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Choosing the right clinic

Posted by bambi , 14 November 2011 · 1757 views

Hello everyone.
I was wondering if someone could give me some advise on which clinic to choose. We'd already did 3 rounds of IVM at IVF Canada and we're thinking of doing a round of IVF at another clinic. The only problem is, I don't know which one to choose in Toronto.
Can anyone share any stories of their experiences at a clinic in Toronto? I was reading that the Hannan clinic is supposed to be good. We were also considering Mount Sinai.
I'm just so confused....

Hi Bambola, I was very pleased with the services and level of care I received at Mount Sinai. My RE was Dr. K. Liu who was absolutely wonderful - she left during my cycle on mat leave but I believe she is back now (not sure though). She is very knowledgeable and does not make you feel hurried through any appointment. She takes the time to ensure you fully understand what is happening and what your options are. The only difference I think with Mt. Sinai is that there are several physicians whom you'll see throughout your moniotiring, retrieval and transfer - all of which are great by the way (the other RE whom is fantastic is Dr. Barbar Cruickshank. The staff are good too. They are difficult to reach when you first call - the call will always go to voice mail but you will receive a call back same day (or the next morning depending what time you leave the message). Overall, Dr. Liu and Mt. Sinai are great and I would highly recommend them and especially her.

FYI** We took Dr. Liu's recommendation and went straight for IVF with ICSI. We got a BFP in March 2011 with our first attempt and am expecting a baby girl in less than 2 weeks. Best of luck with your decision.

Update: if you visit the website and type in the RE's last name, you'll find other patient's reviews of their experience with both Dr. Hannam and Dr. Liu.
I would like to second freedom1 ... we also did IVF/ICSI at Mount Sinai and are very pleased with the result. It's a very busy clinic, but they are open early and on weekends ... they are well staffed and the nurses I found super friendly and helpfull. We also felt very confident in our doctors ... they are on the conservative side when it comes to treatment and I found comfort in that, considering the powerful fertility drugs we are injecting in our bodies. They monitor the cycle closely with lots of ultrasounds and bloodwork. I also liked the fact that the clinic is associated with the hospital, so when I had a fainting episode in early pregnancy, the emerge doctor had access to all my IVF files with all the transfer date info etc., which gave me a piece of mind ... the emerge doc even knew Dr. Greenblatt.

Our fresh cycle did not produce a pregnancy, however we had frozen embryos and we got pregnant on our first frozen transfer. All in all, I think we paid about $13,000 including drugs, which according to my husband's research is on the low end of the cost spectrum.

I really recommend Mt. Sinai and wish you the best of luck!!
I've heard very mixed reviews of Mt. Sinai. Some of the doctors sound lovely but there's at least one I've only heard awful things about. Also, the conservative approach is fine if you have a fairly straightforward diagnosis, but many women need a little more tweaking and creativity with protocol.

We went to Hannam Fertility and had a very good experience. Dr. Hannam is very nice to deal with, very good at what he does, and great about tweaking his approach based on your individual circumstances. The office is also very well run which is important when you're dealing with such a stressful situation.

Dr. Virro in Markham has an incredible reputation, but also a long wait list.

Good luck!
So happy for you both Orchid and Freedom1!!!! :)) and thank you so very much for all your responses. I greatly appreciate it!! I'm new on this blog and I wish I had found you guys sooner. It's a great support group and lots of good info.
I'm going to keep on reading about both Mount Sinai and Hannam and decide.
Does anyone know what the wait list is like at Mount Sinai and Hannam?
I was reading about Dr. Virro and you are right!! He has an incredible reputation!! I don't think I've read one bad post about him.
Are you still at Hannam? If so, how are you doing there?
Dr. Virro is absolutely amazing. His wait list is long, but he is worth it - esp. if you have multiple failures/difficult case. His pateint list was closed when I first contacted him and we got in on his cancellation list. We waited 6 months to see him, waited another 4 months for surgery, waited another 2 months to heal from the surgery - and I don't regret it for a moment. He is WORTH THE WAIT!
Bambola - Why don't you get a referral to both Hannam and Virro.......??
I think my wait for Hannam was about 2 months? MAYBE 3 but I think 2. I had some real cycle challenges with wonky ovulationa nd follicle development, but he was really good about making adjustments on the fly with our first IVF. It was initially cancelled because of more ovarian wackiness but he changed my protocol based on what was happening, and we jumped right into the next cycle. That next cycle was still a little wonky in the beginning but rather than cancelling me again, we waited it out until my body was ready and then went ahead and we were successful. So I'm not with him anymore because he did his job so well! Everyone I've known of who's dealt with Hannam Fertility has had a good experience so I definitely recommend him.

Mount Sinai would probably have similar wait times, but it would likely be a bit cheaper. I think it depends on your issues though. If you have something more complicated I would probably stay away from Mt. Sinai. it's a great hospital...I was born there, we dealt with urology and a varicocele repair there...I trust that they have excellent doctors. But the fertility clinic? I don't know. I think you'll get more personalized attention elsewhere.

You could do what Dori suggested and make appointments with both Hannam and Virro (and Mt. Sinai). You'll have to wait a while for Virro, but then if you're not happy for whatever reason with Hannam or Sinai (or wherever else you go) you can always meet with Dr. Virro when your chance comes.
Thanks a bunch Conky!!
I have actually scheduled an appointment to see my family Dr. and will get a referral for Hannam and Virro.
Hannam has already sent me an information package.
I just wish I would have done this sooner. I was under the understanding that because I suffer from PCOS, that IVF is not recommended and that's why I did IVM (which is low overian stimulation).
Not sure if anyone is familiar with PCOS and if so, has anyone had success with IVF?
Oh my goodness, people do IVF with PCOS all the time. I think doctors will just want to be extra careful about not overstimulating you. I'm sure both doctors have LOTS of experience getting women with PCOS pregnant. Good luck! You'll be in good hands!
My wait time for Hannam was about 4 months but I do know that if you fill the paper work out quickly and return it they put you on a list for cancellations so you could get in much more quickly if you did that (I didn't bother because I was really hoping that IUIs with my doctor would work before the appointment). Despite the initial wait time I will say that all of my testing and appointment since have been very prompt and I haven't had a lot of waiting to do. I am from Peterborough and couldn't get an appointment for an HSG at the hospital with my OB/GYN so he did a Sonohystogram instead at his office after 3 months of waiting... with Dr. Hannam I had an HSG and Sono within two weeks of my initial appointment. He even said we could start IVF in January if we wanted to at our appointment last week (my understanding is that some clinics will have wait times for IVF).

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