Why Richard Weiss M.D.?

Experience. Confidence. Trust.

Dr. Weiss is fellowship-trained in ophthalmic plastic surgery. He has pioneered lower eyelid surgery with no skin incisions (trans-conjunctival blepharoplasty) in Newport Beach since 1986. He is the chosen surgeon by so many patients from around the world as well as other doctors and their families because of personalized care, training and experience.

Personality, integrity, and “bedside manner” can’t be adequately described on a website. You are invited to interview Dr. Weiss personally by contacting us to schedule a private no-charge (for elective procedures) consultation in his Newport Beach office adjacent to Fashion Island. Dr. Weiss also offers video consults with iChat and Skype video.

Ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery (oculoplastic surgery) is a unique specialty combining training in ophthalmology and plastic surgery. This specialty has developed because of the amount of knowledge, expertise and special techniques needed to treat patients with conditions involving the eyelids and eyebrows, the lacrimal (tear drainage) system, the orbit (the bony socket around the eye), and the area of the face adjacent to the eye.

The primary difference between general and ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery is on the emphasis of the health of the eye and preservation of vision. Oculoplastic surgeons have a special awareness of the importance of function as well as appearance This subspecialty came in to existence because of the delicacy involved in operating on the area surrounding the eye, and has resulted in significant surgical advances. Additionally, this highly specialized field provides expertise in revising and repairing unsatisfactory results from previous cosmetic or reconstructive surgeries surrounding the eye.

This field is divided into two areas: cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

Cosmetic oculoplastic surgery is concerned with improving the appearance of the eyelids, eyebrows, forehead and face. Eyelid surgery (technically called blepharoplasty) is a procedure to remove fat, usually along with excess skin and muscle, from the upper and lower eyelids. Tendons that have shifted out of place with age or trauma may be moved and repositioned so that they will function more naturally. Eyelid operations make the person look younger, and it also allows women to take better advantage of makeup. Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes – features that make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision.

Reconstructive oculoplastic surgery involves the correction of defects caused by aging, trauma, tumors and congenital abnormalities. Most of these conditions can detract from appearance and cause discomfort. Certain conditions – such as eyelid tumors, eyelid position problems, thyroid disease and congenital ptosis (droopy eyelids), can cause significant permanent damage if left untreated.

Cosmetic eyelid surgery (technically called blepharoplasty) is a procedure to remove fat – usually along with excess skin and muscle – from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can correct dropping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes – features that make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision. However, it won’t remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles (see Collagen or Botox) or lift sagging eyebrows (see endoscopic brow lifts). While it can add an upper eyelid crease to Asian eyes, it will not erase evidence of your ethnic or racial heritage. Blepharoplasty can be done alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or browlift.

  • Developed a ‘painless’ method for Botox injections (2007).

    “Reduction of Pain and Anxiety Prior to Botulinum Toxin Injections With a New Topical Anesthetic Method” was published in the Journal of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2009. He was issued a U.S. patent for his device and method in 2010.

  • First to bring together physicians and surgeons from multiple specialties for a conference on Elective Cosmetic Procedures (2004):

    Botox, Blephs & LASIK (electiveprocedures.org). Dermatologists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons and allied health personnel gathered for three days of instruction on the latest advancements in cosmetic eyelid surgery, Botox and cosmetic fillers (Juevederm and Restylane) and laser vision correction.

  • A pioneer in popularizing the removal of lower eyelid bags with no skin incision (1987).

  • One of the first surgeons to routinely combine the CO2 laser and erbium laser on all laser skin rejuvenation patients (1996).

    This technique, first described by an Australian dermatologist, reduces the amount of post treatment thermal inflammation, leading to minimal or no discomfort and a faster recovery time.

  • One of the first Botox injectors in the United States (1989).

    Years before Botox was first described for cosmetic use (in 1989), Botox injections were performed mainly by oculoplastic surgeons like Dr. Weiss for patients with blepharospasm (involuntary blinking of the eyelids) and other facial spasms.

  • First full-time Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon in Orange County with practice devoted 100% to oculoplastics (1986).

    Dr. Weiss spent the next ten years limiting his practice to oculoplastic surgery in Newport Beach, often teaching other surgeons and residents advanced oculoplastic techniques and anatomy. In 1995 he added laser vision correction to his list of elective cosmetic procedures.

Dr. Weiss provides a very high level of individualized care – performing personal private consultations and education with every patient. He also personally sees all of his patients on the first post-operative day and at almost every subsequent visit! Dr. Weiss is available to his patients 24/7 and encourages them to contact him at any time with questions. This attention leads to a unique trusting doctor-patient relationship that greatly enhances the total surgical experience.

