We had a day where three of our Modesto Team at Surgical Artistry received Kybella!
Heather’s recap of her Kybella Experience
Kybella Day of Procedure: 1/09/18
“During the injections of Kybella, the pain is quite minimal as far as the actual needle pokes go. About midway through the Kybella procedure a “burning” sensation begins. This intensifies as the injections go on and reaches a peak shortly after. This heightened burning lasts for about 30 minutes after the procedure. After this, it gradually begins to decrease while never completely going away. The ice pack really helps to minimize this sensation, I liked using it in smaller increments just to take the edge off of the burning. There are portions of my chin that feel numb and hot to the touch as well.
Kybella DAY AFTER: 1/10/18
This morning when I woke up, I noticed some soreness but the burning sensation had subsided. The area is quite a bit bigger than yesterday, but I found that wearing a very large scarf helps to hide the swelling. I can feel the Kybella injected area moving when I walk, which it didn’t do before the injections. It is sore to the touch and still feels quite warm. There are certain areas of the chin that feel numb as well. It almost feels as though I did an intense chin or neck workout. When I move certain ways, it feels very tight and slightly painful. There is a bruise and a bit of redness, which again, the scarf definitely helps to hide.
Kybella second day after: 1/11/18
This morning I noticed that some of the swelling had gone down, but not that much. I actually noticed last night before going to bed that the area felt harder. It still feels gummy, but just a little bit more firm, like a wide, flattened out gummy bear. There is a strip along the underneath of my chin that is still numb and very warm to the touch. I do have a couple of pencil-eraser-sized bruises where the needle was inserted, but these aren’t very major. When looking directly up, I feel a pulling and tight sensation along the upper neck and chin.
Kybella third day after: 1/12/18
Last night I noticed less of the “pulling” sensation that I described feeling when looking up. I am very slightly less swollen, but not much, and the bruises are getting smaller. The area is even harder, while still being gummy; it’s just slightly more firm and almost tight feeling. It’s still numb in the center of the chin and very warm to the touch. It’s still sore, but not as much as the second day.
Kybella injections are procedures that take time to see results. Most of the time it takes about 4-8 weeks before seeing the final results of the fat dissolving by Kybella injections. I’m talking about my experience with Kybella done in the neck area – which is at this time the only FDA approved area for Kybella injections.
Having a set of pictures on your own smart phone device helps to build confidence that the Kybella procedure is working. In my experience at Surgical Artistry in Modesto, we probably see about a 20% improvement with the first Kybella injection. Then about 6 weeks later another Kybella injection is administered and then we see another 20% improvement of what’s remaining.
Having a set of pictures helps to decide if one want to do a third, forth or even 5th in the Kybella series of injection sessions.
How to do the Kybella Selfie
You want to pick a constant angle so one can compare. One suggestion is to wear a pair of glasses and have the side of the glasses become parallel to the floor while sitting in a chair. This could be a pair of sunglasses even. This standardization helps to keep consistency from photo to photo regarding the angle of the head. While staring forward, take a series of selfie pictures starting from one side of your face (starting with a side view) and then taking a few pictures till you end up on the other side. It might also be best if the lighting can be controlled from one series of Kybella Selfies to the next.
You might even want to take a straight on photo with a smile. Sometimes our necks are better or worse with the smile.
When to do the Kybella Selfe?
I think the best time to do this photo is right before the next injection. For example these pictures could be taken at your home before your Kybella appointment, or they can be taken in the doctors office. I think the home environment is good where the lighting could be controlled better if one chooses the same room and uses the same lighting and takes natural lighting into account.
Best wishes on your Kybella adventures! The same could be said about Botox – there might even be more of an importance for Botox – Selfies!!
My parents just emailed me this morning saying that they found this in storage. I do remember the great memories of applying to and getting accepted at Harvard. Thank you so much, Harvard for this certificate.
Over 6000 patient visits to Dr. Calvin Lee, MD in 2016
I just wanted to say that I am very grateful for the growth that I’ve experienced at Surgical Artistry in Modesto, CA. My wife, Dr. Tammy Wu, and I started Surgical Artistry in 2006, and I personally only had 103 patient visits in that very first year. And now it is January of 2017, and I got a chance to look at the data for the year 2016. That reveals over 6000 patient visits to me for Acupuncture, Botox, Juvederm, Kybella, Voluma, and other cosmetic injections.
