The Gift of Sight
Through intraocular lens surgery and other advanced ophthalmology treatments, Dr. Sanjay Kamat and his team at Bucks Eye Specialists ensure that patients see the world clearly
by Bill Donahue

As humans age, certain critical parts of the body start to tire, wear down and otherwise function at a reduced capacity. The knees creak. The taste buds dull. The eyes lose some of their sharpness and maybe even cloud over with cataracts, thereby hampering one’s ability to experience the world as clearly they once did.

“Good vision is priceless,” says Sanjay Kamat, D.O. “Even if you have a Lamborghini, it doesn’t matter what you’re driving if you can’t see through the windshield.”

Thanks to Dr. Kamat, owner of Yardley-based ophthalmology practice Bucks Eye Specialists, men and women who suffer from cataracts that blur vision—are seeing better than they have in decades. He provides a number of treatments to address conditions such as dry eye; cataracts; 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).

One of the most common procedures he performs is the removal of vision-impairing cataracts while simultaneously implanting intraocular lenses. A cataract prohibits light from passing easily through the lens of the eye, making the vision appear blurred. A skilled ophthalmologist such as Dr. Kamat can now not only remove the cloudy, natural lens but also replace it with a clear, artificial replacement. This replacement—an intraocular lens—helps the patient see clearly once again.

“The intraocular lens market has evolved considerably over the past 10 years, and it continues to get better,” says Dr. Kamat, adding that it is being driven by three primary manufacturers, Bausch & Lomb, ALCON and Abbott Medical Optics. “Insurance will typically cover the cost of the surgery and the implant, and for the surgery itself, people will walk in and walk out afterward. There is an added out-of-pocket cost, not covered by any insurance, for these premium lenses.”

Prospective patients have multiple options for intraocular lenses. The most common type is the monofocal, or fixed focus. This lens helps the patient attain clearer vision at one distance, so eyeglasses and contact lenses may still be required in order for the patient to see clearly at all ranges of distance. The multifocal intraocular lens, on the other hand, can help patients see clearly no matter the distance. A third type, the accommodative lens, has a unique design that works with the eye muscles in a way that allows the lens to move forward as the eye focuses on objects at different distances. Finally, there are excellent lenses available to simultaneously treat pre-existing astigmatism, a change in the shape of the cornea that blurs vision at all distances.

Intraocular lens implant surgery has become one of the most common medical procedures performed in the United States. It’s also one of the most successful, generating positive results in more than 97 percent of cases, according to Dr. Kamat. He performs 750 to 1,000 of these procedures per year at outpatient facilities in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.

Implanting an intraocular lens—always done one eye at a time—typically takes less than 30 minutes, depending on the surgeon, patient and cataract; Dr. Kamat averages 10 minutes per eye. After conducting a preoperative exam of the patient’s eye, Dr. Kamat utilizes a digital corneal camera and ultrasound machine to take precise measurements of the patient’s eye and to determine the placement of the new lens.  For a patient selecting an astigmatism-correcting implant lens, or toric lens, on the day of surgery, Dr. Kamat carefully marks the patient’s eye with topical anesthesia but before any IV anesthesia. “Once the patient receives IV anesthesia, then the eye could relax and shift position by as much as 10 degrees, affecting the final result,” he notes.

After the procedure itself, which requires only a few small sutureless incisions, the effect is immediate, although patient’s need to use eye drops for about a month—and, depending on the type of lens implanted, the patient should be able to live without corrective lenses. Dr. Kamat, who has worn lenses most of his life, says he is excited about the prospect of having the surgery done so he can one day go “glass-less.”

“The point is to reduce the amount of prescription needed in glasses after surgery,” he says. “I’ve worn glasses since I was 4 years old, so a procedure like this is really exciting. LASIK is a temporary procedure, and if the intraocular lens works the way it should—and it almost always does—it’s a lifelong correction. … But it’s still surgery, and there’s a 1 percent to 3 percent chance of something bad happening, so I don’t want to operate on someone who’s 20/20. I want to wait for someone to develop a cataract and can’t see normally anymore.”

In addition to intraocular lens implants, Dr. Kamat is uniquely qualified in numerous therapies and procedures to improve the health of the eye. 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. He also worked at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, where he gained experience in cataract surgery and oculoplastic trauma.

Board certified by the American Osteopathic College of Ophthalmology, Dr. Kamat devotes as much as 85 percent of his time to direct patient care. In addition, 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 numerous facilities in the tri-state area: Campus Eye Group in Hamilton, N.J.; St. Mary’s Medical Center, Aria Health’s Bucks County Campus and Forest Health Medical Center, all based in Langhorne; the Wills Eye Surgical Network, with locations in Warminster and Cherry Hill; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville; Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia; Delaware Surgery Center in Dover, Del.; and Glasgow Surgery Center in Glasgow, Del.

Dr. Kamat and his experienced team, which includes Dana Cianni, O.D., can also help patients avert serious conditions, such as macular degeneration and eyelid cancers. Another common condition he addresses that can significantly hamper one’s quality of life is 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. One of the most unique services to combat dry eye is Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, which has been offered by Bucks Eye Specialists for over three years. Dr. Kamat is among the few physicians in the region, fourth in the country, to offer this pioneering therapy, which is designed to help people get to a “drop-free state” without the crutch of prescriptions.  

In addition, the practice has become a destination for stylish, perfect-fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as all-laser LASIK services. In addition, the practice’s chief differentiator is the personal attention it provides to every single patient.

“What we’re doing here is offering full, comprehensive eye care,” he says. “Dana and I make sure our patients notice a personal touch in the level of service we provide here. We spend a lot of time with each patient”—and it shows in the results.

Bucks Eye Specialists
301 Oxford Valley Road, Suite 801A
Yardley, PA 19067
215-493-7330 |

Photograph by Kim Billingsley