Klinika Svjetlost

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Our Physicians
Svjetlost is the leading ophthalmology clinic in this part of Europe, offering complete ophthalmic services.
Professor Iva Dekaris, PhD, MD

Professor Iva Dekaris, PhD, MD

  • Specialist ophthalmologist
  • Sub-specialist for diseases of the anterior ocular segment
  • Head of the Department of Cornea 
  • Medical Director of the Special Hospital for Ophthalmology Svjetlost
  • Contact: iva.dekaris@svjetlost.hr


Professor Iva Dekaris graduated from Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zagreb and afterwards passed supplemental exam at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Bologna, and thus acquired the Italian title of Doctor of Medicine and Surgery. She passed scientific and professional trainings in several universities abroad: the Pasteur Institute in Paris and universities of Utrecht, Hamburg, Munich, Baltimore and Boston.  She finished two postgraduate studies: biology (biomedicine field of study) at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb where she acquired her master’s degree and ophthalmology (partly on Harvard University in the United States and on the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb).

She also completed postdoctoral research study in the field of cornea transplantation at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, where she prepared most of her doctoral dissertation.  Doctoral dissertation in the field of cornea transplantation she defended at the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb. As a specialist ophthalmologist, first she worked in General Hospital Sveti Duh, where from 2002 to 2007 she was Head of the Institute of Ophthalmology, which during her mandate became the eye clinic. In the same period, she was the medical director of the Lions Croatian Eye Bank (Reference Center for Corneal Transplantation). In 2007, she started to work in the clinic Svjetlost. Currently she works as a full professor and scientific advisor at the University of Rijeka and teaches at the postgraduate and graduate studies in ophthalmology in Zagreb and Rijeka. 
She is an invited lecturer-instructor at the University of Lugano (Switzerland) for the European School of Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology (ESASO).

Work area 

Professor Dekaris is specialized in the anterior ocular segment surgery. She has 20 years of experience in surgery and she performed more than 20,000 eye surgeries: ultrasound cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, correction of refractive errors by implanting multifocal, toric and phakic IOLs, amnion membrane transplantation and other less frequent surgeries on the anterior ocular eye. Many times she was an instructor in surgery on "live surgery" i.e. courses in the field of ultrasound cataract surgery, and the last three years she is the instructor in cataract surgery (theory and practice) for the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS). 

The introduction of new methods

Professor Dekaris, in 2010, introduced for the eye surgery in Croatia a multi-layered (or lamellar) transplantation of the cornea endothelium called DSAEK, and afterwards, in 2011, a technique of ultra-thin DSAEK. She was the first one in Croatia who started to carry out the anti-VEGF therapy in patients with high-risk corneal transplantation, which improved significantly the survival of transplant in these patients. During the ''live-surgery'' (direct transfer of surgeries during professional conferences) in the clinic Svjetlost in 2013, she was the first European surgeon who implanted the new trifocal-toric intraocular lens for the correction of refractive error - hyperopia and astigmatism. 
To the Croatian eye surgery in 2016. Professor Dekaris introduced the surgical method of corneal stem cell transplantation grown in vitro, the method of treatment for severe burns of the cornea and anterior ocular surface.

Publications and research

Doctor Dekaris published over 350 scientific and professional papers, of which 72 in excellent international journals cited in Current Contents. Citations of her papers according to WOS: 546 citations, and 611 citations according to Scopus. As a co-author she wrote 12 books and 23 book chapters. She has participated in a series of international and national scientific and professional meetings and has published over 400 abstracts. She won nine awards for scientific work; of which twice she received the highest national award - The annual national award for science (for young scientists in 1999) and for the field of biomedicine in 2013. She is a researcher on a scientific project of the Croatian Science Foundation on the topic of growing cells for transplantation and has led three scientific projects of the Ministry of Science of the Republic of Croatia. She is an advisor to a European scientific project on corneal transplantation. She is active in working with young scientists, and under Professor Dekaris mentorship seven ophthalmologists have defended their doctoral dissertations. She led three scientific projects of the Ministry of Science of the Republic of Croatia and she is an advisor of the European science project on the subject of corneal transplantation. Her scientific and professional work is recognized at international level and in the last 5 years, she was invited 24 times as speaker at international conferences in Europe, America and Japan. She is also a member of the editorial board of five professional journals: Acta Medica Croatica, Rad HAZU, Ophthalmology Research: An International Journal, Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology, Journal of Eye & Cataract Refractive Surgery. 

