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Born in Iran but Made in America — with Kevin Sadati, DO (Ep. 223)

Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and how Kevin Sadati, MD was born in Iran but made in America.

I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your Aesthetic Practice – What your patients are saying, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients and more profits.

Now, today’s episode is called “Born in Iran but Made in America — with Kevin Sadati, DO”.

Life is filled with daunting challenges when trying to get ‘made’ in America. They can be physical, psychological, financial, emotional, and personal.

They can be hoist upon you unexpectedly or self-induced, especially when you are pursuing ambitious goals, like getting ‘made’ in America…..or both.

The saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, literally rings true for this week’s Beauty and the Biz Podcast guest.

⬇️ Click below to hear “Born in Iran but Made in America — with Kevin Sadati, DO”

Kevin Sadati, DO runs a very successful facial plastic surgeon practice in beautiful (and competitive) Newport Beach, CA but it was a long and dangerous journey of eventually getting ‘made’ in America to get there.  

Dr. Sadati grew up in Iran and was 19 when the revolution broke out, so he was drafted to go to war as a medic (with zero medical knowledge and 3 months of training) and put on the front line for 2 years, doing what he could to help wounded soldiers.

He survived that experience but lost 70% of his hearing, but that did not stop him from his goal of becoming a US-trained doctor, even though he did not speak English, did not have money and did not know anyone in the States.

This is a must listen-to interview about courage, resilience, character, and problem-solving skills needed to get where you’re going to get ‘made’ in America.

And, this was one of the most inspiring interviews I have done to date.

$2M Dollar Build-Out Worth It? Born in Iran but Made in America — with Kevin Sadati, DO


Born in Iran but Made in America — with Kevin Sadati, DO

Catherine Maley, MBA: ​Hello everyone. And welcome to Beauty and the Biz, where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and how Dr. Sadati was born in Iran but made in America. I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of “Your aesthetic practice — What your patients are saying”, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons to get them more patients and more profits.

Now, today’s special guest is Dr. Kevin Sadati, who was born in Iran but made in America. He’s a facial plastic surgeon practicing in lovely Newport Beach, California, which is a big part of the theme of being ‘born in Iran but made in America’. Now, Dr. Sadati specializes in facelifts and rhinoplasty and perform surgery in his state-of-the-art in-house surgery center, and non-surgical procedures are performed in his ‘aesthetic lounge’, which is integral to the topic of him being ‘born in Iran but made in America’.

I love that name. After graduating from UC Berkeley with degrees in Eastern art and history, he did wound healing research at UC San Francisco, and he got his medical degree from the Midwestern University in Illinois. Then, Dr. Sadati continued his head and neck training and general surgery at the Medical College of Philadelphia, which is also part of the ‘born in Iran but made in America’ story.

And his fellowship plastic and reconstructive surgery in Seattle. Now, he’s a member of many associations and he’s a speaker at the medical conferences where I see him often. And since Dr. Sadati never lost his love of the arts, he continues to study oil painting and sculpting as a way to hone his skills.

And I love his tagline. It’s, “the hands of a surgeon with the eyes of an artist”. Dr. Sadati, welcome to Beauty and the Biz.

Kevin Sadati, DO: Thank you so much for having me here, Catherine, and I appreciate having me.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Absolutely. So, how did you get from San Francisco to Philadelphia to Seattle and then to Newport Beach? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO:

Before I got to San Francisco, I want to say I was born in Iran, but made in America. So, when I was 23, I moved to San Francisco Bay area. But before that, after graduating from high school there was a war going on and all the medical schools and. Universities were closed and they basically drafted every young man to go to the war.

And I would not anywhere in my mind wanted to be a surgeon or medical field. I was a total engineer building stuff and I was home to go to Become a major engineer. So, what happened, they drafted me, and I ended up to, to be a medic. I don’t know why, they said, you’re going to be a medic. And they thought me like, a little medical thing for, You know, three months, not much, and then they dumped me on the front line, and then suddenly my eyes opened, and I’m like, holy, and then you have to take care of so many wounded soldiers, and serious trauma, not just like a little laceration, and quickly I said, you know what, I need to get my game off to take care of these soldiers, and Do a better job at what I’m doing.

I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I just have an ambulance, a driver, and I have to take care of this seriously wounded soldier. So, I started reading and getting literature and trauma books and medical books. I had no idea the terms because I was born a mathematician. I became very interested and started studying and helping those soldiers, so after two years being on the front line, when I was done, then I was able to get my passport.

Because they won’t give you a passport or a driver’s license unless you finish your service. So, I got my passport and I got out. So, I told my parents, I’m not going to stay here. I got to go for my higher education. So, I’m leaving here. So, I packed on my own. Went to Germany. Stayed there for 3 4 months.

Went around. I didn’t like it at all. Nothing bad about German people. But I didn’t feel like this was going to be my home. So, I said, you know what, I’m going to go to the land of opportunity and that’s where I put my eyes on and. Finally, I got a student visa to come to the United States and started studying.

