I came to Dr. Chen for revision eyelid surgery to fix a botched job done by Goretti Ho Taghva. Dr. Chen not only saved my eyes but also my life. The previous surgeon buried 10 permanent sutures inside my eyelids, causing debilitating pain that was so bad I had to quit my job. I also got lagophthalmos, the inability to close the eyes, which led to severe dry eye and difficulty sleeping. On top of all that, my eyelids came out uneven, too high, too deep, and unnatural-looking.
I found Dr. Chen through rather unconventional means: from the research papers and textbook he wrote about asian eyelid surgery. When I found out he was in SoCal, I knew I had to go see him. His office is modest, but I think that just goes to show that he doesn't need to spend money on a fancy office or a marketing team like some doctors do. His skills speak for themselves. He may not have designer furniture in his office, but he has a slit lamp (like a microscope for the eye) which shows that he prioritizes the health of the eyes and eyelids. I should emphasize that he is an ophthalmologist by training, not a general plastic surgeon. He only works on the eyelid not other body parts, and he's been doing it everyday for ~40 years. He is a purist, and he's not going to push unnecessary procedures on you like "cosmetic ptosis" surgery, epicanthoplasty, nor lateral canthoplasty. He was a professor at Jules Stein Eye Institute, one of the top ophthalmology clinics in the country, AND he's ASOPRS-certified. Having gone on many consults at this point, I'd say the difference between ophthalmologists / oculoplastic surgeons vs general plastic surgeons when it comes to eyelid surgery is just leagues apart. Anyway, I could praise Dr. Chen all day but... Just don't make the same mistake as me of going to a general plastic surgeon for your eyelids. You really want an oculoplastic surgeon simply because they know the eyelid better, and are less likely to cause complications than a plastic surgeon.
At first, Dr. Chen was reluctant to do my revision surgery, and with good reason, because my case was highly difficult. However, when he learned how badly my eyelid pain and headaches were affecting my life, he decided to take on the challenge of revision surgery in hopes of easing my distress. He normally doesn't do revision until the 1-year mark but he made an exception for me due to my symptoms. He was very honest in informing me that he could not guarantee that revision would relieve the pain. I understood, but I had to try something, anything, because my current state was intolerable. Dr. Chen also expressed confusion as to why my incisions were made so high when I asked for a small crease. He said he would try his best to lower and even out the creases but again could not promise anything. I appreciate that he is an honest, conservative, and knowledgeable doctor who knows the ins and outs of the eyelid AND eye, and puts function over cosmesis. While I felt doubtful before my first surgery, this time I felt confident knowing I was in good hands with Dr. Chen.
The difference between my revision surgery and my first botched surgery was remarkable. Dr. Chen took the time to meticulously measure the crease down to the millimeter while looking at my wish pic for reference, whereas the previous doc didn't even ask to look at my wish pic when marking and only spent about 5 minutes drawing uneven lines. Dr. Chen went out of his way to order a special microscope for my surgery since mine was a uniquely difficult case. The surgery went smoothly and Dr. Chen was able to find and remove all the tiny stitches. The swelling came down much faster this time, and I think it was because Dr. Chen was very gentle during surgery as opposed to my first surgery which left me looking bruised and swollen for months. My creases already looked lower and more even immediately after surgery! Gradually, my eyelid pain and headaches started to subside. My eyelids still could not close fully but that is the fault of the previous surgeon. If I had went to Dr. Chen in the first place, I'm sure I never would've had that problem.
After a couple of months, I felt ok enough to go back to work. Who knows where I would be now if I still had those stitches in. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Chen for giving me my life back. It will be a sad, sad day when he retires. I can only wish for his health and happiness, things that he has already given me.