Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! My goal here is to get more personal – and simply share stuff with my friends, family, and patients!  You can expect some posts on the latest advances in cosmetic surgery (although it seems like there’ll be a fair amount of music-related posts – they’re too much fun to make!) I also expect that we’ll have more contests and free stuff, special events and even very special guests!

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Mandela, Eye Surgery, and the Miracle Baby

Maybe it is just me, but the last person I expected to be thoroughly engaging, much less funny, was an ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I can barely spell what Richard Weiss does and, truly, have no real idea of what that actually is. I was expecting an older, graying, monotone-in-speech guy, one who would barely tolerate my interrupting his schedule before tossing me squarely out. But there I was the other day in Weiss’ Newport Beach office that overlooks Fashion Island, trying to keep up as the good doctor raced from room to room, playing a jazz tune on the keyboard he keeps in a back office before he excitedly invited me into a different room to peer into the recently sutured eyes of a patient he had just operated on. I went there for one specific reason, invited by members of his staff, but that didn’t seem to matter to Weiss, who at one moment was regaling me with the saga of the Miracle Baby, and the next was telling of “One Spirit,” the song he wrote that Stevie Wonder loved and helped him clean up. It is only after I notice and comment on the photograph of […]

Insightful Mission: With the help of local businesses, Newport Beach ophthalmologist trying to cure blindness around the world

Curing 20 million people of blindness sounds like a formidable task, but a local doctor and several Newport Beach businesses are leading the charge to do just that. The One World Sight Project was founded by Newport Beach ophthalmologist Richard Weiss nine years ago with the belief that someone needed to lead the effort to treat the almost 80% of worldwide cases of blindness that are curable Weiss said of the 42 million people who are visually impaired worldwide, 20 million suffer from bilateral cataracts, which can be cured with a 20-minute, $30 operation. “This is a real problem,” Weiss said. “There are more doctors in the San Francisco greater metropolitan area than on the entire continent of Africa.” Weiss’ effort has grown to include consultants and advisers from the World Health Organization and Volunteer Eye Surgeons Association. The program also has the support of Stevie Wonder, who serves as a special adviser, and South African President Nelson Mandela, a former patient of Weiss. Despite all the big names involved, Weiss said One World Sight Project’s most valuable support has come from Newport Beach businesses, which have donated time and services to help the cause. The help started in 1991, […]

Laser Vision Correction: Cosmetic Surgery?

Richard A. Weiss M.D. believes that the miracle of laser vision correction is the latest cosmetic trend. Waves of the future always seem to begin in Southern California. Riding — indeed, directing — the crest of the wave of ophthalmic plastic and refractive surgery is Richard A. Weiss, M.D., founder of the Newport Laser Vision & Cosmetic Surgery Network in Newport Beach. Heralded as one of the most prominent laser surgeons in California, Dr. Weiss has established a unique international presence by leading the way with new clinical techniques and cutting edge research. The trend of increasing medical specialization has become necessary to keep up with the explosion of new technology, reports Dr. Weiss. The fields of ophthalmic plastic surgery and refractive surgery (laser vision correction) are two of the most popular and technologically advanced of the new medical sub-specialties. With his practice just a hop, skip and a credit card from the upscale Fashion Island shopping center, Mecca of the hottest trends, Dr. Weiss applies his considerable skills in developing the latest methods of cosmetic eye surgery. “As an oculoplastic surgeon, my emphasis is on the health of the eye and preservation of vision,” he states, explaining how his background […]

A Paralyzing Party

In late March, around 40 women attended a party in a Laguna Beach home overlooking the ocean. They mingled over sushi and champagne and chatted about PTA meetings, office politics and kids who made the honor roll. And they had numbing cream on their foreheads. Dr. Richard Weiss, an ophthalmic plastic surgeon based in Newport Beach, first heard about a Botox party in London, “and after I mentioned it to a few of my clients I had an overwhelming response.” Initially approved by the FDA for the treatment of facial spasms and uncontrollable blinking of the eyelids, Botox is gaining widespread public attention as a non-surgical procedure that can reduce lines and wrinkles around the eyes and forehead, the tell-tale signs of aging. “It relaxes the facial muscles that cause you to frown or squint,” says Weiss, “reducing their pull on your skin.” Weiss demonstrated Botox therapy on his office manager, Jana Adams. After small red dots were marked between her brows, Weiss injected a few small doses of Botox directly into Adams’s facial muscles. “It doesn’t hurt at all,” she said as curious guests quizzed her about the experience. “I feel totally fine.” The whole procedure took about 10 […]

