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anyone have experience at Kensington Wing at the Chelsea and Westminster with Dr Hazem el Rafaey ?

(30 Posts)
eandz Mon 23-Jun-08 13:27:42

Long post, but I need help!

Hi, I'm about 28 weeks pregnant now and at first was having trouble with finding a place I would be comfortable delivering since I'm away from home (Texas). After carefully researching and visiting several hospitals I've decided that I like the Kensington Wing at the Chelsea and Westminster Hopsital. There is only one doctor who still has admission rights at the time I'm due and is still available. Dr. Hazem el Rafaey. I have never heard of anyone else who has used him and am a little anxious since the two times I have met him he's told me to consider having an elective c-section...

My mother who is also an obgyn in the States refuses to ever discuss c-section, but since I'm not delivering at home with her next to me she's even more closed off to the discussion of labor and delivery. She's sulking. Hopefully she'll get over it soon.

Anyway, his medical reasoning behind an elective c-section is based on three things:

1. I have Stills Disease which is like Junior Rheumatoid Arthiritis, but causes instability in my body temperature. I average about 2 fevers a day, and since I got pregnant I was told by my doctors at home to avoid all nsaids/fever reducers and anything else I was on prior the pregnancy.
2. I've gained a crazy amount of weight (about 6/7 stones) I'm totalling at about 15 stones these days. I have never been this heavy.
3. My blood pressure is unstable. Sometimes low, sometimes borderlining on high sometimes, but has never actually been high.

So I'm wondering if anyone has experience with him? has heard of him?

He however is suggesting I see a Rheumatologist to keep watch over my Stills Disease while I live in the UK...which my NHS gp and other private consultant have told me is unnecessary. But no one has suggested bloodwork to check to see the status of my Stills.

In the states, I'm always under the care of a Rheumatologist. Which does comfort me a little but I'm still weary of the idea of an elective c-section. My ideal plan was to give birth vaginally with an epidural.

Another consultant I have been seeing for my scans has suggested that he's willing to deliver me the way I'd like but that the chances of an emergency c section were higher, and he will only deliver my baby at the Portland. But this other consultant never considers my current condition (stills) and doesn't think twice about my massive weight gain.

The Portland is great for the outpatient stuff, but I'm not even comfortable thinking about other people giving birth there. I know it's a great place and people have come out fine, the birthing rooms themselves just scare me.

Sorry for the long post, but the only other person I can talk about this is my husband and he seems to think c-sections are better because thats how he was delivered.

Hadassah Wed 05-Dec-12 13:20:23

Also for anyone considering Hazem El-Refaey and looking for an up-to-date review - he delivered my baby just over two weeks ago at the Kensington Wing, and I had a very good experience with him.

I have found him calm and sensible, and I like the way he treats things routinely rather than everything being a big deal ("If this happens, we manage like this because of that, if that happens we do this"). I did not want to in any way "manage" the pregnancy myself, or be particularly involved in decisions, as this is not my area, so I more or less handed over to him just saying that I would strongly prefer to avoid a Caesarean, and then I went along with what he said. The baby was induced at 40 weeks and I had a fast and straightforward labour. He does not make a fuss about things but he is thorough: I have very severe myopia which can apparently make it more likely that an eye will bleed at some stage during labour, so he told me to go and get reviewed by my ophthalmologist, which I was due for anyway, so that aspect was covered and we knew it was safe to go to vaginal delivery from that point of view. Also, I was able to have most of my antenatal appointments on a Saturday (at the Portland) which was a tremendous help, so if you are working during the day and studying in the evening, and things are hard during the week, this is a real boon. And as with all private care you have access to the doctor when you need help - I had a very easy pregnancy but at one point a few weeks before the birth I had a serious stomach upset and it was good to be able to just run it past him and make sure that it was not early labour.

