How was your experience with Joel Brasch?
Dr. Brasch is obviously very knowledgeable. He is strong in what he believes and believes what he recommends to his patients; however, he can be rather pushy in his recommendations. He was late to my retrieval and transfer. The wait for any office visit was well over 30 minutes each time. He performed the laparoscopic surgery and diagnosed my endometriosis, and I was happy with that. When he came in prior to the retrieval and transfer, he had no idea about my history. I really felt he could have at least looked at a chart or something before meeting with us. I felt like I was a new patient every time I saw him.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Joel Brasch?
Do your own research, and bring in many questions. Before you commit to any protocols or treatment, go home and do your own research again. Don't let him talk around your questions. Demand a straight answer.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
I feel that I was given a "cookie-cutter" plan. The research shows that people with diminished ovarian reserve should not be put on birth control prior to a cycle (long protocol). Dr. Brasch put me on birth control anyway. Dr. Brasch was 15 minutes late for my egg retrieval, which is very time sensitive. I had four follicles, all of which were good size, two of which were quite large. I ended up with two eggs, and only one embryo. After our poor results and failed IVF cycle, Dr. Brasch strongly encouraged moving on to donor eggs. In addition, he suggested that if I wanted to continue with my own eggs, we could try a different protocol (micro flare lupron). When I mentioned that I had read that that particular protocol affected egg quality, and that he had mentioned concerns with the quality of my eggs, he said "Well, feel free to email me about other protocols," as he stood up and open the door for us to leave. Needless to say, I left there in tears, and made an appointment with a new doctor in the parking lot.
Describe the protocols Joel Brasch used in your cycles and their degree of success.
Long protocol. I was on birth control for a month prior to starting injections. When the cycle failed, he could not give me a rationale for why he chose that protocol versus a protocol better suited for diminished ovarian reserve. I started with the same dosage of medication that I have used for my IUIs, which was very successful with both of my IUIs. I had very little to no growth during the first several follicle checks. I was soon place on the maximum dosage of injections. I had four large follicles at my last ultrasound before by egg retrieval. Two eggs were retrieved. One became an embryo that we were able to transfer.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
Angela was fantastic! She was the one who did the majority of my monitoring during all of my treatment cycles. She also did the two IUIs in the office. Nancy, the nurse practitioner, was also very friendly and helpful. I only met with her one time, but she was the one who first mentioned endometriosis to me. Other nurses that I encountered were also nice. I just did not have as good of a relationship with them, as I did not see them as often as I saw Angela.
Describe your experience with Chicago IVF.
Most of my appointments were in the Valporaiso clinic. They have other offices in Illinois. The Valporaiso office is clean. The wait time was always at least 30 minutes. See clerical staff was very helpful. The retrievalS and transfers were done at a surgical center, so IVF was not all that they encountered, and it seemed a little impersonal.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Joel Brasch.
Visits to be diagnosed/laparoscopy follow-up: $30 copay (x3?)
IUI: $1850 (x2)
Surgicenter Retrieval: $800
Surgicenter Transfer: $500
Approximate total without medications: $18290