Meet the Doctors at Our Practice
Serving Orange County, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Seal Beach, Long Beach
At Clarity Eye Group, our knowledgeable eye surgeons offer residents of Huntington Beach and the surrounding communities more than a century’s worth of collective professional experience. Doctors Kaplan, Karageozian, Fahd and Blau are highly esteemed, reputable Orange County LASIK and cataract surgeons who have performed thousands of surgical procedures.
Doctors Kaplan, Karageozian, and Fahd are highly regarded OC cataract specialists. They use the most advanced techniques available, such as no-stitch surgery, astigmatism correction during cataract surgery, and the most current multifocal and accommodating intraocular lens implants to reduce dependence on glasses. They have extensive experience implanting Crystalens, Tecnis Multifocal and ReStor IOLs in Orange County.
Additionally, Dr. Fahd has personally performed more than 65,000 LASIK refractive procedures using the latest in vision correction technology. Because of their superior surgical talent and abilities, Clarity Eye Group’s surgeons have earned much trust and respect from colleagues and patients around the world. People seeking advanced cataract surgery, LASIK, pterygium removal, and other procedures fly in from other countries to take advantage of their meticulous and compassionate approach to eye care.
- Michael R. Kaplan, M.D.
- Vicken H. Karageozian, M.D.
- Antoine K. Fahd, M.D., Ph.D.
- Gina Lee, M.D.
- Ronald Gaster, MD
- Katerina Kurteeva, MD
- Leslie T. Pham, MD
- Patricia Uyekawa, O.D.
- Jill Anne Gould Pajaud, O.D.
Michael R. Kaplan, M.D.
Dr. Michael Kaplan was born in Los Angeles and raised in Burbank in the San Fernando Valley. He graduated from John Burroughs High School in Burbank as class valedictorian, where he also served as school auditor.
He went on to attend Pomona College on scholarship, and played as catcher for their varsity baseball team. At Pomona College, Dr. Kaplan was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, an international honors society. He then attended medical school at the University of California, Los Angeles on a full scholarship, and graduated in 1967. After spending two summers working at Olive View Hospital in the San Fernando Valley, he decided to pursue ophthalmology as a career path. The attending ophthalmologist at the hospital was quite inspiring, and Dr. Kaplan has never regretted his choice of specialty. At that time, a residency in ophthalmology was the hardest to obtain in all of the medical/surgical fields. He interned at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, and received residency training at the Washington National Eye Center in Washington, D.C. He chose to attend WNEC over the opportunity to stay at UCLA (Jules Stein Eye Institute) or train at Baylor University, George Washington University, or Georgetown University because of the extensive surgical experience they offered.
After completing his residency, he became a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and served two years at the Beaufort Naval Hospital in South Carolina. There, he provided support for the Marine Corps Training Center at nearby Parris Island. During his second year at the hospital, he became chief of the Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Department.
Dr. Kaplan eagerly moved “back home” to California in 1973 and joined Doctors Blau at our Huntington Beach practice.
Dr. Kaplan became Chief of Ophthalmology at the Long Beach Veteran’s Hospital in 1974. At the time, it was one of four teaching hospitals in the UCLA/Jules Stein program. For the past 25 years it has been part of the UCI program. For the past 33 years, he has assisted residents in their training, often helping them complete their very first cataract surgery. He continues to volunteer at the Long Beach Veterans Hospital each week and holds the position of Assistant Clinical Professor at UCI. In addition, Dr Kaplan is board certified, belongs to the Orange County Medical Association, California Medical Association, American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Orange County Eye Society.
Dr. Kaplan became interested in volunteer surgery in third world countries and made his first trip to Honduras in 1976. Since then, he has volunteered for nearly 20 trips, including to Mexico, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Philippines, Borneo, Mongolia, Nepal, Tibet, and most recently Zambia.