No language. I had barely spoken anything. So, 23 signed up for community colleges English as a second language. So, I studied there and also, I took my classes like prerequisite for pre-med because then I changed my mind to become a medical. So, I started, you know, math stuff I was good at. I didn’t have to put any effort, like physics calculus and stuff.

I was taking those classes and I was taking art classes, which was biology. I had no knowledge of that. So, I started taking those along, taking English classes and after well, I studied English for a couple of years before I went to community college. Then after two years of community college, I applied for University of California at Berkeley.

And I got full scholarship to go there and get, actually I studied in molecular cell biology and nearest and study, double major. And I got full ride and I’m very thankful for them that they realized who I was and they loved my story. And they knew I had a mission. So, that was lovely. So, I studied, I finished my education there.

Then I wanted to… I had no idea how to go to medical school. Honestly, I always asked. One of the things that I recommend for people that they don’t know where direction, what direction to go in this country or any country, all you have to do, ask. There are a lot of people out there that they’re willing to help, especially in the United States, honestly, this country is named.

The resources are infinite. Like, there is, there is so much information and so many people are willing to help you out. Along, I had no, I had no connection. Zero connection. All I had to do, ask, I asked my professor at community college, how do I go to become a doctor? He goes, first you have to go to university.

I’m like, how do I go there? He goes, like, these are the applications. And he wrote me a letter of recommendation from Berkeley. So, that’s how I got in there. I started asking people, how do I go to medical school? They said, CAMCAM. So, you know, I asked people. They helped me, they guided me through, navigate through my life.

And I just followed their direction. I worked hard. I worked. Well, I went to school. All along from 8 to 4 p. m. and from 5

  1. m. I was busboy and then I became a waiter, working at night till midnight. Almost coming back home in BART station from San Francisco to Oakland where I was living because San Francisco was expensive. I was doing all my homework while I was on BART. So, anyhow, so I finished Berkeley. I went to UCSF in San Francisco Bay Area while I was working in that area.

I also did research. In the laboratory and I figured out I could finish my MCAT and application and I got to medical school, four years in Chicago, wonderful experience, great friends I made there. I got some direction; I did a lot of. Let’s say rotation during my last year of medical school. So, I knew what direction I want to go because you can eliminate things that you don’t want it.

So, I knew I don’t want to be a COVID 19 because the lifestyle was like chaotic. I didn’t want to be ER doctor. It was not matching my lifestyle and the way I… That is my life. I knew I’m going to be a miserable person but I like surgery but I didn’t know what and what kind. I just kept my mind open and I, I went to different locations and I finally found my love.

 With the ear, nose, and throat, head and neck surgery, very complex and very artistic in some sense. I got accepted to go to Philadelphia College of Medicine, PCOM is called and there, I got a chance to, again, when you go to ENT, Ear, Nose, and Throat Head and Neck Surgery, there are different variations and that’s a specialty there are, you can do ear surgery, specializing in ear, specializing in rhinology, specializing in voice especially the head and neck reconstructive surgery or facial plastic surgery.

So, it’s not like one thing, it can be broad or it can be subspecialized. So, since I was, you know, I like art, I like painting, and I took classes while I was in school. So, in Philadelphia I took some painting and sculpting to redevelop my skill in a different setting, so I was taking side by side.

 While I was resident, I was taking classes at night at art schools for honing my skill, and I gravitated toward more facial plastic surgery. Then I finished some of my training in facial plastic surgery in Philadelphia, and I went to Seattle to further develop my do a fellowship to get better at my cosmetic procedures rather than reconstructive.

Thank you. And thereafter well, I met my wonderful wife in East Coast before I moved to Seattle, which we get married. She was working at NIH. She was a fellow Ph. D. and studying immunology. And we were introduced through two different friend of ours. And we met, and then we got to know each other.

Both from Iran, but I just met through friends and… Wonderful, super smart gal, beautiful, so we met and we got married, literally, and we moved to Seattle as a kid, right away. I’m like, that was like, not a good idea, but it was just an accident, I would say. Which my daughter now, just we dropped her off at MIT yesterday.

So, not a bad thing, so I’m glad we kept her.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And then how’d you end up in Newport Beach? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: So, after I finished my fellowship in Seattle, I intended to stay there because the, my program director wanted to hand me his practice himself, the practice to me. But my wife said, no, no, no, no, this, this environment.

Makes me very depressed. The weather was like gloomy, raining, confusing for us. Because, you know, you barely see sunshine. I said, no, we can’t develop our own land here. We just got to, better, if we, either we go back to East Coast, or if you want to go back to San Francisco, Bay Area that you were talking about, how good it was, we go over there.

So, I applied for a lot of positions in Bay Area, but there was not much of facial plastic interest. And I said, you know what, I’m going to try Southern California. Boy, I got ten different interviews. So, I got interviews with a group of plastic surgeons that they didn’t have facial plastic surgeons. So, I joined in.

