About Dr Andrew Caster and Caster Eye Center
- Dr. Caster dedicates his practice to Lasik and all versions of laser eye treatment. He is one of a small number of doctors in California who limits his practice exclusively to laser vision correction. We believe strongly in super-specialization: when you dedicate all of your energy and focus to one specific area, you learn how to do it very, very well.
- Dr. Caster has performed over 30,000 laser vision correction procedures. He was one of the original twenty doctors asked to perform the initial Lasik treatments used by the FDA for its legal approval of Lasik.
- With over 150 surgeons in the Los Angeles area performing Lasik, Dr. Andrew Caster was selected by Los Angeles Magazine as the "Best Laser Eye Surgeon in Los Angeles." According to Los Angeles Magazine, to be selected as "Best of Los Angeles", "you simply have to do something much better than anyone else does."
- Dr. Andrew Caster was voted by other ophthalmologists to "Best Doctors in America", an honor given by eye specialists to less than 40 Lasik specialists in the entire United States. He was selected to "Best Doctors in America" in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
- Laser vision correction requires a team. Every member of our staff has worked at Caster Eye Center for a minimum of ten years. Our laser technician has worked with Dr. Caster for over twenty years. There is no more experienced Lasik team anywhere, and it makes a big difference in your care!
- At the Caster Eye Center, we will only treat you if we believe that we can obtain an excellent result. Approximately 30% of the patients that come to us for Lasik are advised not to have the procedure, because they are not ideal candidates.
- Dr. Andrew Caster is one of four doctors in the United States (and the only doctor in California) who has served as a member of the Alcon Refractive Surgery Clinical Advisory Board. Alcon is the largest eye care company in the world. In this capacity, Dr. Andrew Caster has worked closely with the doctors and engineers at Alcon to advance the science of laser vision correction.
- W Magazine selected Dr. Andrew Caster as one of two top Lasik laser eye doctors in the United States.
- Many world-class professional athletes, including top professionals in basketball, baseball, football, tennis, golf, boxing, and soccer, have entrusted Dr. Andrew Caster to improve their vision and performance with Lasik.
- Caster Eye Center offers the two premium lasers: WaveLight Allegretto and Visx S4. We use the wavefront Custom technology to achieve superior daytime and nighttime vision, frequently exceeding that achievable with glasses or contact lenses. All treatments performed by Dr. Caster use the Custom technology.
- Dr. Andrew Caster's book, Lasik: The Eye Laser Miracle, is now in its 5th printing and is the most widely-read book in the United States on the subject of laser vision correction. It has been used at Harvard Medical School and by eye doctors across the United States to educate their patients about laser vision correction. (As part of your pre-Lasik consultation with Dr. Caster, we will give you
a copy of the book!)
- Dr. Andrew Caster has been honored by Visx, a laser manufacturer, as one of the "Top 50" Laser Vision Correction doctors in the United States for four years in a row.
- Our laser room is dust-free and has strict temperature and humidity control.
People travel to the Caster Eye Center for expert treatment of their eyes from across the United States and from many other countries. In fact, our patients have traveled to us from every continent in the world! These people know that at the Caster Eye Center they will receive the highest quality laser vision correction available anywhere in the world.
Superior results require the highest quality equipment, as well as a commitment to quality in every step of the process. At the Caster Eye Center we use the two highest-quality FDA-approved lasers - WaveLight Allegretto and Visx S4. These lasers use the wavefront custom cornea technology to create exceptionally sharp daytime and nighttime vision. With this choice of equipment, we are able to select the technology that is most appropriate for your specific situation.
A commitment to the highest quality goes far beyond using the most advanced equipment. Our laser room is temperature and humidity controlled to a degree unmatched by other centers. Attention to detail (such as calibration, maintenance, and technician quality), use of the finest equipment, and Dr. Caster's extensive knowledge and experience combine to produce our highly accurate results.
In addition to treating thousands of patients, Dr. Caster had his own vision corrected with Lasik in 1996. This personal experience helps Dr. Caster to understand your needs and concerns in a very personal way.
Our Timeline :
1995 Dr. Caster performs his first laser vision correction treatment, using the PRK technique.
1996 Dr. Caster performs his first Lasik treatment.
1998 We move into our beautiful new office.
2000 Caster Eye Center uses the first eye tracker in the Los Angeles region to follow the eye as it moves during Lasik treatment. The tracker measures the eye at a rate of 200 times per second.
2001 Dr. Caster performs our first IntraLase procedure (in Orange County), one of the earliest IntraLase treatments in California. At this time there are no IntraLase lasers in Los Angeles County.
