Rajen Desai MD FACS is a board certified cataract and glaucoma surgeon with the Witlin Center for Advanced Eye Care and Santamaria Eye Center.
Dr. Desai graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors from Stanford University, followed by a M.D. from Stanford Medical School, with an extra year of training in clinical research. He served as 2nd Lieutenant and pilot in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol in Texas, followed by residency, chief residency, and glaucoma fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago.
With over 20 years of experience in vision research, Dr. Desai has produced over 50 peer-reviewed publications and presentations across the country. In 2007, he served as Study Co-Chair for Genentech on an FDA clinical trial to introduce a new medication to reduce scarring after eye surgery.
Dr. Desai brings the latest advances of vision research to the operating room, including laser-assisted cataract surgery, and advanced intraocular lens implants that treat astigmatism for both distance and near vision.
For his consistently high surgical success rate, various ocular device companies often select Dr. Desai to be their first surgeon in New Jersey to introduce the least invasive and latest upgrades of surgical devices, including:
- First surgeon in New Jersey to implant the iStent Inject, a 0.3mm titanium device used to treat open angle glaucoma
- First surgeon in New Jersey to utilize the upgraded inserter to implant the Xen stent, a 6mm gel device used to treat glaucoma when medications are ineffective or have intolerable side effects
- First surgeon in New Jersey to implant the Ahmed ClearPath, a glaucoma tube shunt with less risk of double vision and greater pressure reduction
- First surgeon in the country to be certified on the Micropulse Transscleral Laser Therapy GEN2 Probe, a glaucoma device that avoids surgical incisions
These devices reduce the eye pressure in a much safer and controlled manner than other procedures performed elsewhere in the state.
Having operated on thousands of patients, Dr. Desai has been regularly trusted by other physicians, optometrists, and nurses to perform cataract and glaucoma surgery on their and their own parents’ eyes. Other New Jersey cataract surgeons have chosen Dr. Desai to train them one-to-one in the operating room during cataract surgery.
Passionate about producing excellent surgical outcomes, and teaching others, Dr. Desai received the “Patient’s Choice Award” and the “2011 Best Teacher of Medical Students Award.” In 2012, Dr. Desai achieved the single highest glaucoma score in the country on the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Program. In 2013, he earned the Society of Heed Fellows Award, one of only 5 honorees chosen across the nation. In 2018, he earned the “America’s Top Ophthalmologist” award.
Dr. Desai is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, the American Glaucoma Society, the Society of Heed Fellows, and the American College of Surgeons.
When not in the office or operating room, Dr. Desai enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters, and photography.