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Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery - Our Team

Quality, exceptional care and trust encompass the essence of Dr. Karam’s strong vision for a building a center of excellence in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. He has put together a team of experienced, intelligent and compassionate people that help make each patients experience truly exceptional.

Amir M. Karam, MD, Founder/Director

Our Staff, Dr. Karam

Dr. Amir Karam is a San Diego native and a board certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with a distinguished academic and clinical background. Dr. Karam’s strong commitment and passion for aesthetic and reconstructive facial surgery dates back over 13 years. Dr. Karam has always recognized the value and importance of the face and its impact on our self-image and self-confidence. He firmly believes that the best way to provide the highest care possible with the best outcome is through specialization and maintaining a narrow scope of practice.

As a result of this paradigm, Dr. Karam’s entire medical and surgical training has been focused on Facial Plastic Surgery. The practice focuses only on state-of the art surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation and rhinoplasty (nose shaping) procedures. This is one of a small number of practices in Southern California devoted exclusively to Aesthetic and Reconstructive Facial Plastic Surgery. This very limited scope of practice translates to excellent and consistent outcomes and customized patient care.

Dr. Karam is a leader in his field and has contributed to many innovative research and clinical technologies.

Dr. Karam is on the academic clinical faculty at UC San Diego and staff surgeon at the San Diego VA Medical Center, where he trains surgical residents and medical students in the operating room on a regular basis.

He has published over 20 original research articles in prestigious peer reviewed journals such as the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, Lasers in Medicine and Surgery, Archives of Otolarynogology-Head and Neck Surgery. He serves as a reviewer for the journal Lasers in Medicine and Surgery. His work has been presented at over 40 national and international scientific meetings. He has written numerous textbook chapters on various facial plastic surgery topics, and has co-authored two books (one medical text and one consumer-based) on cosmetic plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation (Facial Rejuvenation: a New Paradigm). He has received numerous awards and Honors for his research and clinical activity. He is frequently invited to speak on various facial plastic surgery topics to professional, university, and community groups. He serves on several national leadership committees for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, including Face to Face, a philanthropic organization focused on helping treat victims of domestic violence.

Dr. Karam is on the National Training and Speakers Panel for Allergan (makers of Juvederm, Latisse, and Botox), where he trains physicians and allied health professionals throughout the country on safe and effective uses of these cosmetic treatments.

About our Providers!

Nalani Kowalski

Operations Manager

Our Staff, Dr. Karam

Nalani is one of the front desk administrators at Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery. With over 10 years of experience in the customer service industry Nalani’s specialty in one on one customer care puts patients at ease as soon as entering our facility. With the innate ability to effectively communicate and provide patients with a sense of security she immediately makes patients feel at home. Nalani’s main goal is to ensure that all office appointments and interactions run as smoothly as possible so that our patient’s time at Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery will be a truly unforgettable one. Her self driven and good natured presence adds structure to our dynamic team.

“I feel very fortunate to be part of something so special and rewarding. I love helping people achieve their goals and seeing patients continually return rejuvenated and as natural as can be demonstrates Dr. Karam’s true artistry. “

Leanna Lyon, RN

Surgical Coordinator

Our Staff, Dr. Karam

Leanna has been involved in the medical aesthetic industry for over 5 years. She serves as the office manager and patient care coordinator for the practice. Her background as an Esthetician and Nurse makes her especially well suited for the direct care of our patients. As a daughter of a Physician and the younger sister of a successful medical spa owner, Leanna developed a passion for medicine and aesthetics at a young age. To pursue the goal of blending these interests, she graduated with honors from the University of Colorado with a bachelors in Psychology and Business Administration. Following her bachelors degree she went on to complete her training as an esthetician, and most recently graduated from Nursing school in the top of her class. Today she utilizes this broad skill set in every aspect of the practice. From the initial phone call inquiry, to the pre-operative visit, to assisting in the surgeries themselves, Leanna is always available to provide the best service and care to each individual patient. Leanna is here to answer any questions or concerns throughout the client’s experience. Her main objective is to provide our patients with all of the information they may need, to ensure a comfortable and rewarding experience with our surgeon and our staff. Feel free to contact Leanna with any questions at 858.259.3223.

“I have always had a passion for the aesthetic industry, and my love for this field has grown each year that I have been able to see the amazing positive changes of the patients we serve. Working along side Dr. Karam for the past eight years has been a true blessing, his love for this field, his passion for growth, and his desire to truly give each individual patient the absolute best result is contagious. Our entire staff at Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery is made up of sincerely caring individuals, allowing us to not only have the best surgeon, but the best team in the industry. I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.”