2002 Dr. Caster begins to use an infrared device to measure pupil sizes at different levels of light, including very low light levels. We adjust treatment sizes to these precise pupil size measurements.
2003 Dr. Caster joins the Clinical Advisory Board of Alcon Laboratories, the largest eye care manufacturer in the world. (Dr. Caster discontinued this work in 2007.)
2003 Caster Eye Center begins to use the Custom Wavefront technology. This technology measures the vision in hundreds of locations on the front surface of the eye and adjusts the Lasik treatment accordingly.
2005 Dr. Caster is voted by other eye doctors as a “Best Doctor in America.” Each and every year since 2005, Dr. Caster has been voted by eye doctors – again and again -- for this prestigious honor.
2006 Caster Eye Center obtains technology to measure the curvature of both the front and back surfaces of the cornea. Subtle irregularities in either the front or the back surface can be measured and prove to be very important for optimum Lasik results.
2007 We begin to use the new Allegretto laser, which further improves night vision. Typically, night vision after Lasik is better, with less glare and halos, than it is with glasses or contact lenses.
2009 Dr. Caster is named to “America’s Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly.
2011 The newest edition of Dr. Caster’s book, Lasik: The Eye Laser Miracle, is published (this is the sixth edition). This book is used by eye doctors across the country (including at Dr. Caster’s alma mater, Harvard Medical School) to educate their patients about Lasik.
2011 Dr. Caster is named a U.S. News and World Report Top Doctor.
Andrew Caster MD FACS
Harvard University; 1976 -- Phi Beta Kappa honors
Harvard Medical School; 1980
- Resident in Ophthalmology, UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute;
- Practice dedicated exclusively to laser vision correction since 1999
- "Best Doctors in America",
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
- U.S. News and World Report "Top Doctor"
- Selected to Castle Connolly "America's Top Doctors"
- Alcon Refractive Surgery Clinical Advisory Board -- In this
capacity, Dr. Caster has trained other Lasik practitioners in the latest Lasik
techniques and worked with the scientists at the world's largest eye care
- Best Laser Eye Surgeon in Los Angeles -- Los Angeles
- Southern California "Super Doctor"
- Selected by Visx as one of the "Top 50" Lasik laser eye
surgeons in the United States
- Selected by W Magazine as one of two top Lasik eye surgeons
- Board Certified, American Board of Ophthalmology
- Fellow, American College of Surgeons
- Clinical Instructor in Ophthalmology, UCLA School of Medicine
- Author of Lasik: The Eye Laser Miracle, published by
Ballantine/Random House. This is the most widely read book in America on Lasik
laser vision correction and is now in its fifth edition.
- Author of multiple peer-reviewed research articles on laser vision
- Who's Who in Science and Engineering
- Who's Who in Professionals
- Who's Who in America
- Who's Who in the World
about Dr. Caster's
Lasik treatment, please click
Dr. Caster is one of the few sub-specialists in the United States to dedicate
his practice exclusively to Lasik laser vision correction. He is one of the most
experienced and knowledgeable physicians in the United States in this field. Dr.
Caster has personally performed almost 30,000 vision correction procedures. A
large number of our patients travel to us for laser vision correction from
across the United States, as well as from Central and South America, Asia, and
In 1999, Dr. Caster was selected by Los Angeles Magazine as the "Best Laser
Eye Surgeon in Los Angeles". Dr. Caster has been voted by Visx as one of the
"Top 50" laser eye surgeons in the United States for four years in a row. He has
been repeatedly voted by other physicians as one of the "Best Doctors in America".
Articles featuring Dr. Caster and his work with Lasik laser vision correction
have appeared in many publications including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal,
and The Los Angeles Times. Dr. Caster appeared on the NBC Today show,
interviewed by Katie Couric, in which he discussed the newest advances in vision
correction. Dr. Caster performed all of the Lasik treatments for the first
season of the Fox television show, The Swan. Dr. Caster has also been a featured
guest on numerous television programs, including KCBS Channel 2 News (in which
he performed laser vision correction on anchorman Kyle Kraska), Hard Copy (in
which he performed laser vision correction on actor Lorenzo Lamas), and Fox
Sports (in which he performed Lasik on Los Angeles Lakers former player Kurt
Dr. Caster was one of twenty doctors who performed Lasik treatments for the
first FDA approval of Lasik (CRS/USA). Dr. Caster is continually involved in
research to advance the science and art of laser vision correction. He is a
frequent publisher of scientific papers and regularly lectures at national
ophthalmology meetings on the subject of laser vision correction.
