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About Dr. Amir Karam

With nearly 15 years of experience, Dr. Amir Karam has devoted his career to mastering facial plastic surgery and perfecting his unparalleled facial rejuvenation practice. One of the top surgeons in the country, Dr. Karam established the Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Center in San Diego in 2008. His multi-award-winning practice offers advanced techniques in facial rejuvenation and rhinoplasty, delivering natural, safe, predictable results. Throughout his career, he has performed over 6,000 successful procedures for clients across the globe, including his patented Vertical Restore and Vertical Prevent techniques, which address laxity and facial shape change associated with aging, and using customized fat transfer as an innovative way to replace facial volume permanently. Dr. Karam is double board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. He has published over 20 peer-reviewed research articles, over 25 surgical textbook chapters on facial plastic surgery, and has co-authored his own surgical textbook, Rejuvenation of the Aging Face.

A writer, educator, speaker, and influencer among his peers in facial surgery, Dr. Karam has been repeatedly recognized for his excellence in this specialty, receiving numerous highly sought-after accolades, including Best West Coast Facial Plastic Surgeon 2018 & 2019 (Aesthetic Everything), Outstanding Patient Care Award (Teaching and Research at UC Irvine Medical Center), Top Doctor Award by highly prestigious peer-voted Castle and Connolly and voted Best San Diego Cosmetic Surgeon, Facial Plastic Surgeon every consecutive year since 2010 (Ranch & Coast). His work has graced the pages of Allure, Cosmopolitan, FINE Magazine, New Beauty Magazine, It’s All About the Face, and San Diego Magazine. For more information, visit or connect with Dr. Amir Karam on social media by following @dramirkaram on Instagram and TikTok, and YouTube.

Discovering a profoundpath towards artistry

As a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Karam is driven by the opportunity to improve the quality of life of his patients.

He is inspired by the improvement in self-confidence he sees in his patients every single day.

When Dr. Karam’s mother underwent heart transplant surgery 23 years ago, he too underwent a significant change. It was for him a definitive moment. Seeing the changes the physicians enacted in his mother’s life, the pure joy they brought to her, resulted in an epiphany that lead Dr. Karam to his current path. It was at that moment that he decided to devote himself to helping others through medicine.

Aging can be a trying and difficult process; no one enjoys the transformation as your former, youthful visage begins to sag and loosen into the face of a stranger. With years of skill and experience in facial plastic surgery, Dr. Karam’s passion is stopping that transformation in its tracks. His patients arrive disillusioned and downtrodden by the effects of aging and leave confident, youthful and glowing.

After graduating at the top of his class, he went on to pursue surgical training in otolaryngology -- head and neck surgery -- followed by a fellowship in advanced facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, which is only offered to 40 people each year.

Choosing a specialization

It wasn’t until Dr. Karam’s first year of medical school that he realized that he wanted to pursue a career as a facial plastic surgeon. During those first months of early exposure to the field, he found that facial plastic surgery fit his personality and intrinsic qualities. It’s a specialty that requires the perfect blend of demanding surgical execution, artistry and creativity.

With the face, there’s no room for error. Dr. Karam’s innate ability to pay attention to detail made him the perfect candidate for the specialty. But more than anything, he understood how important people’s appearances are to them. Here, he realized, he could have the greatest impact in his patients’ lives.

It was never destined to be an easy path. Dr. Karam first spent 11 years doing clinical and scientific facial plastic surgery research at UC Irvine School of Medicine, where he published over 20 scientific articles and presented over 40 scientific presentations. As a result of his determination and hard work, Dr. Karam was awarded the Gordon J. Hatfield Award for the best overall performance in surgery in his class.

Building a thriving practice

Since then, for the last 20 years, Dr. Karam has been honing his craft.

Most people don’t enjoy the pressure and responsibility that comes along with the field, but Dr. Karam thrives in the tough environment -- it drives him to always want to deliver the best to his patients and pushes him to be innovative in his practice.

A focus on facial transformation

Perhaps the aspect of Dr. Karam’s career that he is most proud of is his specific, centralized specialization. The face is both complex and delicate, and the impact of facial plastic surgery is enormous. When you focus on a narrow range of procedures and do them over and over again as he has, you naturally develop an expertise, allowing you to get results that aren’t just better, but safer.

When it comes to the face, Dr. Karam believes you absolutely need to have this level of commitment and experience. You can’t hide the face. You have to get it right the first time.

Facial rejuvenation techniques

Dr. Karam’s devotion to his craft has allowed him to develop innovative ways of treating the aging face with the goal of creating a natural and fully-restored appearance. Not being distracted by other procedures allows him to focus on perfecting the limited procedures he does perform.