I changed my focus of my career from a general surgery / trauma based practice to a acupuncture / cosmetic injections type practice in 2006. We have to start somewhere when we change over. In 2009, I took 3 months off to tour Asia on my violin – I got to solo with great orchestras and perform at amazing concert halls. Then in 2010 I was back to work full swing but that was the year we decided to become independent from medical insurance. So for sure after 2010, it was a great big adventure for us.
In 2016, I hit the Diamond Status with Allergan which is a designation for their top 4% of their practices. I am very thankful for this growth and support from my patients from Modesto and beyond. I will do my best to continue to improve my skill in terms of results and safety. I also want to continue to increase the value of what I do for my patients.
I look forward to two more decades of work in Modesto.
Surgical Artistry was formed in 2006 in Modesto by husband and wife team Dr. Tammy Wu and Dr. Calvin Lee to promote wellness and beauty through Acupuncture, Botox, and Plastic Surgical procedures. Dr. Wu and Dr. Lee had educational opportunities at Brown University, Harvard, Stanford, Case Western Reserve, and Southern Illinois University. Dr. Wu graduated top of her medical school class at Brown University. Dr. Lee on the violin was concertmaster of orchestras at Brown University, Harvard University and in New York where he grew up. He believes that playing musical instruments improves the dexterity required to be a good surgeon. Dr. Wu and Dr. Lee came to Modesto in 2003. Dr. Tammy Wu is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and Dr. Calvin Lee is a Board Certified General Surgeon with specialized experience in Trauma. He became an Acupuncturist in 2006. Surgical Artistry has evolved since 2010 to become independent of medical insurances. Thus the procedures we do today are those that are usually not covered by insurance, or poorly covered by insurance. Tummy Tucks, Breast Augmentation, Cosmetic Botox for wrinkles on the face, Kybella injection for Double Chin, and Acupuncture are the majority of our procedures at Surgical Artistry.
We are proud supporters of the arts and healthy living in Central Valley and Sacramento. We are founders of the Gallo Center for the Arts, founding title sponsors for the Surgical Artistry Modesto Symphony Pops Series / Surgical Artistry Modesto Symphony Fat Cat Classics 2006-2009, and founding title sponsors for the Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon
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.
In my estimate, Allergan has tens of thousands of accounts across America. In fact, I had figured out from what my patients tell me that there are about 51 other Botox (and maybe Kybella) injectors that my patients could easily drive to. So there are a lot of account. I can’t vouch that all these accounts are folks that purchase directly from Allergan USA, etc. Anyway, I’m super thankful that my patients chose me for their injection of Botox or Kybella. If anyone is interested here is a list that I built up just based on conversations I’ve had with my Botox patients regarding where they have either gotten Botox before or where their friends get Botox: Listing of Botox injectors in the Modesto area.
Allergan has a internal ranking system of practices which encourages some friendly competition. These are the levels:
They used to have a “Black Diamond” but that got replaced by top 500. This replacement probably happened a year or two ago.
I was at the Platinum Plus level for about 2 years, and just last year (the second half of last year), I got elevated to Diamond level. The Allergan company tells me that Diamond level means that one among the top 4% of their accounts. The points that get considered for this ranking includes purchases of Botox, Kybella, Latisse, Juvederm, Voluma, Volbella, SkinMedica, and Natrelle Breast Implants. We don’t currently purchase SkinMedica products and we have very few Natrelle Breast Implants. This means that I made it to the Diamond level mainly on facial aesthetic injections.
Interestingly, they will tempt you with a ranking in the top 500 when you quickly dip into that list when you make a sizable order. This number changes rapidly. One gets locked into the top 500 apparently if you can be IN the top 500 list by the end of January 2017. So I’m currently just got to Diamond level, and maybe, just maybe, I can sustain a top 500 ranking till the end of this month. As of 1/9/17, my ranking is 383. But this can rapidly fall in a few days out of the top 500, but I thought I’d at least take a screen capture. Or maybe, just maybe, I can get a new status and claim to be a top 500 account by the end of January, 2017. In the end, this is all just for fun. I know that quality is much more important than quantity.