If there is one word to describe Grant Stevens it has got to be, “King”.
Even as his name escapes me, my fear disables me as I begin to tell the story of how I met him that one autumn afternoon. Who is Dr. Grant Stevens? He’s the man who brought world class plastic surgery to Marina Del Rey, California. Dr. Stevens, backed by his many accolades has decisively become one of the pivotal people in the shaping of surgical and non-surgical techniques of the face and body used commonly in the aesthetic industry. His presence is so strong, an entire room of aesthetic educators fell silent before him. Me and three other top plastics guys in the room were next tier to obtain grabs of the newest invention of facial rejuvenation, after we received our introductory training by Dr. Stevens.
Like Rand Rusher, Grant’s confidence entered the room before he did. He was late, 38 minutes to be exact, but he didn’t waste any time once he arrived. He wore a white jacket and scrubs. His mildly protuberant lower gut gave me a clue as to his general health and age. But we weren’t there to diagnose Grant Stevens, we were there to learn from the king, himself.
Kybella, an Allergen child is an injection of deoxycholic acid, or “detergent” like Stevens called it sneeringly, to melt neck fat. It consists of forty or fifty injections in the neck area, on three or more separate occasions, to give a noticeably better looking neck. Stevens wrapped up the Kybella training course in less than 15 minutes, then spent an additional few minutes on the model and actual injection technique. During the didactic part, he turns to us and asks if we are plastic surgeons. Yeses all around except me, “No, I’m a nephrologist.” His jaw nearly dropped on the opulent table he was half way seated on in his consultation office. He peaked into my eyes with the intent to kick me out of the room, “Vanesha [Allergen rep], I thought I told you only the top docs. What is this nephrologist doing here?” He returned to his teaching session, with frustration I found rather humorous, and continued on. Little did he know, I was his most imminent competition in town. During the rest of the talk he prefaced all the anatomy descriptions with a comment about how he was dumbing it down for my intelligence level. Now, you’d think his placating would have offended me, but just the opposite, I happily went along with it. He reminded me of my surgery professors back in med school. Brave, serious, and very capable. I trusted Dr. Stevens and learned all there was to know about Kybella.
He had an even bigger entourage than Rand or Karimi, and some others I’ve come across in my training circuit. People who were not even doctors or patients, perhaps investors looking to get a chunk of success or knowledge hanging around this giant.
The model, a 55 year old hispanic woman, a mother of one of the workers in the Marina Surgery Center, practically disappeared in the room. She had no voice amongst a group full of medical doctors, pharmacy reps, PA’s, RN’s and assistants. When Dr. Stevens began injecting her neck, he used his palm and did so in a sloppy way, spilling quite a bit of the expensive solution around. We asked one or two questions about Kybella’s side effects, which are either pain, or damage to an important facial nerve which controls your smile. He wasn’t worried about the surgeons nicking the nerve as much as he was concerned for me. I saw him draw near me, and say with a voice much softer this time, “Be careful you don’t go outside of this treatment region to avoid the marginal mandibular nerve. You don’t want to hit this one.” Then he took his gloves off and just as hurriedly and auspiciously he started the hour, he whizzed out of the surgical suite to his next meeting.