International assignments

She is currently the President of the European Eye Bank Association (EEBA) for the term 2019-2022. This is the second time that she has been elected President of the EEBA.
In the period 2010 - 2013, she was a President of the European Eye Bank Association - EEBA; on the European elections in 2016, she was re-elected as vice-president of that association, and from 2019 she takes over again the presidency of EEBA. The last ten years she has been working as a member of the Management Board of EEBA. Since 2016. Professor Dekaris is the official instructor of cataract surgery for the European Association for Cataract Surgery and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS) and for the European School of Advanced Ophthalmology (ESASO).She is an expert of the European Commission for "replacement of eye tissue - cornea" i.e. for the ocular tissues used in transplants.  

Membership in organizations

Professor Dekaris is an associate member of the Department of Medical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU), vice-president of the Croatian Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery and a member of another set of associations: American Academy of Ophthalmology, International Ocular Surface Society, Croatian Immunological Society, European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, European Eye Bank Association, Croatian Society of Ophthalmology and Croatian Medical Association. 

Main publications


  • Tominac Trcin M, Zdraveva E, Dolenec T, Vrgoč Zimić I, Bujić M, Batarilo M, Dekaris I et al. Poly(ε-caprolactone) Titanium Dioxide and Cefuroxime Antimicrobial Scaffolds for Cultivation of Human Limbal Stem Cells. Polymers (Basel). 2020 Aug 6;12(8):1758.
  • Bohac M, Anticic M, Draca N, Kozomara B, Dekaris I, Gabric N, Patel S. Comparison of Verisyse and Veriflex Phakic Intraocular Lenses for Treatment of Moderate to High Myopia 36 Months after Surgery. Semin Ophthalmol. 2017;32(6):725-733.
  • Flaxman SR, Bourne RRA, Resnikoff S, … Dekaris I et al. Vision Loss Expert Group of the Global Burden of Disease Study Global causes of blindness and distance vision impairment 1990-2020: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2017 Dec;5(12):e1221-e1234.
  • Biscevic A, Bohac M, Koncarevic M, Anticic M, Dekaris I, Patel S. Vector analysis of astigmatism before and after LASIK: a comparison of two different platforms for treatment of high astigmatism. See comment in PubMed Commons belowGraefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2015 Dec;253(12):2325-3, IF=2,44
  • Dekaris I, Gabrić N, Drača N, Pauk-Gulić M, Miličić N. Three-Year Corneal Graft Survival Rate in High-Risk Cases Treated with Subconjunctival and Topical bevacizumab, Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2015 Feb 253:287-94. IF=2,44
  • Tominac Trcin M, Dekaris I, Mijović B, Bujić M, Zdraveva E, Dolenec T, Pauk-Gulić M, Primorac D, Crnjac J, Špoljarić B, Mršić G, Kuna K, Špoljarić D, Popović M. Synthetic vs natural scaffolds for human limbal stem cells. Croat Med J. 2015 Jun 19;56(3):246-56. IF = 1,3
  • Sekelj S, Dekaris I, Balog T, Mahovne I, Krstonijevic EK, Janjetovic Z, Arar ZV, Aric I. Vascular endothelial growth factor in a recipient cornea acts as a prognostic factor for corneal graft reaction development. Curr Eye Res. 2015 Apr;40(4):407-14. IF=1,519
  • Bourne RR, Jonas JB, Flaxman SR, Keeffe J, Leasher J, Naidoo K, Parodi MB, Pesudovs K, Price H, White RA, Wong TY, Resnikoff S, Taylor HR; Vision Loss Expert Group of the Global Burden of Disease Study.   (.... Dekaris I.....) Prevalence and causes of vision loss in high-income countries and in Eastern and Central Europe: 1990-2010. Br J Ophthalmol. 2014 May;98(5):629-38. Review.
  • Dekaris I, Gabrić N, Pauk M, Drača N.Positive pressure during penetrating keratoplasty can be solved with a modified graft-over-host technique. Acta Ophthalmol. 2013 Feb 7. doi: 10.1111/aos.12085. IF =2,63
  • Dekaris I. Current trends in corneal transplantation. Review. RAD HAZU 2013, Vol. 517(39), p. 35-46.
  • Dekaris I. High-risk Eyes: Can we increase corneal graft survival rate? J Clinic Experiment Ophthalmol 2012, S4:e001. doi:10.4172/2155-9570.S4.
  • Dekaris I, Pauk M, Drača N, Pašalić A, Gabrić N. Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty – Is a Thinner Donor Lamella the Better Choice? J Transplant Technol Res S2:004, 2012.
  • Yamagami S, Hamrah P, Myamoto K, Myazaki D, DEKARIS I, Dawson T, Lu B, Gearad C, Dana MR. CCR5 Chemokine Receptor Mediates Recruitment of MHC Class II-Positive Langerhans Cells in the Mouse Corneal Epithelium. Investigative Ophthalmology &Visual Science 2005. 46(4): 1201-1207. IF (5 year) 3,754
  • Dekaris I, Zhu SN , Dana MR. TNF-Alpha Regulates conreal Langerhans Cell Migration. Journal of Immunology 1999. 162(7): 4235-4239. IF (5 year) 5,570
  • Zhu SN , Dekaris I, Duncker G, Dana MR. Early Expression of Pronflammatory Cytokines Interleukin-1 and Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha after Corneal Transplantation. Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research 1999. 19(6): 661-669. IF (5 year) 3,267
  • Keane-Myers AM, Miyazaki D, Liu G, DEKARIS I, Ono S, Dana MR. Prevention of Allergic Eye Disease by Treatment with IL-1 Receptor Anatagonist. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 1999. 40(12): 3041-3046. IF (5 year) 3,754
  • Gabric N, Mravicic I, Dekaris I, Karaman Z, Mitrovic S. Human Amniotic Membrane in the Reconstruction of the Ocular Surface. Documenta Ophthalmologica 1999. 98(3): 273-283. IF (5 year) 1,798