I worked with them for two years. Then I got recruited by Lifestyle Lift, which was a basically I would call a facelift machine. They were like a huge company with advertising on TV and they’re bringing that like to satellite offices all over the country. And they recruited physicians who were doing facelifting to do a mini facelift in office settings.

So, for me it was a great opportunity because I got to do thousands of facelifts there. And I honed, I created my own technique. Not to be just a mini facelift that they intended to do for people. Because people want to go facial rejuvenation. What they show on TV and what they were asking people to do was two different stories.

They wanted the bare minimum, cheap little face procedure, little skin, and but the people that were advertising on TV, they were like full on faceless. So, it was kind of deceptive in my opinion, but I was, I had an obligation in my heart that said, you know what, these people are coming to me, they want facial rejuvenation and not…

 Not just looking at the price, what they pay. So, I developed my own technique, and I’m really producing great results. But after a while, you know, it became like so many, like pushing you to do more and more surgeries in a day. Some surgeons were doing six surgeries a day. I’m like, this is like a melt shot.

Like, I can’t do more than three. I count seven. A. m. to 7 p. m. I do three, and there were some people doing like six cases, and then they were done by 5 or 6, and I’m like, wow. So, I, it just, the culture became very toxic in corporate, so I, in the middle of recession, it was end of, like, 2010, I, even with bad, bad economy, I got out and I said, you know what, I’m going to start my own thing.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You know, I know lifestyle live was such a big deal the minute I turned 50 in my mailbox was that packet and it was brochures ‘before and afters’ testimonials. It was a, it was a band aid, not a bandage. It was a. Not even stitches like it was so…it was those people knew how to talk to women, but I don’t know about the result of that, but they were saying literally like no general anesthesia, no stitches, no, no downtime, no, and I’m like, this is a miracle. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

I mean, I know better because I’m in the industry, but so many consumer women. Went for it. It was a big deal until it imploded, but good, good experience on your end though, huh? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: No, no, no, it was great. I mean, you know what? In life, I never say I had a bad experiences were stepping stones. Absolutely. Even I hated it at the end, and I was like feeling sorry why the hell I did that in my life, but now I look at it and say, if I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t be efficient.

I wouldn’t be Understanding the anatomy better. I would then take the different steps to create new techniques. So, yeah, it was terrible, but again, like more, I. Turn the bad situation. So, that’s my, my thinking. I always even if I’m in the worst situation ever, I try to look at how I can do something that I, I can exist in that situation.

makes sense or not. So, even that was bad. Even I had my patients on TV because I was doing really a procedure than what they were advertising. So, they were, a couple of my patients were on TV for, you know, their advertisement had this infomercial actually. So, with all that, again, it was. stepping stone for me, but I left in the middle of a financial crisis coming to a new practice.

I got one room. And plastic surgeon in Newport, nobody knew of me, I was very low key, I started, I said, you know what, I’m going to start producing some good results, let the results talk. I’m not going to do huge advertising or anything, let people talk about it.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Were you also doing recon to bring in some money? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Yeah, so I, I started doing obviously some cosmetic procedure faces. Some of my patients found out about me where I was now referring their friends. But again, it was not enough to sustain so I was from very high income. I was making very good income. Suddenly dropped to almost new. So, I started doing some ENT stuff.

Also, even I was not comfortable doing it. I didn’t want to do it. But, hey, you’re running a medical practice. It’s a business. You have to feed your employees. You have to sustain your system. So, I continued doing some work for other surgeons. Your ENT on the side. While I was developing my business.

You know, you got to pay for website development. You got to pay for… Certain things that, you know, you don’t know exist until you put your hands and make your hands dirty and you go, Oh, I’m missing a fax machine here. That cost this much. So, initially everything is cost you. And developing business is very costly, but you have to be patient.

You got to develop gradually. Cut the cost down and then don’t overspend because you don’t want to run out of money. And then go slowly. So, that’s my advice to people who are starting. You know, if you don’t have a dad or somebody who can lend you tons of money like me. I was just… I had, I saved some money, but I, again, I didn’t want to, I didn’t know how this all was going to unfold.

You were not easy to navigate. So, I went very slowly to learn what business is. I had no idea about business because somebody else was constantly running the business part of it for me. Whether it was that big practice or lifestyle, I was hands off. So, I had no idea of what it means to have credit card processing, to have insurance.

 All that stuff was like foreign. So, you start learning and start developing practice, developing a website, a printout, how to write it, what to write. How to describe yourself. All that stuff takes time. So, anyhow, and as you know, in Newport Beach there are hundreds of, around me, there are literally 85 plastic surgeons around me in less than a mile radius.

But I didn’t feel competition. I didn’t want to compete with anyone or get into competition. It’s not a competition. The only way I compete… And I see somebody’s good, I want to have better before and after results than that person. Otherwise, I don’t have anything bad to say about anybody. If their results are not good, well, that’s their limitation.

