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Get To Know Dr. Kao

Dr. Chia Chi Kao is a board-certified aesthetic plastic and reconstructive surgeon with over 15 years of experience whom Vogue claims “is single-handedly revolutionizing the future of facelifts.” Dr. Kao is the co-founder of the KO’AN Center in Santa Monica, California and is the creator of the new and revolutionary Ponytail Lift™ and Ponytail Facelift™ procedures.

Dr. Kao was born in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to Seattle, Washington when he was eleven years old. He knew he wanted to be a doctor at the age of six and started volunteering at Harborview Trauma Center in Seattle while he was in college. During that time, he saw his first operation and decided he wanted to be a surgeon. In medical school, his mentor was a plastic surgeon, and he saw the beauty his mentor was able to create with his hands. This inspired Dr. Kao to become a plastic surgeon as well.

After graduating from medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. Kao completed a five-year General Surgery program at the University of Washington and received his board certification by the American Board of Surgery in 1997. He quickly developed an interest in surgical endoscopy (minimally invasive surgery through the use of a small camera scope). Dr. Kao became a clinical professor at the University’s Center for Video Endoscopic Surgery and taught residents and fellow surgeons this technique. He then completed a three-year plastic surgery program at the University of Southern California. Dr. Kao continues to expand his interest in Endoscopic Surgery to facial plastic surgery. He has taught other surgeons these specialized techniques at the Endoscopic Plastic Surgery Educational Seminar in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Kao has authored numerous publications that have appeared in professional journals. He has also lectured at national and regional meetings with presentations to such groups as The California Society of Plastic Surgeons. He appeared on the Discovery Learning Channel featuring his endoscopic facial work. Dr. Kao is a Staff Plastic Surgeon at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. He is a member of California Society of Plastic Surgeons and is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Requirements for a Doctor to be a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon:

  • Has graduated from an accredited medical school
  • Has completed at least five years of additional training as a resident surgeon in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Medical Education; this includes a minimum of fivem years of residency training in all areas of surgery, including at least two years devoted entirely to plastic surgery
  • Has passed comprehensive written and oral exams

To check if a doctor is board certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, please visit:

Board Certification

  • The American Board
    of Plastic Surgery
  • The American
    Board of Surgery

Professional Societies

Member of American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS)

Member of American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science (IFATS)

International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS)

Member of California Society of Plastic Surgeons

Member of Los Angeles Society of Plastic Surgery

American College of Surgeons Associate Fellow - 1997 to 2000

Henry N. Harkins Surgical Society - November 17, 1995 - present

American Medical Association - 1991 to 1992

Faculty: Endoscopic Facial Plastic Surgery Educational Seminars - 2000 to 2003



University of Washington School of Medicine - Seattle, WA (1983 - 1987) Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Microbiology, cum laude

Medical School

University of Washington School of Medicine - Seattle, WA (1987 - 1991) Doctor of Medicine: June 1991

General Surgery Residency

University of Washington Department of Surgery - Seattle WA Chief Resident: 1995 - 1996 Resident: 1991 - 1995 Intern: 1991 - 1992

Clinical Professor

Department of Surgery, University of Washington - Seattle, WA (1996 - 1997) Specializing in Endoscopic Surgery

United States Surgical Fellow in Video Endoscopic Surgery - (1996 - 1997)

International Fellow in Craniofacial Surgery, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital - Taipei, Taiwan (1997)

University of Southern California Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Affiliated Hospitals: 1997 - 2000

  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center
  • Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center
  • City of Hope National Cancer Center
  • LAC/USC Burn Center Burn Fellow
  • LAC/USC Plastic Surgery Chief Resident
  • LAC/USC Orthopedic Hand Service Chief Resident
  • Cosmetic Surgery: Pacific Surgicenter, Santa Monica
  • USC Resident Cosmetic Surgery Chief Resident 1998 - 2000


California State Physicians and Surgeons

New York State Physicians and Surgeons

Volunteer Activities or Charitable Organizations:

Pink Party for Breast Cancer Research

South Central Scholars for Underprivileged Kids

Hospital Affiliations

Westside Surgery Center (Accreditation)
Santa Monica, CA

20th Street Surgery Center
Santa Monica, CA

St. John’s Hospital
Santa Monica, CA

Additional Affiliations

Kao Plastic Surgery
Chia Chi Kao, MD

Private Practice in Plastic &
Reconstructive Surgery

1301 20th Street, Suite 150A
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 315-9211

KO’AN Center - Medical Spa


1301 20th Street, Suite 150A
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 315-3022

Blushington Makeup Bar

Current Shareholder and
Former Board Member

Sunset Plaza
8591 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 652-5874

Randox Health Los Angeles


1301 20th Street, Suite 150-B
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 453-2821

Westside Surgery Center


1301 20th Street, Suite 540
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 829-3456

20th Street Surgery Center


1301 20th Street, Suite 140
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 586-1905

Cell to Life


1301 20th Street, Suite 150-B
Santa Monica, CA 90404