Relja  Zivojnovic , a stalwart in the field of vitreoretinal  surgery was born in Graz Austria  in 1931 .He dedicated himself to the posterior segment of the eye and visited leading eye hospitals in Europe to hone his skills. He returned to Rotterdam to establish the first department for retinal surgery in Netherlands and one of the first of its kind in Europe.

In the late 70s, after several visits to J.Scott in Cambridge Dr. Zivojnovic introduced silicon oil in his surgery which he started using routinely in complex cases with badly scarred or damaged retina. For the first time he introduced a combination of a new technique of retinal repair surgery and silicone oil with bimanual pars plana vitrectomy. Relja Zivojnovic also invented a great number of instruments and systems of surgery including curved instruments for advanced vitreoretinal surgery.

In 1982, Relja Zivojnovic published his first experience and results in the German ophthalmological magazine. A great recognition of his work came from the invitation by American Academy of Ophthalmology to hold courses in VR Surgery from 1990 to 1995 at its regular conventions, a recognition awarded to few ophthalmologists from Europe. In 1987 he expounded his concepts of surgery in a book published in English.

For his revolutionary work in the field of vitreoretinal surgery, Relja was awarded the Herman Wacker prize of the Club Jules Gonin & the Von Graefe prize from German Society of Ophthalmologists. In 1996, he was honored with the “Order of the Netherlands Lion” by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, a high order given for special innovations in professional work. His students include stalwarts from across Europe, Dr Grazia Pertile, and Prof Dr. Ivan Stefanovic being some of them. Dr. S Natarajan who learnt the art of vitreo retinal surgery from his Guru Dr. Badrinath., counts on Dr Zivojnovic as his second mentor.

Zivojnovic foundation was established with the purpose of encouraging & stimulating young vitreo retinal surgeons to excel in the fine art of vitreo retinal surgery. It has Dr.Relja, Ger Vijfinkel (Netherlands), Dr. Grazia Pertile (Italy) & Prof Dr. S Natarajan (India) as trustees of this foundation. Zivojnovic foundation aims to disseminate the skills of advanced vitreo retinal surgery to the present world, so that patients with bad retinal conditions can benefit from skillful & elegant surgeries. Its activities include educational programs, learning from Dr Zivojnovic’s videos and observation in hospitals in Europe & India.