If the results are good, I want to beat that result. That’s how I think. That’s my own shortcoming if I can’t do that. So, that’s how I look at it. So, I put my head down, start working on myself. Start fine tuning my own technique and… Honestly, just word of mouth, you know, hairdressers, referring people to me other doctors.

I wasn’t doing any injectables or anything initially. So, there were some, some physicians who had med squad who see my patients and They get injectables and say, who did your face? Oh, Dr. Sadati. Oh, okay. And then they start asking and then referral coming in from them, from her address, from all over.

Primary care physician. So, I start getting busy and I said, you know what? I needed my medicine. So, the beauty of the time, I said adverse times, sometimes great times. In 2010, a lot of med spots were going out of business. So, there was a fantastic location, was opening, was already a mess, well, this lady was just wanted to get out of her lease.

So, I went in there, and she has some nicely decorated office, and she goes, Oh, I’m on 500, 000 for P. I. I said, Listen, I don’t have any of that. I’ll give you 50, 000, let me come in. She goes, Oh, what’s wrong with this? And then I waited, I’m I said, Yeah, I don’t want to pay a rent. I’m going to take this. No kidding.

Yeah, I got lucky. I mean, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you have to ask.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, you went from 500 to 50? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Yeah. That’s amazing. I said that’s all I have. I can’t come with any more money. I don’t have anything going on for me. That’s it. Anyhow, gave her 50, moved in. I had to do a little T. I. to make it so specific.

To my own way of practice, I created a little procedure room and I started doing those safely. I was doing in office, in my new office because I didn’t have a, so became busy. And then I brought injectable nurses. I brought aesthetic on board. And it started getting more and more staff, and I had 2, 500 square feet for me, and it was getting, I was running out of space.

And I told my lander, listen, I got to leave I got to find a bigger place. She goes, oh, where are you going? I said, well, I got to find a place. She goes, no, I like you, I want you to stay here. I’m like, you don’t have any more room. She goes, what do you want to do? I said, I need more space upstairs, I want to create a little bigger office.

She goes, well. I’ll, I’ll let you have that upstairs. I said, well, there are three doctors up there. What are you going to do with them? He goes, I move up. Landlord moved those three doctors. She created another TI, another office they had. He gave it to them. And she told me, whatever you want to do here, show me your plan.

I showed my plan. She goes, yeah, you can have it. So, I got another 2, 500 square feet on the second floor. And then I designed my office that you’ve seen the photos of it. Is staircase.

Catherine Maley, MBA: It is breathtakingly gorgeous. Yes. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Yes. Absolutely beautiful. So, I had a great and amazing architect. I got lucky. I found this guy with Han.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I just had him on the podcast. Yes, he’s great. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: He’s amazing. He’s a genius, almost. Mm-hmm. , I would say. In what he does. So, he came out and looked at the place I wanted to do bare minimum changes, keep this here, keep this, put a little staircase, don’t worry about it, talk about it. And then, finally he came up with the idea, I helped him do design and all, and then suddenly…

You can’t have something like spectacular, but it took 18 months to build it because okay. While we’re working on the first floor, they were building the second and then we moved from second floor. To the first from first floor to the second floor, they start building down there and when it came to build, to connect the two floors, they had to cut the whole floor and then connect it, build a brand-new staircase.

It was not like purchasing from Home Depot, they had to build it. So, it was a huge… Dilemma with the city of going back and forth. I have to go to city, talk to the development department, myself, sit there and just explaining things. So, finally I built it, I built my own OR, that’s what I recommend with surgeons who start.

If they are able to have their own operating room, they will go 10 miles ahead of anybody else. Because you own your own time. Where a surgery center, you have to abide with the time they have available. They have limited time, limited surgery. If I want to do surgery tomorrow… I can tell myself, okay, tomorrow, with the case tomorrow, we start early, so I push the patients down a little bit.

 Consultation or whatever. I can do a case. So, if I have an informed, you know, case that I a surgery center, maybe they’re full, so you can’t do anything. So, one of the recommendations for surgeons, I know it’s going to be difficult. What made me successful, I think, in terms of my own way of looking at it, having my own surgeon.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Every surgeon I’ve ever talked to has said, It was the best thing they’ve ever done. It was painful doing it. . Yeah. The per the permits are a nightmare. And but it was a priceless the time that they did. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Yeah, listen, if it is not hard, it’s not going to be good. I mean, you have to pay the price.

You pay the price, but you’re going to have the trophy.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Talking about that trophy, how different do you feel? Does your staff feel? Do your patients feel in an environment like that? And anyone who doesn’t, hasn’t been to this website, you have to check it out. It’s Don’t go now because you’re listening to the podcast, but We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

The stair, their staircase is exquisite. It’s just lovely. How much has that changed your Vision of you and your world and your life well in. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Okay. What it did, first of all, it gave me more space to grow. Yeah. I was able to bring another surgeon on board and I may be able to bring another surgeon. So, you’re talking about, if you’re talking about business, That’s how it develops.

