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Exploring Life & Business with Dr. Michael Hakimi of Hakimi Plastic Surgery

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Michael Hakimi.

Hi Dr. Hakimi, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
It is basically the American Dream. I came to America with my family in 2001. I went to UCLA for undergraduate and medical school. Then I did my plastic surgery training at Loma Linda University followed by an aesthetic fellowship in Sacramento. And I have been in private practice since then. So you can say for my training I never left California. Looking back twenty years ago all I had was a dream and the love of my family. I discovered my passion for medicine early on in life. I am sure having a surgeon father and my mother being a nurse had a lot to with it with early exposure to medicine. In medical school, I decided to pursue plastic surgery. It was a perfect combination of surgery, art and interpersonal skills. You really get to connect with your patient at a different level. The surgical result goes beyond the aesthetic improvements. These patients feel better about themselves, have better self-esteem which leads to stronger relationships and even professional life.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Is it ever? I think the answer depends on your frame of reference. Those who know me would tell you I don’t get overly excited or upset over anything. Of course, there are struggles along the way but if you want it bad enough with every element of your body and have a clear vision of the endpoint you will prevail. And in fact, you will not see them as struggles or roadblocks, You almost expect them and you expect from yourself to find solutions and overcome them. I suppose one would say academically competing while learning English would have been a huge struggle. But it is only if you make it one. I never thought I was at a disadvantage because I had just landed in a country that spoke a completely different language and now I had to write essays for my English class, maintain a 4-0 GPA, prepare for medical school, and make sure to be a well-rounded applicant with a large number of volunteer service hours at local hospitals and work after hours in a lab and have enough publications and national presentations to stand out on my medical school application. Instead, I would wake up grateful that I am in the land of opportunity…

As you know, we’re big fans of Hakimi Plastic Surgery. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I have a Plastic Surgery practice in Beverly Hills. The two main procedures I do the most are Awake Liposuction and Deep Plane facelift. I do many procedures under local anesthesia. These patients are given oral medications the morning of the surgery, then I slowly numb the area and perform liposuction, skin tightening or fat transfer. It can be a small area like someone’s neck but what we call Lipo 360 which means abdomen and back. Most of my patients are busy individuals who don’t want to have a long recovery time or don’t want to go under anesthesia. Not many plastic surgeons specialize in liposuction and even less perform liposuction under local anesthesia a.k.a awake lipo. Despite the rapid rise in demand for liposuction, I still keep my surgery schedule to 1 or 2 surgeries a day because “you can’t rush art.” Not to be overly romantic about my job, but out of all the procedures we do liposuction has to be the most artistic. You get to sculpt one’s entire body, in my case, while they are awake.

The other surgery that I truly am passionate about is a facelift. It is a very powerful surgery that when done right truly can transform one’s look to a youthful version of themselves. And that is what modern facelift is focusing on. The days of overly pulled or filled faces are behind us. Today we know that a young face is not a pulled old face. It has certain characteristics that with our knowledge of anatomy we can recreate. The biggest compliments I hear from patients are when they feel that their face matches their inner younger energy level.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
Success is getting what you want but Happiness is wanting what you get. In our personal or professional lives, we all have goals and dreams. We prepare for them and start the journey of life or entrepreneurship with a plan. Achieving these goals is a success and should be celebrated. The problem is that sometimes we get caught up in the journey of life so much that we forget to align our goals with what we really want.

We all know people that are successful but unhappy. and vice versa and usually they don’t make good leaders. Simply put self-awareness is the key to happiness and to a great extent to the success of the business. This means a conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires. Self-aware individuals can relate to others better and are more effective leaders. They know how to harness their inner strength and make better decisions faster and success does bring them happiness because they really want what they get.

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