Kian Karimi, MD, FACS, of Rejuva Medical Aesthetics in Los Angeles, CA is a double board certified facial plastic/head and neck surgeon with an impressive record of academic and scientific achievement. Since Dr. Karimi decided to make Los Angeles his home, he has not only become a familiar face teaching and speaking at a broad variety of aesthetic medical meetings around the world, but he has also appeared on award winning TV shows such as EXTRA and the CBS TV show ‘The Doctors’, among many other media outlets. Dr. Karimi has quickly become a media favorite and has become part of the exclusive and secretive world of Hollywood. In this interview with Aesthetic Insider™, Dr. Karimi discusses the highly competitive world of aesthetic medicine and how his experience with the media has changed his practice and to a certain degree, his life. To learn more about Dr. Karimi and Rejuva Medical Aesthetics, visit www.rejuvamedical.org.
Do you feel that your years spent teaching and training aesthetic procedures has helped you become a resource to TV producers?
Aesthetics is a rapidly changing and improving field, so I’ve always strongly felt that staying on top of the latest procedures, attending academic meetings, and sharing techniques and experiences with peers is extremely important. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to share my own techniques and advancements at these meetings and speaking in front of hundreds of doctors while performing live demonstrations has certainly helped me feel more comfortable when it comes to being on camera. In terms of my becoming a resource to reporters and TV producers, by staying current with cutting-edge developments in the industry and refining them among my patients, I am able to help the media educate the public on the many exciting surgical and non-surgical procedures that are now available. I would most definitely agree that my experience teaching and training doctors, has helped me develop a resourceful and even more effective approach to ongoing consumer education.
Is it easy to find patients that agree to go on a TV show with you?
Gaining a patient’s confidence while I’m performing these procedures in front of many other physicians or on a TV show can be quite unnerving, for both the patient and me. It really comes down to their trust in me as their doctor. I have worked hard to gain a great rapport among my patients. They know that I am going to perform a good procedure on them, with minimal discomfort, and with an optimal outcome that is not going to be compromised by the fact that we are filming the procedure in a TV studio with millions of viewers. Of course, not every patient wants to be on TV, or is even the right candidate for a show. Sometimes it’s not just the procedure that is newsworthy, but whether it will bring a positive change to the person’s life. Finding a patient is easy. Finding the right patient can take a bit more effort.
Are there any new techniques that you have filmed recently for a TV show?
Actually, yes. The most recent appearance I made was just a few months ago on CBS TV The Doctors where we filmed a segment high lighting the new NovaThreads® procedure. What was most exciting about doing this show was that I feel that NovaThreads® added a very exciting element to my practice and met an unmet need in aesthetics as this product lifts the soft tissue of the face and neck. The procedure can be done during a short, in-office visit with little to no patient downtime and excellent results. For patients that are not yet candidates for a facelift, but have some facial skin laxity, this is a great procedure. I have been teaching other doctors on the NovaThreads® technique for some time so I was really excited to be featured demonstrating it on The Doctors. It was a hit on the show and the audience and the producers loved it. This appearance also led to a huge increase in new patients in our own practice which was completely unprecedented further showing the demand for this type of procedure.
Do you have any other favorite segments that you have filmed with the CBS TV Show “The Doctors”?
Well the NovaThreads® was definitely a favorite, but another one I did which was equally surprising in terms of consumer response was a segment I did on the use of the Blunt Tip Cannula for fillers. This segment carried two elements that I feel made it successful. It was a new twist on an exciting procedure in that the Blunt Tip Cannulas are delivering fillers to the face but with less bruising and swelling to the patient, and the patient that agreed to go on the show really had a need for facial fillers. She was a very athletic woman, in fact an extreme sports person, who was in perfect shape physically but had facial wasting or “athlete’s face” as I call it. Not only did she experience the best, safest and most accurate form of facial filler application and injection, but she really felt that she looked significantly younger. She was the classic example of “looking as young as you feel” after the procedure. She was so emotional when she did her “reveal” on the show, as well as elated at how she looked, that she instantly became a darling with the audience. It was a really fun show to film and to see that I made a human being that happy, well, it was just a priceless experience for me. We both couldn’t have been happier.
How did it feel to being on such a show like that?
It’s very exhilarating being in front of a camera knowing that you are technically reaching out to millions of people. For those of us that present at medical meetings, or university campuses, or anywhere for that matter, it is always a little nerve wracking and everyone feels just a little bit of stage fright regardless of how many times they have presented. Being on camera on a show such as The Doctors is different in that it feels very intimate on set and with the studio audience so I don’t feel the same anticipation that I might feel standing on a stage at a podium hoping that the slide projector doesn’t fail me. On a show you are on a very tight and fixed schedule and every move you make is being recorded, up close, with high definition cameras. There is little room for failure so you have to be extra prepared and really feeling on top of your game. I recommend that anyone going on a show like that get a good night’s rest.
How do you select the patient or does the patient select you?