The more space you have, the more room you have to grow. If you’re in a 1, 500 square feet, how are you going to fit another surgeon in there? There’s no way. So, the more space you have, the more you can grow. So, I have one surgeon right now, so I’m doing facial rejuvenation surgeries and some rhinoplasty.

And the other surgeon is doing body contour. So, very complimentary. And so, I also have enough space to bring another surgeon on board right now. I have a surgical facility. They can operate here. Let’s say if you have, like, each one of you two days a week, one of us, we can go across the street to a, in a surgery center.

So, more revenue comes to the practice. And also, you have the staff that are fully trained to do what you want. Not in a surgery center. You go, they do foot surgery. They really do. Laparoscopy, and then you show up, you want to do a face. That’s a whole, that’s a whole different mindset. So, the beauty of having your own surgical facility is, you train your staff to do exactly what you want them to do, so you become more efficient.

So, you’re not wasting your time looking for a suture that they don’t have. You’re not looking for, oh Jack didn’t show up today so Joe is here, he’s never worked with you, so imagine how that surgeon is Through the whole operation. It’s not going to be easy. So, having your own place, having your own staff is hugely advantageous.

Having your own surgery center is definitely a must for a surgeon who can afford it, and you know, you got to take risks. The way I look at it, a lot of people say, Oh my god, you spent all this money on the furniture and staircase and the whole Italian… Stuff that you imported from sync to this and that. I said, yeah.

Okay. I look at it over 10 years period. I’m not talking about 20 years. 10 years period that I got the loan. Okay. Over this 10 years period. Let’s say I spend 2 million for renovation on all the equipment and everything. 200, 000 a year and it’s about 18, 000 a month. Nice. That’s not much.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And look at the benefits of it. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: So, how did the patient… So, that’s what I mean. So… When you look small, when you’re small, you think small, and then 18, 000, oh my god, 18, 000. But when you have more space, now you have another surgeon, possibly another surgeon. I have nurse injectors; I have a nurse who does lasers and PRP and microneedling. I have a statistician that does facial, and I have other stuff, I have more equipment.

That’s all. You, you, you attract more individuals coming to your practice and provide services for them. So, that 18, 000 literally is a peanut when you think about it, of what you benefit to get. And you have, I have a place that I love when I show up at work, I look at my office, I walk in it. I feel good.

It’s not like I’m going, oh my god, look at this carpet. It’s still like looking like 1970s carpet. Yeah. So, you know, I enjoy it. And my staff love it. Are patients enjoying it, but I didn’t do it to show off anything. I did it for myself to enjoy it and also expand my business, be able to bring other surgeons on board.

So, I don’t want to work all day. So, I have somebody else also. Working. I’m not working.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah. Well, and that’s how you scale. You bring on other revenue generators so you’re not the only one you know, holding up the whole ship. The do you find that you can charge more when you have set yourself up like this because the patients look at it and say, okay, I don’t think he’s going to be negotiating with me. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Do you feel that at all? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Well, initially I thought, okay, well, let me tell you a story. So, my, my project finished. November of 2019. Guess what happened? Pandemic happened three months later. Dear lord, dear lord. I’m like, oh crap. Yeah. Yeah, who’s going to show up in my office? We’re ready to just like, we had a big party going on.

Opening party, a year ago. Pandemic, close the door. Oh, nobody talks to me. Everything went zoom, like this. So, it was funny, the way things turned out to be. But, to be honest with you, yes, the prices went up, but again, having my own storage center, I was able to do not the plain face and necklace. In my own surgery center, where as before, I had just a little procedure room.

You can’t do deep plane in a procedure room because you can’t bring anesthesiologist. Or give IV Sedation, you’re not permitted. So, that helped me to grow. Now, as you know, deep plane facelift is a whole different level than doing a smash facelift. So, going from that gave me an opportunity to grow myself.

So, utilize… My knowledge and training that I have to do the next level. So, therefore I started doing deep plane face and neck lift. So, that and also working on my social media. Now I have better before and after pictures, more drastic results. Not in a bad way. Whatever I do is natural. I’m not into creating, as I tell people, I’m not here to create a movie star here.

I’m just here to create a rejuvenated version of people. I think that way, and I think the most natural way is the best way to represent a person so they look more youthful. Without being changed. So, all that said, I’m able to do that with my deep plank face and neck lift. I’m still fine tuning, constantly learning, and always studying.

I want to get it the best it can be. And constantly working on it, studying my own results, and get better at it, and take it to it. Next level.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And how helpful has it been for you to differentiate yourself because you are in a crazy uber competitive area? Do many do deep plane down there in Newport Beach and do they do them under local and twilight? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Well, they, they call it deep plane but frankly it’s not a true deep plane. It’s a high mass space lift that was popularized. for plastic surgeons for a long time is they call it deep plane, but frankly, they don’t release any of these ligaments to go under this mass. They only elevate this mass here, which is non mobile mass.

