Dr. Kwak-Kim anyone?


#1

Has anyone used Dr. Kwak-Kim out of Chicago? Ive googled her name and found out alot of stuff. Just wanted to see if anyone had any stories to share about her. I do live in Oklahoma so traveling to Illinois for treatment is far but since she is a Reproductive Immunologist, and has helped so many others I figured why not go for a consult.


#2

I would love to her what others say about her. My acupuncturist recommended her, but I don’t think my insurance covers it, so I have not decided whether or not to go to her.
I don’t have any info for you, but am anxious to see what others say.


#3

I consulted with her on my successful cycle. She will work along side your RE so you don’t really have to travel for treatment. I only went to Chicago for my initial consult and then everything else was over the phone.

My acupuncturist recommended her because she thought I had some issues with blood flow and inflammation. After 4 failed IUIs and 2 failed IVFs I figured why not give it a shot and at least see what they had to say. They are very, very thorough. They do an extensive ultrasound which takes about 45 minutes and they drew 22 vials of blood to test for all sorts of autoimmune and clotting issues. We had a call with Dr Kwak-Kim a few weeks after our appointment and she went over the results of all the tests and her findings and recommendations. She also sends a letter to your RE with the same information. In my case they determined I had poor blood flow to my left ovary and uterus which made complete sense because my left ovary was always a dud while I was stimming. They also found that I had several gene mutations related to clotting and recommended that I use Lovenox and a folic acid/B12 supplement during my cycle and subsequent pregnancy.

The challenge I had was that my RE thought Dr Kwak was a quack, my acupuncturist thought Dr Kwak was the best thing ever and didn’t like my RE. After I got pregnant and graduated to my OB, she thought all 3 of them (my RE, Dr Kwak & my acupuncturist) were full of crap. So, it was really challenging dealing with so many different people with differing opinions who are all trying to treat you for the same thing. You really have to know what you want to do and what you feel comfortable doing and be assertive and advocate for yourself. This may not happen with everyone but just something to keep in mind.

Also, when I said they are very thorough, that continued well into my pregnancy. They wanted to continue every other day betas & progesterone until I was 7 weeks along (and we had already seen 2 heartbeats on ultrasound). They requested weekly ultrasounds for the entire first trimester. My insurance only covers 1 and at $300 a pop, I told them I wasn’t going to do that, especially considering my RE and my OB didn’t think it was necessary. They also wanted to test my NK & cytokine levels several times which is a test only they can do. So I had to find someone to draw blood that I would then ship to them to test.

Basically, working with them was a lot of work - but I am glad I did it. I wish I could say definitively that her treatments worked for me, but I really have no idea. I did have a successful pregnancy while working with her but I had also had a complete protocol change as well as a new RE/lab so one of the other factors may have been the difference maker. And 18 months after having my twins I got pregnant on my own accidentally so who knows! I do feel like she gave me some answers that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Prior to meeting with her I was in the “unexplained” category (we had a known male factor issue but no reason why I was not maintaining a pregnancy, even with ICSI) and I feel like at the very least I had an explanation for everything.

After the initial consult & the phone call to go over the results I never talked to the doctor again. But, the nurses and also the finance/insurance coordinator were all great to work with. I am happy to answer any questions anyone has - it’s been a few years (and I am extremely sleep deprived) so I am forgetting some things.


#4

I was wondering how all that went if you are an out of state patient. Good to know that she will work with your RE at home. Did you accept all insurances? Or just certain ones out of Illinois? I printed my new patient forms and now just waiting on my medical records from my 2 previous REs. I asked about how far out I would have to wait for an apt and they said the end of June. Heck by the time I get evegthing to them it will be the end of July. Owell at this point I will do anything!


#5

My insurance doesn’t cover infertility, although it did cover small portions of some of the testing. I have Blue Cross Blue Shield and she was in network so I’m guessing they take all major insurance carriers.

The finance/insurance person encouraged me to go ahead and have them file claims even though I told them I didn’t have infertility coverage. He said a lot of the coding they use is not necessarily infertility so sometimes it will be covered. I was glad I did since they did ultimately cover some of it, every little bit helps.


#6

Alright good to know! My insurance does cover infertility, although I have almost maxed it out. I have United HealthCare. So is Dr. Kwak-Kim strictly immune stuff or will she do a retrevial and transfer? Theres only 3 RE clinics here in Oklahoma and I have used 2 of them. The other one doesnt accept same sex couples which im not sure how they can actually deny treatment to someone but anyways. The next closest one is in Texas which is where I have been going lately but I figure if im going to travel why not just go to Chicago for it all. I just want a new Re/Lab for this new start.