  • Iva Dekaris, Nikica Gabrić, Ante Barišić: Presbyopia correction with multifocal intraocualar lenses. In: Zilfan A: Cataract surgery, Intech-Open 2017, pp 129-143
  • Iva Dekaris, Nikica Gabrić, Ante Barišić: Implantation of Toric intraocular lenses: Personalized Surgery on the Lens. In: Bodiroga-Vukobrat N, Rukavina D, Pavelić K, Sander G: Personalized Medicine- A New Medical and Social Challenge. Springer Schwitzerland 2016; p 231-240
  • Iva Dekaris. Ultrathin Descemet Strippping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (UT-DSAEK). In: Parekh M, Ponzin D, Ferrari S:  Eye Banking: Changing Face of Corneal Transplantation. Nova Publishers 2015; p 82-105.
  • Iva Dekaris, Nikica Gabrić, Maja Pauk-Gulić. Penetrating keratoplasty and Ultra Thin Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty in Patient with Multifocal IOLs. In: Jovanović M. Ophthalmology- selected chapters and review of interesting cases. Medicine faculty of University in Belgrade 2015: 133-143.
  • Nikica Gabrić, Iva Dekaris. Cystoid Macular Edema Following Cataract Surgery. In: Buratto L, Brint S, Sacchi L. Cataract Surgery Complications 2013:135-138.
  • Mravičić I, Dekaris I, Gabrić N, Romac I, Glavota V, Mlinarić-Misoni. An Overview of Fungal Keratitis and Case Reports on Trychphyton Keratitis. U: Muthiah Srinivasan (ed): Keratitis. InTech, Rijeka, 2012: 1-14
  • Iva Dekaris, Gabrić N, Antičić M. Alergijske bolesti oka. U: Lipozenčić J i sur. Alergijske i imunosne bolesti oka, Medicinska naklada, Zagreb, 2011:13:125-133
  • Iva Dekaris, Nikica Gabrić. Preparation and Preservation of Amniotic Membrane. In: Eye Banking. Basel, Karger, 2009;43:97-104.
  • Iva Dekaris, Nikica Gabrić, Morena Gavrić, Ratimir Lazić: Infekcije biomaterijala u oftalmologiji. U J. Vraneš, ur.: Infekcije biomaterijala, Školska knjiga, Zagreb,  2006.
  • Nikica Gabrić, Iva Dekaris, Ljerka Henč-Petrinović. Očna banka - Eye Bank, Nakladni Zavod Globus, Zagreb, 2000.