I called on time...they put me on hold to wait for him. After 2 mins I noticed that the line had hung up. So I called back...and was then on hold for about 10 more minutes while I waited for him. He started off by saying he was sorry he was late but was glad I had called back after hanging up. I told him I hadn't hung up at all and was disconnected, probably by his staff but I didn't say that part. He launches into some chit chat about football that was entirely uninteresting before diving in. I guess he was trying to be friendly but I was more interested in his medical opinion.
I don't think he read much of what I had filled out in that questionnaire that took me over an hour to complete. I have to do the recap in bullets or else I'll get confused, so here goes:
- He said that because I had endo, then I absolutely have immune issues going on. No matter that I already have C. No matter that the hydro was found.
- He said that even with PGS normal embryos, there are other things going on. Endometriosis affects the quality of the embryos and even though they look good, they' really could be bad. I should consider having the endo removed...yet another laparoscopy at one of his specialists.
- All the immune testing I had done before was worthless and I would need to repeat it all.
- He couldn't even begin to recommend treatment without getting all the blood tests in.
I wanted to talk about the hydro and my surgery. When I told him the HSG revealed a hydro, he said it could have been a false positive (superficial I think were the words he used) and a hydro should have shown up in an US. To which I replied that I've already had the lap and my tubes were shot to hell and virtually "unrecognizable." No tubal issues were ever noticeable on any of my 100s of ultrasounds in the past year. He skimmed right over this HUGE glaring issue in my background. One that the entire RE and OB community supports - that hydrosalpinx, especially billateral ones, significantly decrease your pregnancy chances - the quote is 50% success reduction. This is where I call BS if he's giving no weight to a huge, researched, documented fertility issue.
Now I've done the math (which I'll post about later) and accounting for the hydro and the PGS normal embryo, over the course of the last 5 transfers, there was still an 80% chance that at least 1 embryo would stick. But we ended up in the 20%, so there could be something else going on of course which is why I kept the consult but to completely dismiss the hydro was whacky to me.
I'm not sure what I expected him to say, after all reproductive immunology is his bread and butter. So of course he's inclined to say that's the issue. It just made him feel unbelievable to me to gloss over and not address a documented anatomical issue agreed upon by the greater medical community.
What was also annoying was that doctors talk in hypotheticals all the time and he could absolutely have given me a preview of the immune treatments he uses. It's not like there's that many out there and even Dr. Peters from SIRM told me the course of action he'd follow if any markers came up. Again, I didn't get a good feeling from Dr. Braverman because of this. While part of me wanted to believe that he would be objective, I didn't get that feeling at all and was really in it to take my money, test me for everything under the sun and then charge a boat load for it.
Also, we didn't really have time to go over it in the short phone call, but I'm not sure how he'd explain the fact that I conceived before via IVF with a documented case of stage 4 endo. Aside from steroids, baby aspirin and folgard...nothing else was added to my successful protocol. These simple things I have already been using in all my subsequent FETs and IVFs so, I'm really not sure how he'd be able to explain how my endo is absolutely the thing that's causing our failures. Besides, as E pointed out - any doctor that is THAT sure of himself without doing a comprehensive exam on the patient and of their past medical records might be a little too cocky.
The kicker was my email from the finance lady. Get this...
- When you register as a management patient, they process one fee of $3,000 for the entire first phase of care. This will include ordering specific immune testing, completing our analysis and interpretative reports on your immune test results, having a complete consultation where Dr Braverman will discuss your testing, medical history, make a correct diagnosis and finally, design your immune protocol.
- In the event your testing indicate there are no immune findings, you will receive a credit for $2,000. You will only be charge for the service that are rendered.
Disclaimer: I am sure that Dr. Braverman has helped many women, he's just not the right doc for me.