#7

I am considering setting up a consult. I am not sure what the cost would be, especially since my insurance will not cover an out of network provider. My current RE thinks that my problem is some sort of autoimmune issue. He has tested some major ones and everything has been negative, but my next cycle we are looking at treating with Lovenox and aspirin. There is also a reproductive immunology clinic in California. They do not take insurance, but they did have very detailed cost information online.


#8

I’m working with her now. I agree with cmw that they are very thorough. I was unexplained infertility but she found things to explain stuff. Many have had success wih her and I hope to be one of those soon. She and my RE are working well together. They actually know each other from the past and respect each others opinion. I have numerous autoimmune, clotting and mutated gene issues she is working to manage for us. :cross:

Bon-


#9

Goodluck bonbontree! Please keep us updated and let us know how things go. :bsv:

I am getting all my medical records now to send out to her. When I called at the end of April they said it would be the end of June when I would prolly get in for a consult. Im looking forward to it!!


#10

Hello ladies, I am new to this website, am really hoping I can find some direction here. Found out we had our second mc last week, no HB. Will be scheduling a D&C next week. We have a healthy toddler, no issues in that pregnancy, then a mc earlier this year in March and another one now. The first one was dismissed as a chance occurrence and kept praying it woudnt happen again. Now that it has , we started looking for directions. Came across Kim Kwak as the best chance of getting to the root cause and found this forum here. We are based in Dallas, Tx. Havent started reaching out to any RE or anyone for that matter except our OB. Will be writing to Dr Kwak to see on how to start. From the posts I have read so far, I understand I might have to visit her for my first consultation, probably a good idea to get her to run the tests and then work with a local RE. Can any of you refer any RE and OB in Dallas? Any other advice is welcome. Trying to this use this new found direction as a means to move on. Thanks ! Prayer


#11

Me too! You can see my siggy.

I saw Carolyn Coulam and Kwak-Kim since I’m here in Chicago anyways. As you can see they had completely different diagnoses.

One thing I did not like about Kim was her blood work testing. Whereas Coulam did all the same bloodwork she gave me the results with a number (for example TSH 1.87). Whereas, Kim just reported it as “TSH - normal”. And all of the tests were like that. As we know one persons report of low, normal, high could be very different than another persons. I would’ve liked to see the numbers. The good thing about Kim is that all of her tests were covered by insurance whereas Coulam’s were not (to the tune if over $2000!).

The other thing I don’t like about any of them is that there don’t seem to be a lot if answers. All if their solutions are the same. IMO, you might as well just do them all. Their solutions are all about the same of 3/4 things.

  1. Blood thinner of Lovenox, Heparin, low dose aspirin

  2. Steroid treatment of dexamethasone, prednisone or something similar.

  3. NKC treatment of intralipids or IVIG

  4. High dose folic acid.

I could’ve saved time and money as just did all those treatments empirically. Instead, I’m still doing all those treatments, still have no answers and am still waiting to find out if, maybe, something in the mix worked. If this doesn’t work my next tries are Neupogen ad Letrozole. Good luck all

ETA: It doesn’t look like their ideas worked. It looks like this is going to be another miscarriage.


#12

Deleted. Duplicate post.


#13

Thanks for responding Xerxella. I dont think I have the strength you have have to go such a long way. Called Dr Kwak’s office today, have to mail her my results, the earliest available is end of Jan. Dont know of any RE in Dallas, dont know where to start actually, its all so scary. Dont want to really go back to my own OB, after 2 mcs with her, just a visit to her office is depressing. Lost n helpless really at this point.


#14

Thanks for responding Xerxella. I dont think I have the strength you have have to go such a long way. Called Dr Kwak’s office today, have to mail her my results, the earliest available is end of Jan. Dont know of any RE in Dallas, dont know where to start actually, its all so scary. Dont want to really go back to my own OB, after 2 mcs with her, just a visit to her office is depressing. Lost n helpless really at this point.


#15

Most stories aren’t mine. Most people do fine with the try, try again plan. But, I think it helps to be prepared. Get the tests run. It can’t hurt. Find a new OB or, better yet, an RE in your area that is interested in working with RPL. The vast majority of people ARE successful if they keep trying. I’m still putting myself in that category. We’re just going to keep trying. Heh. The time will pass anyways. If I do nothing, I will fail. So, at least I should keep trying SOMETHING. If I still fail then so be it. But, maybe, just maybe, there’s a rainbow at the end of this hurricane in my uterus.