Dr. Caster is the author of Lasik: The Eye Laser
Miracle, published by Ballantine Books (a
division of Random House). This book has become the most widely read book in the
United States on the subject of laser vision correction. It is available in
bookstores across the country or through amazon.com.
Dr. Andrew Caster has served on the Clinical Advisory Board of Alcon, the world's largest eye care company. Dr. Caster's duties on the Clinical Advisory Board have been in the area of Lasik laser vision correction, and he is one of only four ophthalmologists in the United States to receive this appointment. In this capacity, Dr. Caster has advised physicians in the newest Lasik treatments, hosted educational seminars for physicians, hosted physicians from other cities and countries in day-long training sessions, and interfaced with the scientists and engineers at Alcon who are developing further advances in laser treatment. This close working relationship between Dr. Caster and the engineers who are developing new technology enables Dr. Caster to be knowledgeable about the most intricate aspects of the Lasik technology.
Technology at the Caster Eye Center
No one has technology that surpasses the Caster Eye Center. We have a commitment to using the most advanced and up-to-date equipment available, and we continue to remain at the forefront of technology for laser vision correction.
Of course, the manner in which the technology is used -- how it is programmed, how it is maintained, the many choices made by the physician -- is more important than the raw technology itself.
At the Caster Eye Center, we have the two premium lasers for your benefit: WaveLight Allegretto and Visx S4. The most accurate treatments are being obtained with the WaveLight Allegretto laser, so that is the laser that we use for most treatments. The Allegretto is the only laser that has been designed specifically for Custom treatments; unlike other lasers, all treatments with the Allegretto laser are Custom treatments.
To learn more about Custom Wavefront Technology, please click here
The Allegretto laser is also the only laser that on average improves night vision, as compared to vision corrected with glasses or contact lenses. On average, vision after Lasik with the Allegretto laser is better than vision before treatment using glasses or contact lenses. No other Lasik laser treatment on average improves vision at night compared to glasses or contacts -- only Allegretto.
For more information about the Allegretto laser, please click here
Temperature and Humidity Control
Laser treatments are more precise when the temperature and humidity in the laser room are carefully controlled. At the Caster Eye Center, our laser room has precise temperature and humidity control. Our laser room is also dust-free. By taking these extra steps, we are able to achieve the most accurate vision for our patients.
One of the most important (but most difficult) tools to improve the accuracy of the results is through Outcome Analysis. Caster Eye Center has been an industry leader in Outcome Analysis, using this technique continuously since 1991. In 1994, Dr. Caster was honored with the UCLA Department of Ophthalmology Alumni Research Award for his development and use of Outcome Analysis.
Each laser is supplied with software formulas that tell the laser how many pulses to use for any given level of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These formulas, however, represent an average number of pulses needed for the typical surgeon using this laser, using a typical technique, in a room with typical temperature and humidity. The problem is: no two surgeons/techniques/rooms are identical, so reliance on the laser software produces average (but not exceptional) results. Many surgeons alter the laser formulas, but not in a reliable, scientific way.
Outcome Analysis is the systematic collection and mathematical analysis of results in a way that allows for adjustment in laser formulas. It is very time consuming and involves use of computer programs that perform multiple regression analysis. By routinely analyzing the multiple regression analyses of these outcomes, we are constantly making small modifications in our laser formulas. This dramatically improves our results. It is an on-going quality improvement feed-back loop that is very difficult and time-consuming, but is one of the most important ways that we produce the most accurate results possible. It only useful in a setting where the technique – the surgeon, the equipment, the room temperature and humidity – are held constant.
Pupil Size Assessment
In the past, one of the most troublesome aspects of laser vision correction was the lessened night-time vision that some patients have experienced. Poor night vision may be the result of the treatment area being too small in relation to the size of the enlarged pupil (your pupil enlarges when you go into the dark).
The Allegretto laser allows for dramatically larger treatment zones and a more natural treatment pattern, resulting in much improved night vision. In fact, the night vision of our patients is improved on average after Lasik laser vision correction when compared to the previous glasses or contact lenses. The Allegretto laser is the only laser that improves night vision on average as compared to vision with glasses or contact lenses.
It is essential to have an accurate way of measuring the pupil size in the dark. If you shine a light onto the eye to measure the pupil size, then the pupil gets smaller in response to the light, and you are not measuring the true maximum size of the pupil.
