Patients who have problems or conditions that relate to the eye have a friend in Sanjay Kamat, D.O. His Yardley-based ophthalmology practice, Bucks Eye Specialists, has thrived since he took the helm in 2009, in part because of his expertise and the fact that he has “seen it all before.” What’s more, he and his team provide a level of service that most patients probably have not experienced before.
“We’re striving to provide full, comprehensive eye care, more than merely prescriptions for glasses or contacts,” says Dr. Kamat. “There’s a definite personal touch in the level of service we offer; you’re going to spend a lot of personal time with a physician here, and you won’t feel as if you’re being offered services we’re not trained to perform because of the level of our expertise.”
Although Dr. Kamat’s greatest strength lies in his ability to help patients see more clearly and enjoy a higher quality of life, sometimes he helps patients in even more significant ways. Such was the case with one gentleman in his mid-50s who was “complaining of ‘white junk’ in his eye,” Dr. Kamat recalls.
“We went through the exam, and in one eye he was almost blind, and in his other eye—his ‘good’ eye—his vision was blurry,” he says. “Based on the exam and my training in neuro-ophthalmology, which deals with brain injuries and nerve injuries and how it affects the eye, the classic pattern of blurred vision in both eyes told me he had a brain tumor.
“The radiologist the patient went to was pretty sure the patient had a craniopharyngioma about the size of a golf ball,” he continues. “It was the first time in over four years where a radiologist called me on my cell phone and said, ‘You just saved this guy’s life.’ To this day I remember the sentiment in the card that his wife sent here, thanking me for being able to steer them in the right direction and ‘giving them back the gift of life.’”
An increasing number of people in the Philadelphia suburbs, in fact, are the beneficiaries of Dr. Kamat’s hard work, extensive training and, interestingly, good timing. In medical school, Dr. Kamat spent two days learning by the side of a gifted cataract surgeon, and this experience convinced him to veer away from his previously chosen path of cardiology and led him down the road to becoming a highly skilled, board-certified ophthalmologist.
Today, Dr. Kamat and his small yet experienced staff provide unmatched care in treating conditions such as cataracts; glaucoma (high pressure in the eye); ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid, which can compromise one’s vision); diabetic retinopathy (damage to retinal blood vessels caused by diabetes); and blepharitis (chronic inflammation of the eyelids). They also help patients avert even more serious conditions, such as macular degeneration and eyelid cancers. Of course, the practice is also a local destination for perfectly fitted eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as all-laser, bladeless LASIK services.
Another quality-of-life issue Dr. Kamat helps improve has to do with the condition known as dry eye. His approach to treatment begins with a comprehensive exam to identify the cause of the lack of tear production, always taking into account the person’s health, age and other determining factors. Post-menopausal women, for example, are particularly prone to the condition.
Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, is one innovative dry-eye solution that has been offered by Bucks Eye Specialists for nearly four years. Dr. Kamat was the first physician in the region to offer IPL, making it possible for patients to attain the pinnacle of care “without having to go into Center City.” IPL, which is designed to help people get to a “drop-free state” without the crutch of prescriptions, continues to gain traction in the area’s most venerable medical facilities that treat ocular conditions. Even so, Dr. Kamat is among a select few physicians in the region to offer this pioneering therapy.
In addition, a mid-2012s partnership with OCuSOFT Inc., which provides the highest-quality ophthalmic products and customer care to improve patients’ ocular health, has expanded Dr. Kamat’s treatment options for patients who struggle with dry eye. The partnership enables the practice to offer the breadth of the OCuSOFT product line—at significant cost savings; as much as 30 percent to 40 percent over retail prices—to address a variety of ophthalmic conditions. Also, the practice can now provide many OCuSOFT products and nonprescription therapies that are not available in standard retail or online pharmacies.
“We offer a lot of different treatments and remedies—artificial lubrications, oral supplements, gels, creams and sprays—and OCuSOFT offers all of these options,” he says. “These therapies are effective for some people but for others they are not, so we tailor treatment to each patient’s specific needs.”
Size, Scope and Capability
After graduating at the top of his class from Pennsbury High School, Dr. Kamat earned a bachelor’s in premedicine and a master’s in physiology from Pennsylvania State University. He attended medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience, and then returned to Philadelphia for his ophthalmology residency at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he served as chief resident. He also worked at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, where he gained invaluable experience in complicated cataract surgery and oculoplastic trauma.
A board-certified fellow of the American Osteopathic College of Ophthalmology, Dr. Kamat devotes as much as 85 percent of his time to direct patient care, though he also takes time to educate the next generation of physicians devoted to eye care. He is a clinical instructor at the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia and is also the ophthalmologist for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Northeast Regional Center in Philadelphia. Furthermore, he is on staff at Campus Eye Group in Hamilton, N.J.; St. Mary’s Medical Center, Aria Health’s Bucks County Campus and Forest Health Medical Center, all of Langhorne; and the Wills Eye Surgical Network at its locations in Warminster and Cherry Hill, N.J.
Dr. Kamat’s practice has grown steadily in size, scope and capability since he took it over from his childhood ophthalmologist, Barry Kutner, M.D., in March 2009. Dana Cianni, O.D., joined Bucks Eye Specialists in July 2011 after working as an optometrist for Temple Health System Philadelphia for the previous four years. Dr. Cianni is licensed to treat ocular diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. She also has extensive training and experience fitting a variety of contacts, including specialty and cosmetic lenses. The practice continues to expand its service offerings with the addition of a retinal specialist, who will soon be coming to the office regularly to help patients who have retinal issues.
Besides the unmatched skills and ever-expanding expertise of Dr. Kamat and his staff, the practice’s chief differentiator is its personalized attention, including quick access in emergency situations.
“We still offer same-day appointments,” he says. “Anybody with an eye emergency cannot afford to wait. If patients are medically stable they can bypass the ‘triage’ system of an ER, and we do that by building time into the schedule. In short, we strive to give direct-patient, need-based eye care. … If something has happened to an eye, I’ve likely seen it before, so they are in good hands here.”
Bucks Eye Specialists
301 Oxford Valley Road, Suite 801A
Yardley, PA 19067
Web: <a target=_blank href=http://buckseyespecialists.com>www.buckseyespecialists.com</a>
Photograph by Kim Billingsley