Plastic Surgeon or Ophthalmologist for Eyelid Surgery?

I have severe ptosis & have severe heart problems. I wanted a facelift to fix everything, but due to my health condition that is not possible - I have heard eyelid surgery can be done with local anethestics and would reduce my risks.

should I see a plastic surgeon or an ophthalmologist who does this surgery? What's going to make me feel better about me appearance and long lasting?

Doctor Answers 14

Ptosis and lower eyelid problems

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There are several problems here. For one, you do as the other surgeons here have mentioned have ptosis with excess eyelid skin. To lift the eyelids on both sides and remove the skin would take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. Additionally in the lower eyelids you have excess skin and your lateral canthal area (side of the eyes) are droopy. To tighten that area and reduce the appearance of the puffy skin would also take roughly an hour. I would recommend anybody who commonly does the procedure. As an oculoplastic surgeon that is my bread and butter so I feel my specialty is uniquely qualified however that doesn't mean that a facial plastic or general plastic surgeon who has a lot of experience with eyelids cannot do it well either. 

Denver Oculoplastic Surgeon

Oculoplastic surgeon for ptosis repair

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The severe ptosis that is present would need to be fixed by an oculoplastic surgeon. That is an ophthalmologist who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the eyes. Eyelid surgery will still be stressful give the condition of your health and would be prudent to have clearance from your cardiologist prior to undergoing elective cosmetic surgery.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Extensive eye issues require specialist

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For cosmetic eyelid surgery, it is possible to have successful eyelid surgery with eye plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeon, or general plastic surgeons. However, you do not have routine issues. You essentially need reconstructive surgery. You have profound upper eyelid ptosis.

You have highly complex midface issues. In your case, I strongly recommend that you see a top oculoplastic surgeon. There is excellent oculoplastic surgery in Columbus. You might consider seeing Jill Foster, M.D. There are others as well but you truly need a specialist.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Health conditions may rule out elective surgery entirely.

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Certain severe heart conditions would make surgery--even under local--a bad idea for an elective procedure. If one's heart condition requires continuous anticoagulation, for example, then the risk:benefit ratio of stopping the anticoagulants would preclude an eyelid procedure.

Given the apparent degree of ptosis in this photo, repair requires more than just blepharoplasty. An ophthalmologist with fellowship training in oculoplastic surgery would be a good place to start in terms of evaluating this more complex problem.

All the best,


David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon

Eyelid Specialists

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Both plastic surgeons and ophthalmologists have extensive training in eyelid surgery. Within these specialties, wide variations exist in both expertise and experience. For this reason, patients need to do their homework when picking a surgeon. When this approach is taken, patients optimize the probability of having an excellent result.

Opthamologist or Plastic Surgeon for Eyelid Ptosis Repair

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It obviously depends on the expertise of the surgeon. One can choose an Oculoplastic surgeon or a Plastic Surgeon that has experience and expertise in eyelid ptosis repair and blepharoplasty. These specialists can perform this surgery in a confident and reliable manner.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Thorough evaluation before eyelid surgery

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You may see either a plastic surgeon or an ophthalmic surgeon for a consultation. They will choose to operate only after your health is thoroughly evaluated and you are determined to be a good candidate for surgery.

Local anesthesia can also cause problems with the heart. The epinephrine in the injection may be problematic. It is best to first get clearance from cardiologist. Thank you, and best of luck.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Either plastic surgeon or ophthalmologist would work

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Either. The real issue is your medical problems NOT which surgeon can do the operation. You most likely will need hospital surgery for your safety.


Blepharoplasty and ptosis surgery

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It appears from your photograph that you will require ptosis surgery to lift the eyelids and Blepharoplasty to remove the excess skin and bags from under the eyes. There are good Plastic surgeons and good Oculoplastic surgeons who can perform your surgery. I would find a surgeon who has the most experience with this kind of surgery. The surgery can be performed under local anesthesia. I think it would certainly improve the tired look you know have.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Ask for someone with experience in ptosis

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You need to see before and after results of someone with significant ptosis. Whether you see a plastic surgeon or an ophthalmologist is less important than having someone who is comfortable operating on ptosis and has the results to back it up.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.