Seeing Clearly
With personalized service and the latest technology, Bucks Eye Specialists strives to exceed expectations in treating the gamut of issues affecting patients’ vision
by Pete Croatto

The procedures are becoming more complex. The practice is expanding. Patients are becoming increasingly demanding. Through it all, Sanjay Kamat, D.O.—the man behind Bucks Eye Specialists—knows what matters most. Having grown up in Bucks County, he now lives in Washington Crossing, just down the road from his Yardley ophthalmology practice, so the patients who walk through his doors are his friends and neighbors.

As his practice continues to grow, Dr. Kamat remains humble, focused and confident, knowing everything is moving in the right direction. Patients have noticed the practice’s forward progress, too, though Dr. Kamat does not intend to rest on his laurels anytime soon.

Dr. Kamat’s continued investment in the most up-to-date treatments has been impressive. Bucks Eye Specialists was the first practice in Bucks County to implant the new Abbott Tecnis Symfony intraocular lenses, the only lenses in the United States that provide a full range of continuous high-quality vision following cataract surgery. These lenses also mitigate the effects of presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) by helping people focus on near objects. A version of the lens is also available for those with astigmatism.

In fact, the practice had access to the lenses before their official release on Oct. 1. “We had two patients last week,” Dr. Kamat says, “and both were near 20/20 the day after surgery.”

Implementing the Symfony lens into his practice was a straightforward affair, according to Dr. Kamat: “It’s no different than prior cataract surgery—a thorough exam, testing and scanning that’s done in the office during the exam will tell patients if they’re a candidate for this premium lens.”

There is a well-established need for this innovative lens, especially with cataracts affecting such a large segment of the population. In 2016, one report estimates, nearly one in four cataract surgeries will be performed on people younger than 65.

Dry eye is another significant problem. Approximately 40 million people in the United States are affected by dry eye, according to Dr. Kamat, though he believes the actual number is closer to 100 million. Although dry eye is common among post-menopausal women, “there are plenty of guys who get dry eye,” Dr. Kamat says. “There are plenty of young folks who wear contacts lenses, that if their eyes are dry, they can’t tolerate their contacts. There are people who want to have LASIK or refractory corneal surgery, but they can’t qualify because their eyes are dry.”

Five years ago, Bucks Eye Specialists was the first practice in the tri-state area to treat dry eye with Intense Pulsed Light—a technology emitting brief, powerful bursts of light at specific wavelengths, originally used in dermatology—which has gained acceptance in eye-care offices worldwide. In early September, Dr. Kamat introduced Lipiflow at his offices in Lower Bucks County and a newly opened second practice, Briggs Eye Specialists in South Jersey (Mount Laurel). Dr. Kamat describes Lipiflow as a “sister therapy” of IPL that essentially massages the eyelids. The addition aligns with Dr. Kamat’s philosophy of having a variety in treatment options.

“If someone is coming into your shop and they’re interested in buying fruit and all you sell is apples, then everybody wants an apple in your mind,” he explains. “So you have to have a little bit of everything.”

To that end, Bucks Eye Specialists also offers lid scrubs and vitamin supplementation. “It’s exciting to be able to round out, and fully encompass, all of the dry eye therapy that’s out there,” Dr. Kamat adds.

Dry eye presents with a wide array of symptoms—tearing, fatigue, the feeling that something is in the eye, etc.—and can be caused by issues such as a lack of tear production or a lack of tear quality. Both office locations will soon offer two new tests for tear analysis, a painless process that requires a small tear sample from the patient. One of the tests involved examines the salt content for an osmolarity value, while the other looks for an inflammation marker within the tear film called MMP-9.

The true value of the tests lies beyond the diagnosis, especially for those who exhibit more severe symptoms, such as inflammation and a lack of tear volume.

“If we start treating somebody and then four months later repeat the test, we should see an improvement in function,” Dr. Kamat says. “We didn’t have that kind of technology before. … It gives us a quantifiable number, something we can follow up in progression, whether it’s getting worse, better, remaining the same. It will help us choose therapies for our patients.”

Dr. Kamat’s practice is gaining momentum elsewhere. The 7,000-square-foot Mount Laurel office of Briggs Eye Specialists, which opened in January, crafts eyewear while patients wait and allows for quicker turnaround times. Eventually, Dr. Kamat wants to hire a part-time cornea and retina specialist. (At present, the medical staff consists of Dr. Kamat and two optometrists Cindy Chhedi, O.D. and longtime colleague Dana Cianni, O.D.) Also, the Yardley office will soon be in need of expansion to accommodate growing demand.

“Our push is to try to practice medicine with personalized attention but still offer all the latest technology,” he says. “There’s a sense in the practice that starts when people walk into the office. It’s warm and inviting. It’s not expansive. It’s not loud. There’s a way that people can interact with others. There are no cubicles or sliding glass doors.”

Everyone plays a role in creating this environment, including the office staff. Dr. Kamat, who has established a high level of expectation the entire staff must meet, leads the way.

Treating people well is why the waiting room remains relatively small—to deemphasize the waiting. Once they make their way into the treatment area, patients are treated thoroughly and have all of their questions answered, whether it concerns a prescription, the results of an eye exam or an innovative new lens to enhance one’s vision.

“You can practice high-volume patient care while still having a personal touch,” Dr. Kamat says.

Although many practices talk about promoting a communal feel at their respective offices, at Bucks and Briggs Eye Specialists, Dr. Kamat and his staff support their words with actions that are—pardon the pun—clearly visible.

Bucks Eye Specialists                 
301 Oxford Valley Road, Suite 801-A         
Yardley, PA 19067                 
Briggs Eye Specialists
2026 B Briggs Road
Marlton, NJ 08054

Photograph by Allure West Studios