So, this mass is non mobile in this area, which no matter how much you lift, it lifts everything up, but it’s not lifting this mass where it’s mobile. Whereas a true deep plane or extended deep plane What I do, I release the ligaments from here, here, and the neck area I put under where muscles and nerves and vessels are, deeper.

And then lift the whole unit at once in more of a vertical way, rather than going horizontally backwards. So, the direction is more upwards. So, basically, after I release the ligaments from the zygoma, we call it here, the cheek. This tissue, It ends up here. This part, the ligament from here will end up here and the neck, this part, will end up in the back.

So, everything goes the direction that was falling. So, now I’m doing a lot of those and people from all over the world, literally, different states fly here. Obviously, I get… You know, 50 percent of state.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Nice. Yeah, I’ve had both and I like the D Plane a lot. You don’t get that hockey stick that thing on the side, you know, where you get that, it’s a natural feel there and it feels much more of substance. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

It feels like a more structure has been put back in place. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Well, it’s like you’re addressing the issue where it’s the problem. You know, I did a smash lift for a long time, and I did great results, but it didn’t last. I mean, my own technique that I developed, great results. It looks good, but it only lasted four, five, five years.

Right. Okay? Right. So, obviously the price range for it is much lower too, but at the same time, I didn’t get patients to look weird, and hockey is none of that business, because I created the triple C plaque patient.

A lot of people wanted to last longer, so in order to do that, you have to release, you have to do the hard work, you have to go zone and mind blowing, and, and I truly enjoy when I sit down doing surgery, I really enjoy doing it.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, I have to compliment you on your before and after photos. Not only are they natural, but there are a lot of them and they’re all consistent. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

You have the same background, the same views. How in the world, because everybody says to me, Oh, Catherine, the women will not show their faces online. And I say, then how come some surgeons get hundreds of photos and you don’t, you know? So, what’s your secret? How are you getting those photos? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Well, honestly, the volume.

It’s a lot. I mean, I do average five days to four weeks. So, and then, once you have a reputation, once you have per se, you have some notoriety, people want to be on your website. People ask me, say, I want to be on your Instagram. Meaning they wanted a review. Honestly, I don’t ask him. I just say, you know, talk to him.

And then later on my for consenting for photography and videography. They say, yeah, alright. And then my social media person interviews him. And the photos are consistent. I, I don’t like to deceive people from before pictures with no makeup, right before surgery, and then when they all dolled up, they come for two, two months, three months post op and take your and oranges.

So, I like to, if they have makeup beforehand, I would allow them to have makeup after-hand. Or if they don’t, I would say just, you know, whatever you did for pre op, do the same thing. So, even if you wear the same clothes, if you can. So, people don’t get distracted by nonsense of jewelry or whatever you have.

Look at your face. So, that’s the secret.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And the videos, too. How are you getting that done? Do you have a social media person who’s really good at directing somebody on video? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: So, I brought the gentleman who was working in construction videography and social media. But I, I helped him to understand what we do here.

 I help him to, you know, I don’t micromanage, but I give him ideas. I said, okay. This is what we’re looking for. Think about it. Like, think about what the final results are. And how you’re going to interview that interviewee. And then you can and then when you, we When you’re interviewing afterward, You bring that idea and kind of match it.

If you look at my videos, what they did beforehand. If they smile at the video and then just come next to each other. It’s just. Mirror image of each other. So, you can see exactly the same facial features that has been transcribed.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, your Instagram is killer. You have like 205,000 followers. It would you say that’s your main marketing channel or is it still your website and SEO? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Where are these patients coming from? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: So, as we all know, things came off. First was yellow pages, and newspaper advertising, and Riviera magazine, this and that. And then became, websites became like the things that you have to have. Now, a website is becoming obsolete, but they are like references. You have to have a wonderful website, a working website, but a website is more local.

So, if you have a website, only your server on Google is not going to make you visible in a Swiss server, or visible in Minnesota. You’re just visible in Orange County at best. If you’re, you know, you’re well optimized. So, it’s difficult to go out if you’re alone because Google wants everybody to be localized.

That’s, that’s the way they’re modeled. So, social media gave us another, I woke up to it late. I didn’t think of it as a game changer or anything. I thought it was just like, first of all, the young people posting like a photo. Before it was like photos, like sitting by the beach. Like, my patients are older patients, they’re So, I was thinking small, that’s what it was.

And then once I realized, hey, I have Instagram, you know, my friends are older, they have Instagram, so why not? But it has to be… Different. You can’t copy and paste somebody else’s. You have to have your own taste into it. Obviously, there are people who have millions of followers. They started early. They built their followers and attracted people.

