Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology
Columbia University, New York
Member of the Wills Eye Surgical Network
Recognized in New Jersey Monthly
“Top Doctors in NJ 2001” and Castle Connolly Guide
“How to Find the Best Doctors in New York Metro Area”
Dr. Santamaria has performed over 21,000 cataract operations. In 1969, he earned his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics at The Cooper Union School of Engineering and Science and his M.D. in 1973 at the College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) of Columbia University in New York. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, where he also serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology (Columbia University). He is the co-inventor of the Phaco-Gard™ blade (patented), which facilitated sutureless cataract surgery. His preferred method currently is topical clear cornea.
Dr. Santamaria has been performing refractive surgery since 1985. He is a corneal specialist and has served at the Cornea Clinic of the Harkness Eye Institute for the past 20 years. At Harkness he was also a Fellow in Corneal Immunology Research. He not only performs LASIK for correction of myopia, astigmatism, and hyperopia, but also performs other more complex corneal procedures such as corneal transplants. He actively uses the crystalens® accommodating, Restor® multifocal and Toric intraocular lenses. Dr. Santamaria is the author of numerous peer review scientific papers—several in the field of the safety of refractive procedures.
Dr. Santamaria is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is on the surgical staff of the Wills Eye Network Surgical Center, The Surgery Center of Central New Jersey. He is also certified by the American Board of Eye Surgery.
Director of Retina Service
Attending at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center
New Brunswick, NJ
Dr. Darvin is a graduate of the City University of New York. He earned his M.D. at the State University of New York at Downstate. He served not only a full residency in ophthalmology, but also a fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases and surgery at the same institution. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has personally performed over 5,000 laser procedures and LUCENTIS™ injections. He is an expert in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration and provides comprehensive eye care, including the treatment of glaucoma.
Dr. Darvin also offers free, informative lectures as a community service to educate people about macular degeneration and the effect of diabetes on their eyes.
27OM 00023500, 27OA 00538400
Dr. Colicchio has been a valuable member of the team at Santamaria Eye Center for over 12 years. She is a graduate of Kean University of New Jersey with graduate studies at Rutgers University. She earned her O.D. at State University of New York College of Optometry. She is a member of the American Optometric Association and New Jersey Optometric Association. She is a licensed therapeutic optometrist who performs comprehensive eye care, with experience in difficult contact lens fittings, including those for keratoconus.
Dr. Colicchio also inserts punctal plugs for dry eye syndrome. She is fluent in Spanish and regularly participates in volunteer programs to provide eye care for economically disadvantaged children.
Rajen Desai MD, FACS is a board certified cataract and glaucoma surgeon with the Witlin Center for Advanced Eye Care.
Dr. Desai graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. with honors from Stanford University, followed by a M.D. from the Stanford School of Medicine, with an extra year of training in ophthalmology 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 19 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 innovating treatments for improved ocular surgical outcomes. In 2012, Dr. Desai scored the single highest score in the country on the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Program glaucoma section. In 2013, he earned the Society of Heed Fellows Award, one of only 5 honorees chosen across the nation.
Dr. Desai brings the latest advances of vision research to the operating room, including laser-assisted cataract surgery, advanced technology intraocular lens implants that provide both distance and near vision, and micro-invasive glaucoma surgery. Passionate about producing excellent surgical outcomes, he received the “Patients’ Choice Award”, “Best Teacher of Medical Students Award”, and the “2018 America’s Top Ophthalmologist” award.
For his consistently high surgical success rate, he was selected as the first ophthalmologist in New Jersey to be trusted by device companies Glaukos and Allergan to implant their new generation iStent and Xen devices, respectively, in order to treat glaucoma during cataract surgery. Dr. Desai also serves as a surgical consultant for Bausch & Lomb and New World Medical.
Having operated on thousands of patients, Dr. Desai has been trusted by other physicians, optometrists, and nurses to perform cataract and glaucoma surgery on their and their parents’ eyes. Other New Jersey cataract surgeons have chosen Dr. Desai to train them one-to-one in the operating room during cataract surgery.
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.