Dr. Kaplan enjoys skiing, mountain climbing (Mt. Whitney, Long’s Peak, The Himalayas) and jogging. He was recently married and enjoys traveling and life at the beach with his new wife.
Vicken Karageozian, M.D.
Dr. Vicken Karageozian was born in Pasadena, California and raised in Laguna Hills. He graduated among the top of his class from the University of California, San Diego in 1991 with degrees in biochemistry, cellular biology, and economics. In 1995, Dr. Karageozian received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, where he also ranked in the top of his class. After completing an internship at UCLA, he began his ophthalmology residency at the University of California, Irvine in 2000. He was elected to the distinguished position of chief of residents during the same year.
Dr. Karageozian joined the practice of Drs. Kaplan and Blau as a comprehensive ophthalmologist specializing in advanced surgical techniques. He was instrumental in advancing the growth and progressive nature at Clarity Eye Group into one of the premier ophthalmic practices in Southern California. He has been key in bringing advances in cataract and lens replacement surgery to the Clarity Eye Group. Dr. Karageozian has introduced many innovative surgical procedures to his practice, such as multifocal and accommodating lens implants and cataract surgery coupled with astigmatism correction. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology and Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, as well as a member of the California Medical Association and the Orange County Ophthalmologic Society. He also teaches cataract surgery to residents at the UCI School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Karageozian’s position is unique in that he is an innovator both on the clinical and surgical fronts as well as extensively in the research arena. Dr. Karageozian has co-founded two biotech companies responsible for developing innovative treatments for several medical eye conditions that have few treatment options, including early diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma related vision loss, retinitis pigmentosa, and adjuncts to vitrectomy surgery. His work on retinal diseases of the eye, including vitreous hemorrhage and diabetic retinopathy, has been published in many peer review journals. He has presented his work at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the National Institutes of Health, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and before the United States Food and Drug Administration.
He presently holds nearly two-dozen U.S. and international patents for his work. In 1996, Dr. Karageozian co-developed Vitrase® with Ista Pharmaceuticals™, a new category of treatment for patients suffering from vitreous hemorrhages.
Currently, Dr. Karageozian divides his time between surgery, his clinical practice, and the drug development efforts he has spearheaded. In 2001, Dr. Karageozian co-founded the pharmaceutical research company, Vitreoretinal Technologies, Inc. to further develop his work in the area of retinal diseases. Vitreosolve™, its first product to slow the progression of diabetic eye disease, the first of its kind, is just entering the last stages before U.S. market approval. Dr. Karageozian also led the development of a revolutionary treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, a disease affecting his mother that will start U.S. trials in late 2008. Dr. Karageozian’s unique experience comes from his ability to intertwine the lessons learned on the cutting edge of clinical practice with those gleaned in the research arena.
Personally, Dr. Karageozian is deeply involved with his immediate and extended family. He is a computer buff and enjoys traveling and wine collecting. He and his wife Silva have three children.
Antoine K. Fahd, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., F.A.C.S.
Dr. Antoine Fahd has been a leader in the refractive surgery industry for over 10 years. His journey into the field of medicine is somewhat unique in that he is the only refractive surgeon in California to hold an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering (graduating Summa Cum Laude) and a doctorate with an emphasis in lasers and medicine. During his graduate work, Dr. Fahd worked as an investigator with NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
This combined experience in engineering and medicine has allowed Dr. Fahd to provide the best surgical quality and care for his patients: less than 1 percent of his LASIK patients have needed further surgery (“touch-ups”) following the original LASIK procedure. The industry average for touch-ups is 10 percent.
Dr. Fahd graduated from medical school in the top 5 percent of his class and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of California, Irvine, followed by a refractive surgery fellowship specializing in laser vision correction.