Nowadays, it’s very different. But, you know, I’m not trying to compete with anybody. I just put my content, I put a little flair of myself into it. But if you before and after pictures are not, I mean, they’re not good. No matter what you do, it’s not going to grow. You know, you have to have some stuff.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And also, how much time are you spending on your social media channel? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: So, it’s honestly, it’s it, I can’t put a quantity. Throughout the day, but if I have patients who said, yes, I want to be videoed, obviously we do video the patient beforehand, my videographer does that. And then during the surgery time, when I mark everything, they video that intraoperatively, that he comes in and video some of that.

And then we interview him a day after surgery. So, it doesn’t, honestly, if you have somebody who does that for you and you train them that’s why you have staff. You can’t do it. Some surgeons, they do everything themselves. You can’t be good at everything. I delegate a lot of stuff and I have great staff.

I’m not a super good business person, but I surround myself with people who understand business, how to interview staffing, and hiring, and HR. I’m not good at it. I’m soft. You know, I can’t do that kind of stuff. I’m very soft in terms of HR and stuff. But I have people who do that. I find talents, and I will give them the feel, direction, and I tell them, this is your own business.

Take care of it. I don’t want to micromanage you. These are the things I’m looking to. These are my visions. But I want you to be creative. I want you to put your spice into it too.

Catherine Maley, MBA: What’s the biggest challenge of running a practice in today’s world? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: HR. Yeah, I hear that. Hiring the right people and finding the right people.

I don’t know what happened after 10. Well, it was always challenging, believe it or not. But post-pandemic, it seems like all the employees… Melted away. It’s just like, where did these people go? It’s just like you can’t find nurses. You find some people, like they’re not qualified for what I’m looking for.

So, I compensate myself really well because once I find the goal, I’m not going to let him go. I compensate him, I give him like, even the social media guy, I give him bonuses. If he creates let’s say, a video that, you know, there are 10,000 comments in 24 hours, I give him bonus. I said, you did amazing.

Obviously, I did the work. He presented in a way that people enjoyed it. So, I give him bonus. That’s how I, you know, appreciate him doing that. Or, if, if I see my medical assistant is going out of their ways to take care of patients who just had surgery and have a lot of questions and hand holding, I give him bonus.

That’s a great idea. Yeah, CLM you know, wants to make staff a part of your practice. Like, meaning they put their blood and tears into it. They would. I mean, they, and they feel that they’re getting confidence. People start not working when they feel like they’re working more than they are valued. So, I compliment them, I, not only verbally, but also.

 I, I don’t, you know, boss him around. I, I tell him, I’m, I’m a team player. I’m, I’m like Michael Jordan, let’s say. If nobody passes the ball for me, there’s no way I can score. Yeah. So, it’s like a teamwork. I may be the surgeon who produces most here, but again, if I don’t have my medical assistant, there’s nobody who’s going to take care of my patients.

If the front desk is not behaving correctly or answering people correctly, I’m not going to have patients. So, I put them on bonus structure. So, okay, if you, people call, and then they convert to a console, I pay you. Because you did your work, you, you stay in connection with that. The individual, you ask them to send information, you follow up with them.

If they don’t care, it’s okay, I’m in consult. Okay, if they don’t follow up with that individual, it’s going to get lost. And so, it’s important to incentivize individuals who work for you so they feel appreciated. That’s the way, it’s a form of success. You’re sharing success with others in terms of…

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah, well, and it’s still a surefire way to get somebody to go above and beyond mediocrity because oftentimes staff today just do the job and you’re looking for somebody who’s willing to go above and beyond and really be a professional. And honestly, I don’t know how else to do it. You have to give them a why. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

And the why is yes, we’re a team player and. When you go above and beyond, you’re rewarded above and beyond but back to staff again on your website. I see that you can use Spanish and 1 of the issues is I used to find staff for doctors all the time and then they said, well, now I need Spanish and that made it even 10 times harder because now I need somebody with skill and they speak Spanish and they’re bilingual. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Have you found that to be a challenge? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Well, it’s…I try to be multicultural so when I hire, if, I mean, they’re challenging to find good people, but if they’re, I don’t look at people’s colors or anything, I look at people who are talented. So, I have all different kinds of nationalities, per se, in my, or African American, Chinese Latina all kind of Greek Persians.

All kinds of individuals. I have about 18 staff here. So, having somebody who speaks Spanish, I wish I was able to speak Spanish because my Instagram is just like nonstop, like they’re asking Spanish questions. And I answer some of those. And you mentioned how much time you put on that? Well, one of the things I do is constantly reading my people commenting.

I answer not all of them. If you have 400 comments, there’s no way I can go. But if somebody asks the location or what’s the cost of the procedure, I have to respond to them. But a lot of them in Spanish, I don’t understand it. So, that’s one of the challenges. So, I’m bringing AI. I signed up with an AI company that helps you manage your…

Social media in terms of translation, although Instagram translates some of that, but not in the messaging. When somebody sends a DM, those cannot be translated. So, using AI to answer some of it. So, I, yeah, I’m on my phone when I’m at home, like nobody’s around, I’m just doing that. So, it’s a constant.

