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Considering eyelid surgery? Tips to help choose the right surgeon

Dr. Harrison Lee
Dr. Harrison Lee

The biggest pick me up and youth creating cosmetic surgery procedure is eyelid surgery, otherwise known as a blepharoplasty. However, not all eyes are created equally and depending upon age, level of aging, skin condition, heritage and certain health conditions undergoing eyelid surgery can be a fairly straight forward procedure or, in the hands of the wrong doctor lead to… more surgery.

So how does a patient know how to select a surgeon when it comes to such an important choice of ‘having your eyes done’?

According to triple board certified facial plastic surgeon, Harrison H. Lee, M.D. D.M.D., F.A.C.S., Medical Director and Founder of the Beverly Hills Medical Center for Cosmetic Surgery, Inc. located in Beverly Hills, California, eyelid surgery is on the rise again and patients should do their homework before selecting a surgeon.

“Eyelid surgery can make an ordinary face extraordinary with a short minor procedure that leaves the patient looking youthful, rested and energetic,” said Dr. Lee. “To find the right surgeon the patient should review the doctor’s training and credentials and his level of expertise. They should also speak to other patients and, if possible, meet in person with several patients who have had previous eyelid surgery by that doctor.”

Each year, thousands of men and women opt to have blepharoplasty to improve the way they look. Mainly due to age, the eyelids begin to droop and puffiness or bags develop under the lower eye causing many of us to look tired or even angry even when we are not. Many people say that they don’t recognize the person looking back at them in the mirror. They say that the person in the mirror does not reflect the young-at-heart, high energy person they feel they are inside. Instead what they see is a tired individual looking back at them.

Whether caused by aging or genetics, droopy eyelids can make you look older and in some patients can even impair vision. Blepharoplasty corrects these problems and can remove excess droopy tissue over the eyes, as well as remove the puffiness or bags from under the eyes. Blepharoplasty in itself does not remove dark circles, fine lines or wrinkles around the eyes, nor can it improve the appearance of sagging eyebrows, but Dr. Lee does offer other procedures to correct these problems and may recommend a combination eyelid surgery procedure with brow lift surgery, and/or a series of neurotoxins, fillers and skin rejuvenation techniques to provide the ultimate age-reversing appearance.

“Each person’s eyes are different and require a customized surgical approach,” said Dr. Lee “The skin surrounding the eye is very delicate and can vary from being excessive to not enough, especially notable in this case are the eyelids of a patient of Asian heritage that often have hardly any eyelid whatsoever.”

Dr. Lee has developed a specialized technique specifically for this type of patient, and has mastered a method of eyelid surgery in which he creates the crease that is often missing or obscured in the eyelids. In doing so, Dr. Lee gives Asian eyes a refreshed, rejuvenated appearance without changing their unique ethnic characteristics. He notes that there are many differences between the Caucasian eye and Asian eye, most of which are hidden differences in the muscle structure and other underlying tissues.

“For example, Asian eyes often have an increased fat content and somewhat thicker skin and the crease of the upper eyelid is less pronounced, allowing the skin to hang over the lashes and conceal much of the eye,“ said Dr. Lee. “With an upper eyelid surgery, we can reduce the puffiness and create an eyelid. Female patients especially love this procedure as they can easily apply make-up to further enhance their eyes after surgery.”

Dr. Lee always recommends that all patients should take great care and do their homework when it comes to selecting a surgeon, and he offers the following tips to patients seeking eyelid or any other form of cosmetic surgery:

Ask the doctor how long they have been in practice.
Check Board Certification and understand what it means. In other words is the doctor Board Certified in plastic or facial plastic surgery.
Review the doctor’s website and check their medical records.
Have any of your friends or colleagues had surgery by this doctor? Personal recommendations are generally best, but not always required.
Prepare your questions in advance.
Find out how experienced the doctor is at the performing the procedure you are interested in.
Review photos. Also, speak and, if possible, meet with other patients who have undergone the surgery that interests you.
Ask if the photos being shown to you are of actual patients that the doctor has performed surgery on.
Make sure you understand the full extent of recovery.
Be wary of having too many procedures at the same time.
Ask if the doctor has hospital privileges and check that they are current.
Ask what the total cost is including anesthesia, hospital fees, post-op care, etc.


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