The Caster Eye Center was one of the first practices in California to use the Colvard pupillometer to measure pupil size in the dark. This device uses light amplification technology to allow an accurate assessment of the pupil size in the dark. A new, more accurate device is now available to measure pupil size in the dark - the Procyon 2000SA Pupillometer. The Caster Eye Center is the first practice in California to own and use this technology. This computerized device makes ten different pupil size measurements at each of three different light levels, and uses imaging software to precisely assign a size to each measurement. This has taken pupil size determination to a much higher level.
Creation of the Lasik flap is the part of the treatment that most concerns patients. We use two automated devices to create the Lasik flap: IntraLase and Zyoptix XP. Each has small advantages and disadvantages, and we can discuss the appropriateness of each method for you during your consultation.
The creation of the flap is not painful and takes about 20 seconds. Most people say that they had a feeling of pressure (not pain) during the flap creation. Also, you are not able to see the flap being made. After the procedure is complete, the flap is simply laid back into position, where it sticks down in place by itself without stitches or glue.
For some patients, it is best to not make a flap at all. This "Lasik without a flap" is known by several names, including Lasik, PRK, and Advanced Surface Treatment. For some patients with relatively thin corneas, large pupils, very high corrections (or a combination of these), Lasik without a flap may allow for the largest treatment size, which may be important in diminishing glare and halos. Also, patients with very significant dryness will benefit from Lasik without a flap, which does not cause any increase in the symptoms of dryness. Lasik without a flap does have a slower, more prolonged healing period. We will be pleased to discuss with you which option is best for your particular situation.
Front and Back Curvature Measurements
Curvature measurements of the front surface of the cornea are well established as an integral part of the pre-Lasik evaluation process. At the Caster Eye Center, we routinely measure the curvature of the back surface of the cornea as well, using the PentaCam device. By simultaneously measuring both the front and the rear curvatures of the cornea, we are able to know the thickness of the cornea in every single location. This enables us to determine which eyes show abnormalities in the corneal structure which are otherwise difficult to assess and to plan our procedures accordingly.
LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS TO CASTER EYE CENTER
Staff at the Caster Eye Center
The staff at the Caster Eye Center is one of the most experienced in the entire Laser Vision Correction industry.
Every one of our staff members has been with us at least 10 years. (How's that for experience and teamwork!) Our main laser technician has been with Dr. Caster for over 20 years. In addition, almost every staff person originally came to Caster Eye Center after gaining experience working at other laser centers. We hire the best in the industry at all positions, and then keep them. Quality is the key at Caster Eye Center, and our talented and caring staff is part of this high degree of excellence.
Many of our staff members have had their own vision corrected with Lasik, as well as having close family members treated with Lasik, so we understand the concerns of being a patient. Dr. Caster as well had his nearsightedness and astigmatism corrected with Lasik in 1996. You will find our staff to be very knowledgeable and caring. We expect to make your vision correction experience surprisingly easy.
23 Years at Caster Eye Center
15 Years at Caster Eye Center
Vision corrected 1999
10 Years at Caster Eye Center
Vision corrected 2005
15 Years at Caster Eye Center
Vision corrected 2009
14 Years at Caster Eye Center
Vision corrected 1999
17 Years at Caster Eye Center
Research at the Caster Eye Center
The Caster Eye Center is continually involved in clinical research to advance the field of laser vision correction. Highlights of our research include:
Recently, in a widely-publicized study, the FDA investigated how quality of life is affected by laser vision correction. Dr. Caster was one of six top laser specialists nationwide asked to participate in a study for this important FDA investigation. Each of the six top doctors had 300 recent laser vision correction patients selected at random who were then confidentially surveyed. The results from this confidential survey were very impressive, and demonstrated to the FDA the high level of satisfaction after laser vision correction when performed by these top doctors. For details of this study, please click here.
- Research using all of the most of the commonly used lasers, including Visx, LadarVision, and Wavelight Allegretto lasers.
- Dr. Caster was one of twenty doctors who performed the Lasik treatments to obtain the initial FDA approval for Lasik in the United States (CRS/USA).
- One of the first studies documenting the improved vision obtainable using Custom Wavefront Lasik.
- Studies documenting improved visual results of Lasik treatment using Outcome Analysis / Nomogram Adjustment, which use regression analysis to improve the accuracy of laser vision correction treatments.
- Studies demonstrating the accuracy and safety of Lasik in people with thinner corneas.
- Studies improving the safety of Lasik retreatment procedures.
We at the Caster Eye Center are very proud of our role in helping to further the science and the art of laser vision correction. Our involvement in this research helps us to remain at the very forefront of Lasik laser vision correction, which we will bring to our treatment of your vision!
To see a
list of recent Lasik research presentations by Dr. Caster,