Joseph Civantos, MD, FACS, FASRS

Joseph M. Civantos, MD, FACS, FASRS

“This is a very exciting time to be in retina. Treatments are constantly being developed and improved. Here at Illinois Retina, we’re at the cutting edge, leading the way in offering the newest clinical studies and most advanced treatments to our patients.”


Joseph M. Civantos, MD, specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the retina and vitreous, including macular degeneration, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, trauma to the eye, and retinopathy of prematurity. He has been associated with Illinois Retina Associates since 1994, and is also an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago.

A native of Miami, Dr. Civantos inherited his passion for the practice of medicine from his father, who is also a physician. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard College, in Cambridge, MA, and his medical training at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York. He completed an ophthalmology residency at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL, followed by a retina-vitreous fellowship at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Civantos is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Civantos has participated in several groundbreaking clinical studies aimed at identifying the most effective treatments for conditions, such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and diabetic retinopathy; and has published studies in academic specialty journals, and presented his research at ophthalmology meetings throughout the US.

Dr. Civantos has been listed in Best Doctors in America and the Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists, and he holds memberships in several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Board of Ophthalmology, for which he is an associate examiner, and the American Society of Retina Specialists.  Dr. Civantos is on staff at several area hospitals and sees patients at Illinois Retina’s Hinsdale, Joliet and Harvey office locations.

Dr. Civantos and his wife, Lilliam, have seven children and eight grandchildren.  In his free time, he and his family enjoy outdoor sports and activities, including hiking, camping, bicycling, and photography.

Clinical Trials/Research

  • Principal Investigator, Inspire Study
  • Principal Investigator, Verteporfin Expanded Access Trial
  • Co-investigator, Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)
  • Co-investigator, Submacular Surgery Trial
  • Co-investigator, Diabetic Macular Edema Vitrectomy Study
  • Co-investigator, Comparison of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatments Trial (CATT)
  • Co-investigator, Standard Care vs. Corticosteroid for Retinal Vein Occlusion (SCORE) Study
  • Co-investigator, MacuSight Study

Specialty Journals

  • American Journal of Ophthalmology
  • Archives of Ophthalmology
  • Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
  • International Ophthalmology Clinics
  • Ophthalmic Surgery
  • Controlled Clinical Trials
  • Retina

Societies and Organizations


  • English
  • Spanish


  • Retinal Specialist – Irwin Retina Center/Ingalls Hospital
  • Retinal Specialist – Department of Ophthalmology/Rush Medical College


  • Ophthalmology – Bascom Palmer Eye Institute


  • University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital

Medical School

  • M.D. – Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons


  • B.A. – Harvard College