Vision Quest
Patients seek out Dr. Sanjay Kamat of Bucks Eye Specialists to see the world through clearer eyes
by Bill Donahue

Much in the same way Johnny Cash sang about the fact that he had “been everywhere, man,” Sanjay Kamat, D.O., has “seen it all” as it relates to the terrain of the human eye. In fact, patients seek out his expert opinion as a highly skilled ophthalmologist to serve as a second set of eyes, so to speak.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of people coming in for second opinions these days, either to confirm or contradict another eye doctor’s professional diagnosis,” says Dr. Kamat, owner of Bucks Eye Specialists in Yardley. “When I’m brought into these situations, usually it’s because another doctor has advised the patient to undergo eye surgery and they want someone they consider an expert to determine whether surgery is the best option to address their problem.”

With each patient who comes to him for a second opinion, Dr. Kamat approaches the situation without any preconceived notions. Put another way, he prefers not to know the patient’s prior diagnosis so he can assess the situation “based on what I see and what they tell me, not on what another doctor has already told them.”

Most often, these patients have been advised to undergo surgery to remove cataracts, to treat glaucoma, or to amend some other serious condition—drooping eyelids, for example—that may be impairing their ability to see the world around them.

“I do a lot of functional eyelid surgery, in the sense that the patient has had medical testing necessitating an eyelid lift, because it’s affecting their vision,” he says. “There are some surgeons who do eyelid lifts purely for cosmetic reasons, but my primary reason to treat someone who thinks they might need an eyelid lift is so they can see better, plain and simple.” 

‘Leaps and Bounds’
Considering Dr. Kamat’s background and training, it should come as no surprise that he has come to play such a pivotal role in determining the health and wellness of patients’ eyes. A long-time native of Bucks County, Dr. Kamat attended medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, Mo., and completed his internship and residency at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he served as chief resident. He also honed his skills in complex cataract surgery and oculoplastic trauma at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

He continues to build upon his education and experience. In fact, the American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AOCOO-HNS) awarded Dr. Kamat with the Governors Achievement Certificate. He earned the recognition from the AOCOO-HNS Board of Governors for distinguishing himself through a high degree of accomplishment and meritorious service performed on behalf of the college and its board of examiners.

A board-certified fellow of the American Osteopathic College of Ophthalmology, Dr. Kamat maintains his membership in the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons and the American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, as well as the Pennsylvania and Bucks County medical societies. In addition, he serves on the medical advisory board of Wills Eye Surgery Center in Warminster.

As a private practitioner, Dr. Kamat—named a “Top Physician” by Suburban Life every year since 2013—has been treating disorders and diseases of the eye since 2009, when he took over the Bucks Eye Specialists from his childhood ophthalmologist. In doing so, he and Dana Cianni, O.D., have worked closely with patients to treat just about every eye-related condition imaginable—everything from cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, to blepharitis (chronic inflammation of the eyelids), diabetic retinopathy (damage to retinal blood vessels caused by diabetes), and eyelid cancers.

One of the most common areas of treatment is surgery to correct refractive error, which includes myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia (the aging eye’s inability to see things up close). At Bucks Eye Specialists, the refractive surgery treatment options include highly accurate lasers such as PRK, LASIK, LASEK and epi-LASIK, among others. 

Cataracts are another area of specialty. Dr. Kamat has witnessed a remarkable rise in “custom cataract surgery and combined procedures,” as he calls it—removing a patient’s cataracts and then treating the same individual for glaucoma in one trip to the OR, or removing cataracts and then implanting premium replacement lenses so the patient can wake up with perfect vision.

“The world of cataract surgery has made some dramatic leaps and bounds,” he says. “Multifocal lenses, lenses with astigmatism correction and all kinds of accommodative lenses have made it so patients’ postoperative outcomes have improved a great deal. Expectations have changed, too; people used to be all right with having their cataracts removed and then have to wear corrective lenses afterward. Not anymore; patients today know they can have 20/20 vision, without corrective lenses, so that’s what they expect.”

Aside from treating maladies that can detract from an individual’s vision, Dr. Kamat also treats common “quality of life” conditions, such as dry eye. The condition is marked by symptoms such as frequent tearing, eye fatigue or the feeling that something is in the eye. While the condition is definitely bothersome, Dr. Kamat says dry eye may also prevent people from wearing contact lenses or keep them from becoming candidates for surgery to correct refractive error.

Lucky for his patients, Dr. Kamat offers a revolutionary technology called Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), which uses powerful bursts of light to treat patients’ dry eye, as well as Lipiflow, a “sister therapy” of IPL that essentially treats the condition by massaging the eyelids. Also, Bucks Eye Specialists is certified to perform clinical testing for dry eye. This means the practice can perform a comprehensive analysis of patients’ tears to determine the best course of treatment, be it IPL and/or Lipiflow or a host of other treatments, such as artificial tear supplementation, omega-3 supplements or prescription eye drops. 

Serving All Walks of Life
Dr. Kamat maintains a packed schedule. When he’s not seeing patients at his Yardley office, he’s performing delicate surgeries or teaching the next generation of eye-care professionals at medical centers throughout the region. 

Although he’s always on the move, he frequently makes time to give back. Bucks Eye Specialists participates in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America program, meaning a certain number of patients in need receive medical eye exams at little to no out-of-pocket cost. In addition, Dr. Kamat often works at inner-city clinics to make sure patients receive necessary eye care. 

“The eyes are vitally important because they’re how we experience the world around us,” Dr. Kamat says. “I’m happy to play a part in making sure people of all ages, and from all walks of life, have the care they need. No matter what someone’s situation is or where they live, I’ve always felt strongly that people deserve access to quality eye care so they can have the best vision possible.”

Bucks Eye Specialists 
301 Oxford Valley Road, Suite 801-A 
Yardley, Pa. 
(215) 493-7330 

Photography by Jody Robinson

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life Magazine, November 2018.