Dr. Daria Hamrah is the top double Board Certified oral and maxillofacial / facial cosmetic surgeon in America. When he isn’t performing surgeries, Dr. Hamrah runs a skincare company called “Hamrah Aesthetics” and is the co-founder of a non-profit called “The Alegria Foundation”, which helps children with cleft lip and palate and facial deformities; Dr. Hamrah travels to Colombia yearly and donates his time performing cleft lip procedures for the children there.
Dr. Hamrah, tell us a little bit about your area of practice? What do you enjoy about being a maxillofacial & facial cosmetic surgeon?
Well, for those who are not familiar with what “Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery” (sorry, long word) deals with, it is the science and art of surgical and non surgical treatment/ reconstruction of the mouth (oral), jaw (maxillo) and face (facial). From tumors,corrective jaw surgery, traumatic fractures or laceration of the face and the skeleton, pathologic diseases and head and neck cancer reconstruction. Facial Cosmetic Surgery deals with the aesthetic aspect and beautification of the face. So, what do I enjoy about it? Everything! But for the readers to better understand why, I have to explain how I got into the field to begin with. Since I was a kid I wanted to become an eye surgeon, probably because I had eye surgery myself at age 4 and the surgeon was my father’s best friend from medical school who was like an uncle to me. So fast forward to my first clinical lecture at the University of Mainz in Germany, my professor shows a slide of a newborn with a cleft lip. OMG, I was shocked! It was something that I had never seen before.
My first thought was, how could god do this to an innocent child? While still in shock, the next slide showed the after photo with the repair of the lip. It looked so amazing and the baby looked beautiful. It was at that very moment that I decided to do the same for the rest of my life. Since that day I have been on a mission which as a matter of fact led me to co-founding a Foundation called “Alegria” (Spanish for “Joy”) with a Colombian classmate of mine. Our foundation deals with charity and mission work in South America treating children and young adults with cleft lip and palate and facial deformities. I cannot tell you how rewarding it is and how much purpose and happiness it gives me knowing that we have the ability to change people’s lives without asking for anything in return.
As to Facial Cosmetic Surgery, which I perform in my private practice in the Washington D.C. area, my mission and purpose is to help my patients regain their self esteem and self confidence. It truly means the world to me knowing that I can help them with their transformation.
“I realized the power of social media (…) I can showcase my work and educate my patients more easily and effectively”
Who are the best candidates for Cosmetic Surgery? How has the COVID pandemic changed the demand from your patient base? What are the new trends?
This is a very tricky question. In general, there are two factors that play a role in determining that. The first and most important one is the patient’s expectations and mental fitness. What do I mean by that? For example you cannot expect to get a face lift result but only demand Botox which is an injection that relaxes the muscles to reduce or prevent the appearance of wrinkles. As to mental fitness, I mean that you are not a good candidate if you obsess about the smallest imperfections or worst even, if you complain about a problem that no one sees other than you. Having an exaggerated view of an imperfection and obsessing about it, is also known as “body dysmorphic disorder” and is found in up to 10% of aesthetic surgery patients. Other than that, as long as you have an anatomic abnormality (for example droopy eyelids, small chin or crooked nose) that you wish to have it corrected and your expectations align with the predictable results as determined by your surgeon’s experience, you are a good candidate. The other indication is anti-aging treatments or surgeries that undo the changes of the face caused by the aging process, like a facelift. As to the COVID pandemic, there has been certainly an uptick in patients coming to me for rhinoplasties (nose jobs) and my popular “Hamrah Facial Slimming” procedure that in essence removes excess fat from the face and neck coupled with tightening of the sagging skin using a new radio-frequency device. As more and more people spend time on ZOOM and FaceTime, they start noticing imperfections and traits they dislike. They simply spend more time than ever looking at themselves and notice things they hadn’t before. The two most common complaints are: “ I don’t like my double chin!” and “My cheeks are sagging!”. For most patients below the age of 45 years, the treatments include cheek and neck fat removal together with “non-surgical” skin tightening using radio-frequency technology. For patients above the age of 45, common treatment options include face and neck lift which is a surgical option. As to “new trends” most of them don’t really work and are not recommended, at least by the more experienced clinicians (which I consider myself one of them). They simply are what they mean, “trends”. Many of them have come and gone in the past, like “Thread-lifts”, and don’t work and capitalize on the hype, until people that had it realized it didn’t work. So, I don’t offer my patients something that I wouldn’t do for my own family.
You are a modern practitioner in a constantly changing world. You have perfectly understood the importance of new technologies and new media for your business. In regards to social networks, what marketing strategy have you adopted?
WThat’s a great question because for many years I had been struggling to find the right “sauce”. Like everybody else I had been using magazine ads, postcards, SEO and all the stuff that has really been so outdated and overpriced and worst even, doesn’t work. About 3 years ago (which by many standards was way too late), I realized the power of social media. I realized that it’s nothing more than word of mouth, but better even a platform on which I can showcase my work and educate my patients more easily and effectively using before and after photos and educational videos.
So I started using Instagram (@drhamrah) and now TikTok (@realfacedoc) and even do live broadcast of surgeries with live Q&A’s. These tools have brought my audience and my patients huge value. So, as far as my brand building was concerned, it literally put me on the map and my social media accounts exploded in a very short period of time. The best part is that I didn’t know what to expect and just had fun with it. Still to date, I am doing all the creative and posts myself and responding to every comment or DM. I spend about 20hrs a week on it. Why? Honestly, because I enjoy it. I love what I do, so to me it really isn’t work. So many of my patients have told me that the reason why they like my content is because it is authentic. They feel they know me before even having met me… Read the full interview
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