On Facebook, I was posting about a Kybella live injection demonstration event at my office, Surgical Artistry in Modesto, and I got a few questions about Kybella and a few questions about Botox. I wanted to try to answer this Botox question here which was a question about how much Botox costs. I think this is a somewhat difficult question to answer because everyone wants something different. Sometimes extremely different. But this answer might be a good generalization
How much for Botox?
I approach all my procedures as surgical procedures including my Botox injections. Injected by me, I charge $12.75 per unit for Botox (2017 pricing, subject to change). To expand this further, Let’s say one was to inject the glabellar complex (the area between the eyes). On average I use 20 units for that area. That comes out to $255 (2017 pricing, subject to change). However that might not be the right amount based on your goals. We can definitely do less or do more. There are pros and cons to each decision and I would work hard to listen and create the right result for each unique patient. And I would work hard to make sure the Botox was used very efficiently without any wasting of the very very valuable product! Thanks for asking!
I wrote this little essay which might be of interest:
My staff recently sent a question to me. His question was:
Why do some of products related to the Obagi Nuderm Skin Care system not have numbers?
My answer to the Obagi Nu-derm numbering question:
Another EXCELLENT question!!
Here are my possible answers:
Obagi Medical doesn’t know how to count. But a better reason would be, that as time went on, new products got invented and thus they didn’t want to change the numbering system – but that doesn’t explain why the Tretinoin itself doesn’t have a number – maybe they didn’t own a company at the time that made tretinoin. How’s that for an answer?
Obagi is selling that “set” as a “STARTER set with numbers” – it is enough to get started and then they should add the Elastiderm, Vitamin C Serum, Vitamin C peptide, and very importantly the Tretinoin. So these are things that need to be customized for the patients preferences and budget.
So the unnumbered products which are eventually needed:
Vitamin C serum
Tretinoin 0.05% or Tretinoin 0.1% (sometimes Retin-A)
My summary of the order of how to use Obagi Nu-Derm System – the Surgical Artistry Modesto Way:
Elastiderm Eye cream
Vit C peptide
Exfoderm / Forte
Elastiderm Eye cream
Vit C Peptide
HYDRATE / or Hydrate Luxe
Dr. Tammy Wu added a few more thoughts to this Obagi question:
You don’t know this because you weren’t here when Obagi Starter Set didn’t have Hydrate as one of its products; in its place was Sunfader. That’s why Sunfader was numbered #6, as it was #6 in the original Obagi Starter Set.
Sunfader is an excellent product to add for those patients who have hyperpigmentation or freckles due to sun damage or melasma due to pregnancy.
Hydrate is a very recent addition to the Kit and replacement for Sunfader. Sunfader used to be in its place in the kit. Hydrate came about because of people’s complaint of peeling and dry skin after product application. Hydrate does ease the temporary peeling and dry skin feeling for people just starting the products. But it is also an excellent moisturizing retainer – it holds water in the skin for up to 8 hours, just like Hydrate Luxe does.
Therefore, for those with dark spots on their face, I will add the SUnfader to their regimen ALWAYS, because Sunfader is a prescription product with Hydroquinone and chemical sunscreen which will help lighten the dark spots.
I will work hard to listen to my patients’ desired goals and work hard to satisfy every patient. We will have conversations which involve my brutal honesty. Patients will not be allowed to leave until I feel that I’ve completed my best work for what we had planned. I welcome patients with “high standards” because I have very high standards myself.
There are patients out there who believe that a “syringe is a syringe” and that the surgeon doesn’t matter. Those folks can go elsewhere. In the end, I hope my patients will put more value in the procedure with me in control rather than the generic “vial” or generic “syringe” which can’t inject itself. And I hope my patients will believe that I will always try to give them the best value for the highest quality. I strive to use the least amount of product for maximum result.
I view all my needle related procedures (acupuncture, Kybella, Botox, Juvederm, etc) as minimally invasive surgeries. They ARE surgeries. For me, they require, surgical planning and surgical precision.
My big three aims are to achieve excellence with safety, results, and comfort. Complications can sometimes happen, and if they occur, I will do all that I can to resolve it.
I am truly honored to your doctor. Thank you to all my patients for trusting me and allowing me to practice medicine, acupuncture and surgery at the highest level possible.
I think this explains very well my reason for creating and working at Surgical Artistry. I think in some ways they call this a personal “mission statement.” I work with needles all day. I place needles for Acupuncture. I inject Kybella, Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, Voluma, Volbella, and Asclera for veins.
I am honored to be able to keep in touch with the smart scientists at Allergan. Here I am pictured with Dr. Diana Romero, PhD, Director of Facial Aesthetics for Allergan. Kybella is one of her expertise as well. She has provided me with research papers regarding best use and best safety. Much much appreciated. Thank you Dr. Romero! We are pictured here at the Center for the Future of Surgery at UC San Diego and we are exploring breast surgery advances. She gets involved in that field as well! Dr. Romero is based in Irvine, California. She was also with Medical Affairs at Kythera Biopharmaceuticals. That was the company which developed Kybella. Also conincidentally, her brother is a helicopter pilot for trauma services at Case Western Reserve – that’s where I did a bunch of my Trauma Surgery training. Small world indeed.
Survived! Our patient, is still smiling right after his 1st of 4 treatments of KYBELLA. He encouraged me to be brave and tag him in this photo. Side plug: I got some amazing window coverings for my house 5 years ago from him – He’s in the window treatment/covering business. If anyone needs window treatments in the Modesto area and beyond – I have his contact info.
Yes, proof that one can still smile after Kybella injections
Kybella Injection by Dr. Calvin Lee, in Modesto, CA
Karla, who works at Surgical Artistry, volunteered to have us videotape her second Kybella injection session with me to help with her double chin. Even with one session, we’ve seen nice improvements in her neck contour. This was a very informal video, and the sound from the conversations was somewhat hard to hear. But this video shows the essence of the procedure which we do in Modesto. I hope it also gives an indication of the amount of “suffering” a patient (and an injector) goes through during a Kybella session. Most patients do not consider this to be painful. In this video, Karla, elected not to use any sort of numbing method, no ice, no numbing cream, etc. It was purely her choice to show that the needles themselves do not hurt too much. I normally encourage the patients to let me at least ice the area to reduce the discomfort from the small needles used to inject Kybella.