It’s a little bit of both. A patient whose aging process is going to really be able to highlight the strength of the procedure is most preferable. The best is if you have a patient who is an optimal candidate for the procedure anatomically, as well as one who will benefit the most from the procedure. In terms of the actual patient, it should be someone who is also comfortable sharing their story and their journey in terms of what they’ve gone through on camera. This can often be quite emotional because we are dealing with appearance and sharing it with a national and international audience. It really does take someone who is in good touch with him or herself to be able to share their story authentically.
What other TV shows have you been interviewed by?
We we’re featured on EXTRA which was the first time I had been featured in essentially a prime time spot. That was a very exciting experience, and in fact, we are doing another segment with them today.
Is there a difference between the two shows?
Yes. They each have a different way of filming, as well as a different audience due to their time slots. The Doctors is a day time general audience show, while EXTRA is an evening prime time entertainment show. The Doctors goes more in-depth into the story and the procedure, while Extra is geared more towards the novelty and newness of the procedure. At EXTRA, it’s more about the magic of all the interesting things that we are able to do and the interview is delivered to the audience at high speed which makes it all the more exciting. As far as time on set, both shows take about the same amount of time to film the interview.
Is there any difference as to how you perform a technique on camera in a studio, compared to when you are at your practice?
Regardless of where I am, in studio, training at a medical meeting, or in my practice I always treat each and every patient with the utmost dedication to providing a good treatment. I take aesthetic surgery very seriously and I think that comes across wherever I am. The main difference really is based on who I am speaking to. Normally, during a procedure at my practice, I’m either speaking to the patient or not speaking at all. When I am doing a procedure on camera it’s really identical to when I’m doing it at national conferences where I am explaining the procedure and teaching, while staying 100% focused on the technique and on the patient. In each case it is always a meticulously performed procedure; the only real difference is probably length of time to complete the procedure. In private practice, it takes me less time as I am not explaining in depth what I am doing, whereas on camera or on stage I am basically teaching step-by-step how the procedure works.
How do you prepare the practice for a TV crew?
We run a very organized practice so we are always ready for any filming. When we have a scheduled interview, we ask that patients and our team arrive about an hour before the crew is scheduled. We also make sure that other doctors and staff are aware that a TV crew will be here, as we do have a large celebrity clientele and wouldn’t want to be caught off guard with the media. Also, we are very much aware of patient privacy issues so we like to keep things as low key as possible. I will say though that our team is always so excited to have an opportunity to do TV segments and there is a tremendous buzz and energy in the office that really comes through on camera.
Do you show your media interviews to other patients?
Our patients love it when they see me on TV so we now have a media reel playing in the reception area. It actually helps new patients coming into the practice as many times their questions have already been answered by the time I see them due to them watching the reel. This is helpful as it allows us to focus on their set of goals or answering any other questions prior to having a procedure performed.
Your practice has become a destination for Hollywood celebrities. Do they require different treatment than a non-celebrity patient?
I treat everybody the same way. They are all patients desiring the same outcomes. Of course with celebrities, their face is in the public eye so I am particularly sensitive to them in terms of their overall facial look, because these are public figures and they are often scrutinized about their appearance. It’s as though they live under a magnifying glass so they are much more aware of every line and wrinkle, much more than my non-celebrity patients.
Do your celebrity patients attract paparazzi, and how do you manage that intrusion?
Yes. We actually have a special protocol for celebrities especially the ones that have constant paparazzi following them because they want to maintain their privacy, especially when entering a medical office. We do our best to help them protect their privacy which for obvious reasons I cannot reveal what that protocol is.
Is there any particular procedure that is more desired by celebrity clientele?
The most common procedure I perform on celebrity patients are the bruise-less fillers, especially for under eye circles. We are able to give them a much more refreshed appearance without making them look done. This is one of the most common things for them because we employ a very special Blunt Tip Cannula technique which we have highlighted on television shows, and leaves little to no bruising and with hardly any downtime. This means that they can go on camera that very same day or the following day and nobody knows they have had anything done.
Do you ever run into celebrity patients in public?
Yes quite often actually. When I do see one of my patients, whether they are a celebrity or not, I actually do not approach them and say “Hello, how is it going?” or “How’s your face?” If they see me and they choose to say hello or acknowledge me and introduce me to their family or friends, which is usually the case, then that’s great. But I really respect my patient’s privacy when I see them out whether they are a celebrity or not.
What is the biggest Hollywood Beauty secret you can reveal?
You know the biggest anti aging and beauty secret in Hollywood really starts with good skin care and prevention using State of the art lasers with minimal to no downtime and office based procedures like Novathreads® and Blunt Tip microcannula bruiseless fillers for subtle enhancements which are the staple of Hollywood celebrities’ ability to stay looking refreshed. Continual maintenance of aesthetic procedures is also key, using high quality sunscreens and moisturizers.
Since becoming a media resource has anything changed in your practice, or daily life?
Being on TV has certainly increased patient awareness and patient visits to the practice, and it definitely keeps me busy in surgery. The biggest change is that it has taught me to always be prepared and ready for each and every day, as the media may need an immediate response for a story. I certainly wouldn’t allow media interruption to impose on my practice in any way but by being better prepared, we can often be more flexible and inviting when that media calls come in.
To learn more about Dr. Kian Karimi, visit www.rejuvamedical.org.
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