Eyes Wide Open

By Dann Halem Stevie Wonder is sitting at the piano (Where else?) The piano is of the upright persuasion and located inside his L.A. recording studio, a stone’s throw from the Wiltern Theater. The neighborhood that surrounds Wonder’s space isn’t exactly Rodeo meets Wilshire—especially not at two o’clock in the morning. The neighboring buildings are chock-a-block and industrial, and the singer is guarded by an old iron gate and a single burly bodyguard. It isn’t the sunniest scene to write music, yet this is when and where the famed composer of such stalwart standards as “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You” gets his best work done, and it’s right here, right now, in the middle of the night, that Newport Beach doctor Richard Weiss finds him. The doorbell by the gate is broken and the bodyguard has been taking his vitamins. Still, Weiss, who’s known Wonder for about 10 years and had driven into town earlier that evening to attend a Crosby, Stills, and Nash concert, casually tosses his name through the bars and within a minute, is being led into the room where Wonder is studiously sitting. “No glasses, […]

Allergan Irons Out the Wrinkles

NEWPORT BEACH – The latest anti-aging treatment from the makers of Botox won’t hit the national market for a couple of months, but Mary Ann Hammer catches a sneak preview every time she looks in the mirror. Last week, Hammer received a free injection of Juvederm, a facial filler that plumps out laugh lines, from her Newport Beach ophthalmologist Richard Weiss. Hammer and her doctor are among a select group trying out Allergan’s filler before the official launch in January. The limited rollout centers on a survey to test Juvederm’s results and how long they last, company officials say. “Dr. Weiss called me and said, ‘We have some thing new. Do you want to try it?’” recalls Hammer, 48. “I couldn’t get in my car fast enough.” When Weiss recruited Hammer to join the trial, she’d never heard of Juvederm.. But she certainly trusted the reputation of the Irvine maker of the Botox wrinkle relaxer, a big player in the $30 billion global beauty industry. “It went in smooth. It looks really, really natural,” Hammer says of the Juvederm. Marketing experts call the trial release a smart way to create buzz. An Atlanta doctor, for example, is promotion himself by […]

World View: When Ophthalmologist Richard Weiss of Newport Beach Set Out to End Curable Blindness, He Envisioned a Plan Without Borders

No matter how many times Newport Beach ophthalmologist Richard Weiss shows visitors a videotape of blind, destitute people waiting hours for surgery they hope will bring them sight, he’s the first to tear up. For more than 10 years, Weiss has worked to restore the sight of poor people in places such as India, South Africa and Haiti, where the blind line up by the hundreds for his free surgeries. He has seen, and treated, children with opaque, unseeing eyes like those pictured on his video. “In a country like India, where people are so caught up in survival, [restored vision] is literally a miracle to them,” Weiss said. “You just see their face open up. It’s a feeling you can’t even describe to bring such important and permanent change in their life.” Realizing that one person alone could do little to cure world blindness, Weiss set his sights higher. In 1989, he started the One World Sight Project (OWSP) Inc., to mobilize members of the entertainment industry, corporate sponsors and eye-care providers to support international ophthalmology. The project’s goal: to create a united fund to expand programs that provide eye care to the world’s poor. “You have to be […]

Pass the Champagne, Bring on the Botox – Daily Pilot, April 12, 2002

by Deepa Bharat NEWPORT BEACH – Not many would imagine the words “Botox” and “bash” would go together. After all, Botox is the brand name of botulinum toxin, a substance that is injected into facial muscles as an age-defying treatment. It is the most popular method performed to remove wrinkles — be it laugh lines, frown folds on the forehead or those unsightly bags under the eyes. But Botox parties are gaining popularity among bustling socialites in affluent communities. Newport Beach is no exception. Today, several women will get together at a local doctor’s office for champagne, hors d’oeuvres and wrinkle-removing Botox treatments. That gala affair will be followed by more festivities — topped off with a five-course dinner and wine-tasting at a Downtown Disney restaurant. The party will be in honor of Star 98.7 radio’s morning talk-show host Jamie White and six of her listeners, who were selected during the course of this week to receive the free cosmetic treatments. Richard Weiss, who has been practicing plastic surgery in Newport Beach for 15 years, says the Botox parties are a “phenomenon.” “I’ve never seen anything like it,” says the excited party host. Weiss said he heard about the concept […]