off of the phone. It seems like they just want me to stop asking questions and do as I am told. Unfortunately, I don't have the trust in Dr. Slayden or his nurses to stop asking questions. My gut and their history of mistakes lead me to believe I am the only one being diligent about the quality of my care.
I will mention one nurse, Becky, who has been helpful and informative every time I have spoken to her.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to send your chart to another clinic
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Lost results
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance
How was your experience with Scott Slayden?
Dr. Slayden makes a good first impression. He is friendly and comes across very personable. I now realize, he is a good salesman. Many of the facts and numbers he gave us were confusing. He used a bunch of metaphors that really downplayed what we were going through. ("If we were playing football and I were the quarterback, here's what I would do...") This is a turning point in our family, not a football game.
My husband and I consulted with Dr. Slayden after 3 consecutive unexplained miscarriages. We were looking for options. Dr. Slayden explained to us that IVF with genetic testing was our best option because he felt 99% sure that genetic abnormalities caused our miscarriages.
Dr. Slayden all but guaranteed us we would find success through IVF. After running all of the tests, he compared my chances to that of an 18 year old. My husband and I were thrilled. We completed the egg retrieval, genetic testing, and embryo transfer without success. Dr. Slayden called to tell me the pregnancy test was negative and said, "I'm ready to try again." I had JUST found out our time (6 months), money ($25,000), and emotion (inexplicable) had been wasted. I was not ready. We decided to take a break to let my body and our bank account adjust from the whole ordeal.
When we were ready after a few months, Dr. Slayden suggested we try a natural/non medicated cycle. We first did an endometrial biopsy (I'm not exactly sure why). Unfortunately, we tried for 2 months- but my cycles were inconsistent so we weren't able to do the transfer. Each time, Dr. Slayden suggested we move to a medicated cycle. My husband and I weren't sure why the change of treatment plan was so quick. We felt very confused about what our best option was.
For 5 months after our first transfer, my cycles remained inconsistent. Most were upwards of 35 days. I spoke to Dr. Slalyden about this and he casually said, "That is common since you have PCOS." He had NEVER mentioned PCOS in any of our communications. I questioned him and his reply was, "You COULD have PCOS. It can develop over time." He then told me he thinks I should move forward with a surrogate. That was so absolutely confusing since he always seemed so confident in our chances of success through IVF on my own. His reasons for why he said that was even more confusing...I can't begin to explain it here.
He scheduled me for some blood-work and the resulting diagnosis is I "may possibly" have PCOS. That diagnosis is frustrating in itself, aside from the fact I certainly thought we would have tested for something so common prior to this point in my treatment. Especially something that can be treated without IVF.
My husband and I are now more confused than ever. We did all of the initial work to make as many embryos as possible and now they are 'owned' by Dr. Slayden and RBA. We feel very helpless and it seems like our only option is to move forward with another medicated cycle. There is no change in the treatment plan although our first attempt was unsuccessful. I now "may possibly" have PCOS. We aren't sure if a surrogate is a better option. We are out of money and our patience is running thin.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Scott Slayden?
Research other options.
Describe the protocols Scott Slayden used in your cycles and their degree of success.
Egg Retrieval Protocol:
Birth Control with start of cycle for 25 days (regulate my cycle)
Ultrasound and Blood-work
Gonal F after BC for 5 days (produce eggs)
Ultrasound and Blood-work
Gonal F and Ganirelix for 5 more days (produce eggs and then ovulate)
Ultrasounds and Blood-work every-other day
Egg Retrieval Surgery (39 days after staring BC)
Frozen Transfer Protocol:
Lupron on Day 21 of cycle (not sure what the purpose is)
Estrogen Replacement on Day 1 of next cycle (prep body for pregnancy)
Begin Baby Asprin, Progesterone, and Medrol (prep body for pregnancy)
Decrease Lupron, increase Estrogen
Antibiotic for 5 days prior to transfer (in case of infection)
Ultrasound and Blood-work (determine if lining is adequate for transfer)
Embryo Transfer (approx 30 days after starting Lupron)
Negative Pregnancy Test 7 days after transfer
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments.
I was always able to go first thing in the morning to get my ultrasounds and blood-work done. I rarely had to wait more than 10 minutes. The ultrasound tech is efficient and knowledgeable.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Scott Slayden.
$14,500 egg retrieval
$3,000 medication (not paid to the doctor)
$3,000 (approx) genetic testing (not paid to the doctor)
$4,000 transfer cycle
$1,000 medication (not paid to the doctor)
$500 yearly for frozen embryos