Dr. Fahd has successfully performed over 65,000 LASIK procedures using the latest FDA-approved technologies. These include:
- • Allegretto 400 Eye Q Wave
- • VISX™ CustomVue Laser System
- • Ladar Wavefront/Custom Cornea® System
- • Intralase All-Laser LASIK
- • Nidek Excimer Laser System
- • Amadeus®, Nidek and Moria
- • Conductive Keratoplasty (CK®) used for treatment of presbyopia (reading glasses)
- • Microkeratome Systems
Dr. Fahd has received several awards in recognition of his outstanding achievements in refractive surgery:
- • He was the first surgeon in Southern California to be awarded the Centurion Surgeon and Quality of Vision Award for his superior LASIK surgical skills.
- • He is listed in Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, a publication that recognizes doctors for high achievement.
- • An independent national study showed that Dr. Fahd has one of the lowest number of LASIK enhancements (touch-ups) following the original procedure – 1 percent as compared to the industry average of 10 percent.
- • He was one of the first surgeons in Southern California to perform wavefront LASIK on his patients. He has performed this procedure on his wife, who is now free of glasses and is seeing better than 20/20.
- • Dr Fahd’s previous LASIK practice in Orange County was voted #1 for five years in a row by a public opinion poll conducted by the Orange County Register.
For those individuals who are not LASIK candidates, Dr. Fahd uses implantable contact lenses (ICLs) to help them see without glasses. He was among the first few surgeons selected in California to use ICLs (STAAR Visian™ and AMO Verisyse™ lenses).
Dr. Fahd also performs state-of-the art lens implantation to help patients over 40 years old see far and close up without glasses using multifocal lenses (ReSTOR®, Crystalens, and Technis). In addition, Dr. Fahd performs no-stitch pterygium surgery using TISSEEL glue. He also performs facial cosmetic surgical procedures, including BOTOX® Cosmetics, no-stitch eyelid surgery and Skin Dermal fillings.
To offer the utmost in patient care, Dr. Fahd has continued to study refractory technology. He has conducted several research projects, publications, and abstracts pertaining to excimer lasers and photoablation of human corneal tissues.
On an academic level, Dr. Fahd has positioned himself as an educator in the field of refractive surgery. He holds a clinical faculty position at Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital, where he assists new residents in the operating room as well as in the clinic. He is also on staff at Hoag Memorial Hospital, where he performs various intraocular procedures.
Dr. Fahd is a trusted and respected surgeon known for his excellent care, expertise, and superior results. Many of his patients are referrals from as far away as Europe and the Far East. He has also earned the trust of many physicians and professionals in the industry, who come to him for their own LASIK surgery procedures. In addition, a significant part of Dr. Fahd’s practice includes taking care of complications and “touch-ups” from other LASIK surgeons. Dr. Fahd has also performed LASIK on many notable celebrities as well as a number of professional athletes.
Dr. Fahd is an active member of the American Medical Association, the California Ophthalmologic Society and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (FAAO) and of the prestigious American College of Surgeons (FACS).
Dr. Fahd spends his free time with his wife and two sons. They enjoy travel, kayaking, cooking and woodworking.
Gina Lee, M.D.
Dr. Gina Lee was born and raised in Orange County. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of California, Irvine where she received the prestigious Regent’s scholarship. During her time as an undergraduate student, she was involved in several research projects to help elucidate the anticoagulative effect of aspirin. Her inquisitive pursuits took her all the way to Sweden, where she worked with other scientists at Karolinska Institute, home of the Nobel award. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Dr. Lee went on to receive her medical degree at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She graduated among the top of her class, was awarded with several letters of distinction and was elected to be a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society. Dr. Lee enjoyed the academic environment at UCLA and continued at Jules Stein Eye Institute for her residency training. During her rigorous clinical training, she became intrigued with the challenge of treating glaucoma. Dr. Lee dedicated an additional year of training and research to focus on glaucoma. After completing her glaucoma fellowship at Jules Stein, she is thrilled to be back in Orange County. Away from work, Dr. Lee enjoys spending time with her family and new baby girl.