 24 hours, I would say not 24 hours, but it just, it takes a lot of time because it’s a part of your revenue making part of your business. And you can’t ignore it is, is, is a source that people look at you and they want answers. If somebody asked me what’s the cost of this procedure, obviously they have some sort of interest.

And if you don’t answer them, they’re just going to, okay, this guy. Just put a before and after picture out there and it doesn’t say what the hell is going on. So, kind of, you got to communicate. It’s another one way of, I have a megaphone in my hand and say, Oh, I’m a great doctor. I did a case before this treatment.

You have to also hear what they have a lot of time, honestly. Just, I don’t have all the time for it. Get help from my social media guy. He’s busy creating videos. One of my second managers or operating directors, she answers. We all try to help each other to answer. It’s a lot, you know. Each day, like three, four hundred comments.

It’s difficult to manage, but hopefully I bring it. I brought another person to do that, but again, Didn’t have good luck. Honestly, I brought three different people that were not up for the task. You know, they say they are qualified. Again, a lot of people say, oh, I’m a social media expert. You bring them in, poor taste of design, some of them.

Some of them, poor writing skill. I’m like, okay, how do you communicate with people? You can’t write cos omg, like, you know, you’re not talking to your friends. This is business. So, it’s, it’s a challenge. I hope I find somebody else to bring on board to help me communicate with my

Catherine Maley, MBA: That one’s kind of a numbers game, trying that social media person. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

I would say that’s our weakest link in most practices is the social media person only because generally speaking, they’re younger, they don’t know the expectations. They don’t, they haven’t worked in the real world yet, like the real business world. And you’re right. You think that they’re just talking to their friends and know where this is professional now. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

And they need a lot more direction. And I don’t know about the reliability. They don’t want to come in. Often, you know, they do their thing. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: And they show up like if I have one show up at noon, you’re supposed to be at nine o’clock. I mean, we’re going to start at eight seven a. m. Nine o’clock. This is like bankers off nine to five Noon, where are you?

Oh, just like a party last night and get up. I’m like what?

Catherine Maley, MBA: If it’s any consolation, it’s a very common situation there. So, the last question, so we can wrap this up, tell us something very interesting we don’t know about you. Although I think you coming from Iran through a revolution is fascinating and I’d love to hear more about that. What else you got? We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Well, I’m very outdoor person. I like mountain biking, road biking, snowboarding. And enjoy traveling, and those are, and also, I paint, and I don’t have time to do sculpting, because that takes a lot of time, but all this stuff, those are things some people know about me, some people don’t, but I, I try to balance my life By dedicating certain time, like, I get up early in the morning, 5 o’clock, and I want to be healthy. I want to be around my kids to see my kids graduate from college. At least, maybe I see my grandkids. So, I just turned 60, and I want to be healthy and in good shape, hopefully.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, congratulations. I think you’re just are doing a heck of a job and you can always fall back on the art and sculpting if the plastic surgery doesn’t work out. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

Kevin Sadati, DO: Thank you.

Catherine Maley, MBA: It’s a joke. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?Kevin Sadati, DO: Alright, we’ll get trained to go to a different office.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I don’t think so. You It’s DrKevinSadati.Com. The office is absolutely lovely. The before and after photos are amazing. The social media is. Spot on. I’m not just coming from me. I’ll just looking at inside, you know, looking into your inside. We know you were born in Iran, but how did or does this impact or relate to you being ‘made in America’?

You’re doing all the right things. So, congratulations.

Kevin Sadati, DO: Well, thank you. I appreciate it for having me. And it was really a pleasure talking to you.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Absolutely. Thank you so much. And please, if you feel like it, please give me a nice review so we can spread the word.

Everybody that’s going to wrap it up for us today, a Beauty and the Biz and this episode on how Dr. Sadati was born in Iran but made in America.

If you’ve got any questions or feedback for Dr. Sadati you can reach out to his website at,

A big thanks to Dr. Sadati for sharing his journey on being born in Iran but made in America.

And if you have any questions or feedback for me, you can go ahead and leave them at my website at, or you can certainly DM me on Instagram @CatherineMaleyMBA.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode on Beauty and the Biz, please head over to Apple Podcasts and give me a review and subscribe to Beauty and the Biz so, you don’t miss any episodes. And of course, please share this with your staff and colleagues.

And we will talk to you again soon. Take care.

The fastest way to success is to model other successful surgeons who have what you want, but you can only see their results, not the path they took to get there.

So, you continue to jump from one thing to another, hoping to find something that will work for you too, but it rarely does. So, try this shortcut instead. It’s guaranteed to move you forward. I compiled my intellectual property to grow cosmetic revenues, everything I’ve gleaned over the years into one playbook of the most successful practices and what they do to win.

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-End transcript for “Born in Iran but Made in America — with Kevin Sadati, DO”.

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Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.


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