Every patient receives a unique, specialized and perfectly crafted procedure and result. Dr. Karam has always recognized the importance of comprehensively addressing the aging changes so that the whole face looks balanced and rejuvenated. Rather than treat one aspect of the face, thereby essentially aging the other areas, he treats the face as a whole, resulting in an outcome that is seamless and totally natural.

A family man

As much as Dr. Karam loves his work, he loves his family even more. He believes one of the reasons he relates to his patients on such a personal level is their mutual passion for family.

Dr. Karam met Neda during his first year of medical school and almost immediately knew he had found “the one.” Within a year they were married. They started a family after a few years, and now have four beautiful boys: Cameron, Daniel, Nicholas and Luca.

When he’s not working, nearly all of his time is spent with them. Dr. Karam and his wife enjoy taking the boys to their various athletic activities and watching their enthusiasm for life grow.

Dr. Karam coaches their basketball and flag football teams and loves taking them out on the golf course. At the moment, soccer and golf are their passions. Whenever he gets the chance, he loves to hit the road and explore the country with his family.

It means a lot when Dr. Karam says that his care plan and approach for his patients is exactly the same as for his family members. It is a point of pride, for himself as well as his entire team, to ensure every patient is comfortable throughout their interactions with Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery and is overjoyed with their results.

It is an honor and a pleasure to offer his expertise to every single patient in order to help them feel like their best, most confident selves. After 20 years, Dr. Karam still feels like he is living a dream. He feels like he’s the luckiest person to have the opportunity to make such a positive emotional impact in his patients’ lives.

Amir M. Karam, MD

Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Facial Plastic Surgeon:Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery

Education & Training

UCSD Undergraduate with highest academic distinctions Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and Summa Cum Laude (Top 2% of class) with double majors in Biochemistry and Anthropology

UC Irvine School of Medicine, graduated top 10% of class with induction in the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society

Residency in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, UC Irvine Medical Center

Prestigious Fellowship in Advanced Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, UC Irvine Medical Center

Honors And Awards

Voted Best San Diego Cosmetic Surgeon, Facial Plastic Surgeon every consecutive year since 2010

Aesthetic Everything, Best West Coast Facial Plastic Surgeon 2018 & 2019

2020 Top Doctor Award by highly prestigious peer-voted Castle and Connolly

Awarded the J. Gordon Hatfield Surgical Award for the #1 surgical performance in his medical school class

Award for Outstanding Patient Care, Teaching and Research at UC Irvine Medical Center

Bernstein Research Grant from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Board Certification

American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery

Professional Committees

Young Physicians Committee American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Regulatory and Socioeconomic Affairs Committee American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Research Committee American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Face to Face Committee, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Service to Peer Review Journals

Reviewer Lasers in Surgery and Medicine

Presentations/Invited Lecturer

“Aesthetic Facial Surgery,” MedSpa Cosmetic Symposium, 6/07

““Facial Analysis” Facial Plastic Surgery Conference UC Irvine Medical Center, 7/10/06

Publications & Leadership

Author of over 20 peer-reviewed research articles

Author of over 25 surgical textbook chapters on facial plastic surgery

Author and co-editor of the surgical textbook, Rejuvenation of the Aging Face (translated in multiple languages)

Presenter at more than 40 scientific national and international meetings

Invited speaker at national & international clinical facial plastic surgery meetings for facial rejuvenation, eye rejuvenation, and fat transfer

Involved in leadership committees at the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery


The prevalence of external auditory canal exotoses in surfers. Archives of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. 1999;125:969-972

Angiogenic Response in the Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane Model to Laser Irradiated Cartilage. Proceedings SPIE 1999; 3601: 243-248

Temperature distributions in Nd:YAG ??=1.32 ?m) laser-irradiated cartilage grafts accompanied by cryogen spray cooling. Proceedings SPIE 1999; 3601: 422-433

Laser-mediated cartilage reshaping with feedback-controlled cryogen spray cooling: biophysical properties and viability. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 2001, 28;1-10

Angioresistance of thermally modified cartilage grafts in the chick chorioallantoic membrane model. Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery 2001;3; 24-7

Aquatic activities following total laryngectomy. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2001 Nov;125(5):528-32

Dr. Karam, who is board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and American Board of Otolaryngology, offers services in San Diego County including San Diego, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Carmel Valley, Encinitas, Rancho Bernardo and La Jolla in Southern California.

If you are ready to schedule an appointment with Dr. Karam, contact us today.

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