Re the Kensington Wing, I felt it was really good - the midwives are attentive and helpful, and the atmosphere is warm and kind, and I felt looked after. Nobody rushes you to do anything, you get any help you need - I needed help to shower afterwards, I wanted a teapot of tea made with my own decaf teabag etc. - people have time to do these things for you. Having your own room is good, especially when you have your husband visiting and you can sit together, it's quiet, you can spend time together undisturbed. My husband said that it was the best money he ever spent, that he felt that it was a gentle way of doing it, and when it is the baby's time he would pay for her to give birth like that as well if her husband doesn't. It's also very natural-birthy and one is helped to start breastfeeding if one wants to do that. I was also very happy with the anaesthetist who did my epidural analgesia - very gentle and patient, and when the epidural did not work on one side the first time, she kept spraying me with cold stuff and asking if it felt colder here than there, and when I was incoherent with pain and couldn't say one way or another she made the decision to do it again, and that worked fine. She also kept popping in afterwards and the following morning to see how it was wearing off and how I was feeling.

So I can really recommend both the obstetrician and the unit.

cazwilson Wed 24-Oct-12 22:51:12

Hazem is a fantastic obstetrician - he has delivered my 2 sons within the last 18 months and on both occasions has been great. He was also very supportive when I suffered a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I would definitely recommend him and I will definitely go back to him for my next if we decide to have 3, no doubt about it!

Hazem decided to induce me 3 days after my due date in my first pregnancy - it proved to be a great decision and the labour was straightforward and fairly easy. 2nd time around the baby got stuck and it ended in an emergency c-section. Hazem kept calm throughout and made the right decision at exactly the right time, having tried to give me the opportunity to do it natually. My husband and I appreciated his professionalism and guidance on both occasions, however it was his intuition and quick decision making 2nd time around that really made us appreciate that we were in the best hands. I have seriously been impressed with my neat scar and quick recovery too!

paloma2012 Tue 01-May-12 23:43:37

Hi Vkoala - Hazem was brilliant in managing the crisis which arised from complicated delivery, calm and informative. I found the Kensington Wing and their midwife led service much better than Portland.
Good luck with your baby!

vkoala Wed 07-Mar-12 14:51:13

Hi Paloma - did you go for Dr Hazem El Refaey in the end? I'm due in October and am going to go with Kensington Wing and am thinking of using him. Would love to know what your experience is with him?

Many thanks and hope it all went well with your baby

paloma2012 Sun 04-Sep-11 16:49:15

Message for Eandz (and other Moms familiar with Dr. Hazem El-Refaey):

Dear Eandz,

I have read on this blog that you have chosen Dr. Hazem El-Refaey as your consultant and also the doctor who will be delivering your baby. I am not sure when is (was?) your due date so I am wondering how is it going for you so far? I am now looking for references for this doctor and any information would be most appreciated! As yourself, I could not get the doctors that my friends had because I am due around Easter and it is only Hazem who was available.

Could you please tell me how was your experience with him so far? Was he always available for you? Have you decided on C-section in the end?

Many thanks for your help,
and I hope everything is well with you and your baby!

Best wishes,

TheHappyCat Wed 26-Aug-09 13:38:28

This is a very old thread - eandz ended up swapping her OB as she really didn't get along with this guy! But I agree the Ken wing is a lovely place to have babies especially now it's been done up. I had Keith Duncan & Nick Wales who were great - the MWs are excellent too.

Danat Wed 26-Aug-09 11:59:51

Dr Hazem is a great doc and so true he puts the mother first and takes care of you and your baby until they are born and for any other gynecological problems he is the best ... i had an incredibly great experience with him , have a son who is 2 through C-section because i needed to have it done this way best for both me and baby , then i had an early pregnancy miscarriage and hazem was extremely supportive and helpful.. i definitely recommend him for any woman who can afford private and go through having her baby with dr rafae consultations. great guy!
dana T

madwives Sun 17-Aug-08 19:29:39

The Kensington does get booked very very quickly, and even moreso now that the first phase of the new unit is open...and its gorgeous.....
The staff and consultants are great, service second to none.....
Worth every penny...

conniew14 Thu 14-Aug-08 17:19:04

Know what its like to be the new girl crackaerqueen - that was me only 15 weeks ago!

Hope this helps-
1. Private maternity @ K & C gets booked up really early ( both midwife and ob led)so if you are considering it do it now.
2.Yes, if you go private you choose your ob and you'll see just him/her. I'm with Mark Johnson and so far he's been fantastic - really patient with quite a nervous patient!
3. If you can afford it and want total peace of mind I think it's well worth it.

crackerqueen Wed 06-Aug-08 17:33:19

Hi Everyone!