Dr. Weiss - Newport Beach, California
Newport Beach, California

Cosmetic eyelid, eyebrow and mid-face surgery:

Dr. Weiss is fellowship trained in ophthalmic plastic surgery. He has popularized lower eyelid surgery with no skin incisions (trans-conjunctival blepharoplasty) since 1986.

Laser skin resurfacing:

Dr. Weiss was one of the initial laser surgeons to combine the Ultrapulse CO2 and the Erbium lasers with special postoperative methods resulting in virtually painless laser skin resurfacing (wrinkle removal), improved results and decreased recovery time (from months to weeks.)

Laser vision correction:

Dr. Weiss was one of the first eye surgeons in Orange County to be certified to perform laser vision correction after U.S. FDA approval in 1995.

He is certified in the use of the most recent LASIK laser vision correction techniques including the new all-laser ‘no touch’ Intralase LASIK technique for the safest and most precise corneal flaps.

Painless Botox technique and invention

Dr. Weiss completed a study in 2007 [Reduction of Pain and Anxiety Prior to Botulinum Toxin injections with New Topical Anesthetic Method] to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a new Botox injection method that has been proven to decrease or eliminate injection discomfort. This method involves the use of a new invention, the Weiss Comfort Shield (not yet commercially available), that has been proven to decrease or eliminate injection discomfort.

Laser Vision Correction inventions and research

Dr. Weiss’ research interests focus on clinical relevance and improving laser vision correction outcomes. His philosophy is that the success of laser vision correction procedures depends less on the extreme manual dexterity that is required in cataract or eye plastic surgery, but on more on precise control of many other ‘non-surgical’ variables, such as accuracy of refraction, precise measurement of vertex distance, efficient epithelial removal techniques to leave a smooth anterior corneal surface without stromal dehydration (in PRK), and proper centration methods and exact laser focusing. He has presented many papers on various aspects of this research at most of the major international refractive surgery meetings.

He is a Senior Instructor for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, teaching other ophthalmologists his own various techniques. Dr. Weiss is the Program Chairman of the conference Botox, Blephs & LASIK; Strategies for Success with Elective Ophthalmic Procedures, which brings together physicians and surgeons from multi-specialties for scientific presentations and hands-on workshop training.

Weiss Vertexometer. The invention for which he received his first U.S. patent (first presented at the spring 1998 meeting of the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery) is a device to allow accurate vertex distance measurements from behind the phoropter, the instrument used to measure the refractive error in the doctor’s office. The vertex distance is a measurement that is necessary in every refractive procedure regardless of the method (PRK, LASIK, holmium laser, intra-stromal corneal rings, intra-ocular contact lenses). Exact and convenient measurement of the vertex distance (not previously possible) is necessary for more accurate and predictable visual results from refractive surgery.
Rotary Epithelial Brush. Dr. Weiss was the co-developer of the rotary epithelial brush method of epithelial removal prior to photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK) and was the primary investigator in the basic research performed at Beckman Laser Institute showing this method to have advantages over other previously used techniques. This method is now used throughout the world and was actually mandated for use by surgeons using the VISX laser for the U.S. FDA trials for hyperopia.
Advanced Epithelial removal device. He also invented an advanced rotary device for epithelial removal prior to hyperopic correction that leaves a central area of the epithelium untouched. This has the potential for making hyperopic PRK safer since it spares the visual axis and may contribute to quicker healing times.
Laser centration studies. Dr. Weiss has worked with laser scientists at the VISX facility in Santa Clara, CA to determine the correct method of centering and focusing refractive lasers which depend on binocular fixation, which include most of the currently available lasers worldwide. Initially, the manufacturer did not properly instruct surgeons how to properly focus the laser, which left room for error in laser treatments. After identifying the problem, he conducted original research with the manufacturer’s scientists at their Silicon Valley laboratory. Together they developed an improved, three-dimensional method for precisely centering the laser beam on the surface of the cornea.

Our office revolves around the needs of the patient. We remember that the word ‘doctor’ comes from the Latin verb ‘doceo’ which means ‘to teach’. All of our patients are well-educated (often with multimedia presentations) about their conditions and procedures as well as the risk and benefits of various treatment options as they apply in their particular case. In fact, patient education is the main purpose of this website.

We also strive to see patients in a prompt and courteous manner and realize that everyone’s time is valuable. Dr. Weiss remembers years of seeing scores of patients in the clinics of his residency training where everyone was scheduled to show up at one time, and when beginning private practice in Newport Beach in 1986 he vowed to allow adequate time for patient visits and to never to have the patient wait unnecessarily.