Katerina Kurteeva, MD
Dr. Kurteeva is a Board Certified Fellow of the American Board of Ophthalmology. She completed her medical training at Loma Linda University graduating with top honors to be elected into Alpha Omega Alpha honors society. She went on to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI to successfully fulfill her transitional medicine internship requirement as well as surgical residency in ophthalmology.
Her practice is focused on precision cataract extraction surgery using the latest technology available including femtosecond laser. She is an expert in premium intraocular lens technology (Restore, Tecnis, Crystalens). She performs LASIK refractive surgery as well as pterygium removal and other glaucoma procedures.
She is a long standing staff member at HOAG Presbyterian Hospital and a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology as well as American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. She contributed to the Academy’s Young Ophthalmologist publication as well as scientific journals.
Ronald N. Gaster, MD, F.A.C.S.
Ronald N. Gaster, MD, FACS, who was named by US News and World Report as a Top Doctor, named by the Orange County Medical Association as a Top Doctor 2014, included in Southern California SuperDoctors 2014, and selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2014 Best Doctors in America, offers his patients the latest, most technologically advanced surgeries and treatments as a board certified, fellowship trained ophthalmologist in Beverly Hills, California (CA) and Huntington Beach, California (CA). At Dr. Gaster’s two convenient practices, he treats patients suffering from a wide variety of conditions including diseases of the cornea such as keratoconus and Fuchs’ dystrophy, cataracts, pterygia, dry eyes, and trauma.
Leslie T. Pham, MD
Dr. Pham grew up in Orange County, CA. She moved to Rhode Island to attend the prestigious combined undergraduate medical program at Brown University. At Brown she earned her Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience as well as her medical degree. She graduated magna cum laude with Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa Honors.
Dr. Pham completed her internship at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by her ophthalmology residency at University of Iowa, which is perennially one of the top three ranked ophthalmology training programs in the nation.
Dr. Pham returned to Rhode Island for her fellowship with the renowned Dr. Paul Koch, where she obtained extensive training in both cataract and refractive surgery, using the latest surgical techniques and advanced lens technologies.
Dr Pham is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has been an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology since 2007.
Patricia Uyekawa, O.D.
Dr. Patricia Uyekawa, a native and third-generation Californian, was born and raised in Los Angeles. She grew up playing basketball and softball and loved to swim and read. She graduated with honors from Garfield High School in Los Angeles.
In 1972, Dr. Uyekawa was among the first group of women to attend Yale University. She also attended U.C. Berkeley as a State Scholar and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiological Optics. She received her Doctor of Optometry degree from U.C. Berkeley, where she graduated at the top of her class in 1979. At graduation, she received the American Optometric Foundation Irving M. Borish Award for excellence in contact lens research, and her doctoral thesis was read before the American Academy of Physiological Optics.
Dr. Uyekawa has been practicing optometry in Orange County since 1987. She joined Clarity Eye Group in 2005. She enjoys working with her patients and takes pride in delivering personalized care and attention in contact lenses, geriatrics, and primary eye care.
Her greatest achievement and joy has been raising her daughter, Melissa. She also has many other interests, including theater, cooking, traveling, and scrapbooking her family memories.
Jill Anne Gould Pajaud, O.D.
Dr. Pajaud is a native Californian, born in Torrance, and raised in Los Alamitos. She palyed tennis on the Varsity team at Los Alamitos High School and graduated with honors.
Dr. Pajaud attended California State University Long Beach and graduated cum laude in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. She attended the Southern California College of Optometry and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Science in 1985 and her Doctor of Optometry degree in 1987 with academic honors.
Dr. Pajaud has practiced optometry in Southern California since 1987. She joined Clarity Eye Group in January of 2014. She enjoys working with patients of all ages and providing personal quality eye care.
Dr. Pajaud still lives in the community of Los Alamitos, and with her husband of 30 years, has raised their own family there. She loves family traveling and adventures, reading and home improvement projects.
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