Am considering the Kensington Wing. I'm in my first trimester with my first child and for various reasons really want a C-section. I haven't had an antenatal appointment yet and my 12 week scan is soon, so I don't know if there are any medical complications or anything yet.

Please could somebody tell me if it's possible to combine NHS maternity care with private maternity care? So I'm currently booked in with the Chelsea and Westminster standard unit and will have my scans and appointments there, but can I deliver and stay at the Kensington Wing? Or, do I need to commit to the Kensington from now?

I know this probably sounds very thick, but do I build a relationship with a particular obstetrician, who then delivers the baby? Will there be much opposition to wanting a C-section in either sector?

You all sound like you know what you're talking about! Please help the new girl!

wheelsonthebus Fri 01-Aug-08 10:04:33

Hazem delivered my daughter by elective c-section (which I wanted) and he was fantastic. He was calm and thoughtful and I was intensely pleased that he had crossed my path. He didn't push me down the c-section road; it was what i requested. As it was, I had to have a c-section anyway due to a condition which happened in late pregnancy. Go with Hazem; he is brilliant.

tc11 Fri 25-Jul-08 21:19:39


Hazem delivered both of my girls (3 years and 3 months) and I thought he was great....he very much puts the mother first and does not believe in taking risks.....if it helps he advised me against having an elective c section second time around when i know that another consultant would have quite happily advised it - he is not scissor happy at all! if we have a third I will be back - the midwives and the care in the kensington wing has been fantastic both times.......good luck

twinkle3869 Tue 24-Jun-08 17:56:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eandz Tue 24-Jun-08 14:59:24

Good idea Poppy!

yeah, st thomas had nice clean sterile rooms and even thought that aqua green/blue was everywhere it wasn't bad. the elevators were very slow when i went though. and it's very reasonably priced.

poppy34 Tue 24-Jun-08 14:53:38

defo no carpet at st thomas - can see why you were a bit shock about it.

fwiw I 'd take a list of things you want to ask about (or print off your post)-even with dh there my mind goes blank sometimes when faced with even my lovely consultant

eandz Tue 24-Jun-08 14:48:07

Hi Twinkle and Poppy,

seriously? no carpet? the room they showed me had pink carpetting with matching walls. It looked nothing like the clean white rooms on the website. I'm going again tonight for my prenatal classes. I might ask to see the room on the website.

I've called him and scheduled an appointment for tomorrow to talk about why I don't want an elective c section. My husband is going in with me so I don't act like a shrinking violet.

the hospitals my mother works from are either university teaching hospitals or privately run.

poppy34 Tue 24-Jun-08 14:38:33

echo twinkle - sometimes you have to give consultants a nudge...and a nudge again. mw chat is a good idea.

twinkle3869 Tue 24-Jun-08 14:36:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eandz Tue 24-Jun-08 12:03:40

my moms an ob in the states and i think i would feel the most comfortable in a hospital that is run similarly. also, the birth room i was shown had large scary stains on the carpet and to be honest i prefer sterile looking hospital rooms.

twinkle3869 Tue 24-Jun-08 09:03:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

poppy34 Mon 23-Jun-08 16:09:40

I may well be the same.. so ask me afterwards -yes we're having a girl

eandz Mon 23-Jun-08 15:51:51

i dooo!

and the old fashioned! you are BRAVE! i can't think beyond the word epidural as far as labor is concerned.

do you know what your having?

poppy34 Mon 23-Jun-08 15:48:04

I am very excited.. am going to try and be old fashioned about it... not sure i will forgo all pain relief but try to see how it goes on G&A.

Sounds like with all you're going through you really wish it was 12 weeks time smile

eandz Mon 23-Jun-08 15:40:38

you must be very excited about delivering soon! i can't wait to have my baby.

are you going to have any pain relief? or are going for it the old fashioned way?

poppy34 Mon 23-Jun-08 15:37:00

any day now I hope so can let you know..

sounds like you might need to be a bit more assertive with this dr hazem - for some reason loads of docs are useless unless you push em as have a god complex.

dunno about dh's logic.. in my book whatever your state down below, major abdominal surgery is prob not going to have me at my most frisky smile

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