Danielle Scott

Non Surgical Patient Coordinator

Our Staff, Dr. Karam

Danielle is our Non-Surgical Patient Coordinator and one of our CoolSculpting Specialists at Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Center. Her passion for beauty, aesthetics and innovative treatments and procedures make her a great fit for the team.

Danielle is one of the first people our new patients connect with when considering non-surgical treatments in the practice. Whether you have questions about injectables, lasers, facials, skincare or body contouring, Danielle is a thoughtful and knowledgeable resource.

With a Bachelor's Degree in Communication from the University of Southern California, a background in Mindfulness Studies from UCSD and a graduate of CoolSculpting Univeristy's Advanced Treatment to Transformation Program, Danielle makes patients feel at ease during phone calls and during in-person consultations. Danielle is always open to testing new procedures and products, engaging in new ideas throughout the practice and contributing to the growth of the team.

During her free time, you can catch Danielle in a yoga class, wine tasting or spending time at the beach with her husband (wearing her sunscreen, of course!)

“I am so grateful to be in an industry that I absolutely love and feel so passionate about. I truly wake up every morning, excited to come to the practice and to work beside our incredible team and patients. The knowledge that has been shared by Dr. Karam, our Aesthetic Team and our patients make my role not only fun but so fulfilling.”

Sumi Kim, RN, MSN

Aesthetic Nurse

Our Staff, Dr. Karam

Sumi Kim is our premier Cosmetic Injector and Laser Specialist. She is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of nursing experience. She has specialized in the field of Aesthetics the last 10 years. Sumi received her Bachelors in Nursing from Loma Linda University and a Masters of Science in Nursing from UCLA. Sumi is a leader in medical aesthetics, demonstrating skillful and artful injection techniques with the goal of improving, maintaining, and preventing the aging process. She has a dedicated passion for the field and is continually redefining parameters, and researching optimal treatments and products that will provide the best results for our patients. Her broad knowledge base in laser treatments and modalities has greatly expanded the non-surgical practice. Sumi has maintained a loyal client base due to her compassion, friendly and personal demeanor, combined with her dedicated professionalism. She is a true asset to this team, and most importantly to our patients.

Carolann Berman, BSN, RN

Our Staff, Dr. Karam

Carolann joined the Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery team in 2016. She works in the Operating Room alongside Dr. Karam. She has been a nurse since 1990 and has previously held positions in both the Operating Room and Intensive Care Unit. Carolann received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Michigan State University in 1990. Carolann has extensive experience both pre- and post-operative and in the operating room. Carolann loves working at Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery and enjoys working with patients and families ensuring that all involved have a positive surgical experience.

Carolann loves what she does, looks forward to coming to work and most importantly, making a positive difference in the lives of her patients.

Stacie Kennerly, RN

Our Staff, Dr. Karam

Stacie is one of the registered nurses here at CVFPS, She has been working in the aesthetic industry for five years. Stacie has a bachelor's degree in business management from California State University of Fullerton, as well as a nursing degree most recently.

She works with patients in the surgical side of the office from arrival to finish and has expressed how working in aesthetics has been less of a "job" and more of a fun and rewarding journey.

"I love working with each client to help make every aspect of their beauty enhancement experience as comfortable and effortless as possible".

Katherine Kou


Our Staff, Dr. Karam

Katherine is a Medical Assistant/Surgical Assistant here at Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery. Her invaluable diligence allows for smooth management of preparing the operating room for surgery, assisting Dr. Karam in surgical procedures, ensuring patient safety, and keeping track of inventory. Patients appreciate Katherine’s ability to provide compassionate and attentive patient care throughout the surgical process. Her 6 years of experience give Katherine the knowledge and expertise that is crucial to provide a safe and comfortable environment during and outside of surgery.

“Dr. Karam has the eye for rejuvenating the aging face. I believe in his artistic views for a natural and youthful look, and I feel incredibly lucky to be part of his team.”

Hillary Heiman


Our Staff, Dr. Karam

Bio coming soon.

Christopher Absher

Med Assistant

Our Staff, Dr. Karam

Christopher is our back office specialist and crucial to the support of the healthcare team. He not only takes care of our postoperative patients, but assists in our injectable clinics, and ensures that every process runs smoothly. He enjoys educating our patients on the various treatments and the after care. Christopher exhibits a highly versatile skill set and is an important extra set of hands for our physician, nurse, and surgical team. Our patients really appreciate his calm demeanor and reassurance

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.

(858) 259-3223 Contact Us

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