Robert C. Kersten, MD

Chief of the Division of Ocular Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery
Oculoplastic specialist

Dr. Robert C. Kersten, chief of ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery for UCSF ophthalmology, is a specialist in oculoplastic surgery, procedures to treat the area around the eyes. He evaluates and treats problems of the eyelids, orbits (the bony cavities containing the eyeballs) and tear ducts. He cares for adults and children with congenital and acquired disorders of the soft tissues and bones around the eyes. He also performs cosmetic eyelid and upper facial rejuvenation.

Kersten earned his medical degree at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, where he also completed a residency in ophthalmology and a fellowship in ophthalmic plastic, orbital and reconstructive surgery. He was a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati before joining UCSF in 2009.

Kersten is widely considered one of the preeminent international authorities on ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery. He has authored more than 200 published pieces on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and cosmetic problems in the eye area. He also served for several years as editor of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's textbook on surgery for the eyelids, orbits and tear-duct system.

Kersten has lectured internationally in more than 30 countries and speaks frequently in North America. He has been recognized by his peers as one of America's Best Doctors for more than 20 years, and he recently received the American Academy of Ophthalmology's prestigious lifetime achievement award.

Kersten takes an annual leave of absence from UCSF in order to perform surgeries and teach ophthalmologists in the developing world. He also enjoys skiing and cycling in his free time.


Pediatric Ophthalmology
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor, Suite M5324
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2800

More about Robert C. Kersten


University of Iowa School of Medicine 1978


University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Ophthalmology 1983


University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 1984

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Kersten RC, Vagefi MR, Bartley GB. Orbital "Blowout" Fractures: Time for a New Paradigm. Ophthalmology. 2018 Jun; 125(6):796-798.
  2. Lee DS, Murr AH, Kersten RC, Pletcher SD. Silent sinus syndrome without opacification of ipsilateral maxillary sinus. Laryngoscope. 2018 May 04.
  3. Kalin-Hajdu E, Colby JB, Idowu O, Grumbine FL, Kang JM, Hirabayashi KS, Glastonbury CM, Vagefi MR, Kersten RC. Diagnosing distensible venous malformations of the orbit with diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Am J Ophthalmol. 2018 Feb 16.
  4. Wladis EJ, Kersten RC, Vagefi MR, Pinheiro-Neto C, Shinder R, Kim HJ. Clinical Features and Outcomes of Post-Traumatic Silent Sinus Syndrome. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018 Jan 10.
  5. Hirabayashi KE, Kalin-Hajdu E, Bever GJ, Vagefi MR, de Alba Campomanes AG, Cooke DL, Dowd CF, Kersten RC. Normalization of Congenital Venous Stasis Retinopathy Following Sclerotherapy of a Macrocystic Lymphatic Malformation. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018 Jan/Feb; 34(1):e19-e21.
  6. Idowu OO, Kalin-Hajdu E, Grumbine FL, Kersten RC, McDermott M, Vagefi MR. Restrictive Strabismus Following Frontotemporal-orbitozygomatic Craniotomy. Cureus. 2017 Dec 11; 9(12):e1937.
  7. Kalin-Hajdu E, Hirabayashi KE, Vagefi MR, Kersten RC. Invasive fungal sinusitis: treatment of the orbit. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2017 Sep; 28(5):522-533.
  8. Kalin-Hajdu E, Vagefi MR, Kersten RC. Progressive Proptosis Secondary to an Orbital Floor Implant. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 Jul/Aug; 33(4):e79-e80.
  9. Hirabayashi KE, Kalin-Hajdu E, Brodie FL, Kersten RC, Russell MS, Vagefi MR. Retrobulbar Injection of Amphotericin B for Orbital Mucormycosis. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 Jul/Aug; 33(4):e94-e97.
  10. Geske MJ, Bloomer MM, Kersten RC, Vagefi MR. Diagnostic Approaches to Metastatic Hepatocellular Carcinoma of the Orbit. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 May/Jun; 33(3S Suppl 1):S129-S131.
  11. Grumbine FL, DeParis SW, Vagefi MR, Bloomer M, Kersten RC. Lacrimal Sac Smooth Muscle Tumor of Uncertain Malignant Potential. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 May/Jun; 33(3S Suppl 1):S29-S31.
  12. DeParis SW, Goldberg AN, Indaram M, Grumbine FL, Kersten RC, Vagefi MR. Paranasal Sinus Mucocele as a Late Complication of Dacryocystorhinostomy. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 May/Jun; 33(3S Suppl 1):S23-S24.
  13. Hirabayashi KE, Kalin-Hajdu E, Vagefi MR, Kersten RC. Invasive Aspergillosis Masquerading as a Lacrimal Sac Abscess. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 Mar 28.
  14. Peng MY, Kersten RC. The Masquerade Syndrome. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016 Dec 08.
  15. Alsberge JB, Grumbine FL, Bloomer MM, Vagefi MR, Kersten RC. Primary hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the orbit. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep. 2017 Apr; 5:38-40.
  16. Kasi SK, Kim HJ, Basham RP, Cunningham ET, Sy A, Lustig L, Kersten RC. Idiopathic Orbital Inflammation Associated With Necrotizing Scleritis and Temporal Bone Inflammation. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2016 Jul-Aug; 32(4):e77-9.
  17. Brodie FL, Kalin-Hajdu E, Kuo DS, Hirabayashi KE, Vagefi R, Kersten RC. Orbital compartment syndrome following retrobulbar injection of amphotericin B for invasive fungal disease. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep. 2016 Apr; 1:8-10.
  18. DeParis SW, Grumbine FL, Vagefi MR, Kersten RC. Persistent Upgaze Restriction after Orbital Floor Fracture Repair. Craniomaxillofac Trauma Reconstr. 2016 Sep; 9(3):268-70.
  19. Grumbine FL, Aderman C, Vagefi MR, Kersten RC. Orbital MRI Pre- and Post-Vemurafenib Therapy for Erdheim-Chester Disease. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Nov-Dec; 31(6):e169.
  20. Chi M, Kim HJ, Basham R, Yoon MK, Vagefi R, Kersten RC. Temporal Artery Calciphylaxis Presenting as Temporal Arteritis in a Case of Rhinoorbitocerebral Mucormycosis. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Sep-Oct; 31(5):e132-5.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.