Becoming a PatientTuesday 05/10/2022
What’s the process of becoming a patient at Optimal Bio?
By now, you might be wondering, How do I get started?
The Initial Consultation
Your first step is to call one of our four clinics and set up a consultation appointment. We’ll sit down and talk one-on-one in the privacy of my office. At Optimal Bio, we listen to you, identify your concerns, and individualize a treatment plan to replenish your hormones and revitalize your body and life. Feel free to take as much time as you need to address your concerns.
I look forward to meeting you!
Recently, a new patient named Sally came into my office. She had a lot of questions—and I mean, a lot of questions. She had talked with her physician, she had read articles, and she had talked with friends. All that added up to about forty questions she had written down on a legal pad.
We went through them one by one. Several times I pointed her to additional articles available on our website. By the end of our visit, I had answered all her questions, but she still needed some time to decide if BHRT was right for her. I understood her need to take things slowly and make an informed decision.
I told her, “It’s your body. It’s your decision. No one can or should make that decision for you.”
Sally called back two days later. We scheduled her for labs, and two days after that, she was back in our office, receiving her first pellet placement. If you talked with her today, she would tell you it was the best decision she ever made, but it was made only after careful investigation and reflection.
I also frequently hold public seminars and participate in Q&As on Instagram Live, which are another wonderful opportunity to get all your questions answered and listen to the concerns of other prospective patients like you.
After our consultation, the next step is putting in an order for your lab work. You can choose to have your blood drawn that day if you like, or whenever it’s convenient. The lab tests are easy and quick. It’s a simple blood draw that can be done at any local blood lab (for example, Labcorp). I will send the necessary order for the tests to be done, called a blood lab requisition, to the lab of your choice. You can visit the lab on your schedule. It usually takes fifteen minutes or fewer, depending on the schedule of the lab. I receive the results back on my desk within twelve to twenty-four hours.
In our Cary office, we have a phlebotomist on staff, so the turnaround for labs done there is even more expeditious.
Once I receive the results of your bloodwork, our administrative assistant will call you to schedule an appointment for your first pellet placement. Using your lab results, I will personalize a BHRT pellet treatment specifically for you. When you come back into our office, it takes no more than fifteen minutes for the placement procedure. I will re-consult with you, your lab results in hand, and then do the quick and easy placement, which is an outpatient procedure performed in our clinic. After a pellet placement, you may return to work or normal daily activities, but it is recommended that you take it easy for the rest of the day. In other words, no vigorous exercise!
At that time, our office staff will give you specific instructions for caring for the bandage and tape that protect the incision area. A member of our friendly staff will call you the next day to ensure you are doing well and to answer any other questions you may have at that time. It is quite simple to get started, and you’ll be feeling the effects of the pellets in no time!
The Dosing Model
The dosing model is crucial to the overall success of this program for all my patients. After doing this for many years and administering thousands of placements, I utilize an algorithm that indicates what is best for each patient. The algorithms are derived from information based on thousands of patients, which makes me extremely confident in my ability to design a treatment plan that will work perfectly for you.
I hope you see immediate results and a positive impact on your health and vitality in the short term. However, I choose BHRT for the long-term results—to prevent things like arthrosclerosis, dementia, and diabetes—which is equally, if not more, important. It’s like taking vitamins every day. I may or may not feel the short-term benefits of daily supplementation, but I know I am building a solid foundation for long-term health. Similarly, we jog, work out, and eat the right foods so we’re not only healthy now but will be in the future.
Dosage for Females
Regarding pre-menopausal women, I am especially concerned with their testosterone levels. We will get them checked with the labs and make sure they are high enough. A staff member from Optimal Bio will call you the next day to see how you are doing, and we will also re-check the labs in four weeks. We’ll monitor how you feel and continue to analyze your blood work.
In general, I like to make sure that my female patients maintain a testosterone level between 90-200 ng/dl. Appropriate levels for a woman’s progesterone and estrogen will vary based on her time of life, and we can discuss what is optimal for you when we meet.
Dosage for Men
At Optimal Bio, when we run labs for our male patients, we pay especially close attention to their testosterone level, which, ideally, should be over 800 ng/dl.
Too often, I am seeing men (even men in their twenties) who have such low testosterone (often in the 100s or lower) that it concerns me. I will run their levels through the proprietary Optimal Bio algorithm and determine a dosage plan that includes the number of pellets they will receive. Once treated, we check back in four weeks with new lab tests, and invariably, our patients’ testosterone levels rise dramatically.
I want to find out who you are and what’s best for you. That’s why the subjective part of my record-keeping is so important.
Subjective and Objective Data
At Optimal Bio, the careful monitoring of each patient is based on both objective and subjective data, which is information from the patient’s point of view, including symptoms, feelings, and experiences reported first-hand from those receiving BHRT.
Objective data is observable and/or measurable data from the physician’s point of view, obtained through observation, physical examination, and laboratory testing. It is important to pay close attention to both subjective and objective data to achieve the best results for all my patients.
Why is the subjective data so important? Because the most significant determining factor in whether BHRT is working should be how the patient feels. Although the labs are important, how you feel is the reason for the therapy. The external, objective data will simply confirm what you are telling me.
What happens if you have questions after a week or a month? Schedule an appointment. Come in to see me. I am here for you anytime you need a question answered. I encourage all my patients to do additional research. Bring articles to me that you’ve read. I want you to know more than I know. It’s your body. Take charge of it.
It is imperative that you provide a complete and accurate picture of your health history before we begin treatment. That includes all current medications you take and vitamin supplements. Any illnesses you suffer from should be fully disclosed, such as diabetes, hypertension, liver, kidney, or heart disease, a history of stroke or cancer, HIV, or clotting disorders. You should also be under the care and supervision of a general physician and receive standard yearly examinations. You must be at least eighteen years of age to receive pellet therapy.
Four weeks after your pellet placement, you will have follow-up blood labs to ensure your hormones have reached the proper levels for optimal health. Occasionally, a small percentage of patients (5-7%) may need a booster shot of testosterone to reach their target levels. There is a separate fee for the booster.
Unfortunately, BHRT is not covered by health insurance. However, after getting started on bioidenticals, you can expect to make far fewer trips to the doctor!
Many prospective patients say, “Dr. Brannon, I want to try this, but it costs money.” And I say, “Yes, it does. But think about this: these treatments will benefit you for the rest of your life. Right now, and into the future. Several dollars a day is a small price to pay when compared to the cost of developing potentially life-threatening diseases later in life. Just ask any one of my patients if the cost was worth it!”
Big Pharma is opposed to BHRT because they cannot profit off it. Why? Because bioidentical hormones are natural. As natural products, they cannot be patented. You cannot patent an organic molecule, and therefore, the return on their investment would be extremely low in comparison to most other pharmaceutical drugs—ones that they make a killing on.
Health insurance typically does not cover BHRT. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the government telling me how or how not to take care of myself. I don’t want a bureaucrat or an insurance company telling me what type of medications I should or shouldn’t take. The most important property you own is you. The person who cares the most about you is you.
I believe in individual liberty. There is a freedom in taking responsibility for yourself.