Srilaxmi Bearelly, MD

Medical Retina, Ophthalmology
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Srilaxmi Bearelly, MD, MHS is a retina specialist with expertise in the evaluation and treatment of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular occlusions, choroidal neovascularization and macular disorders.

Her experience in the treatment of retinal diseases started with a seven-year tenure on the Vitreoretinal Service at Duke University Eye Center in North Carolina (2003 to 2010). Since then, she joined Columbia’s faculty in 2010. She has treated thousands of patients, and helped patients and their families through their treatments. She has also volunteered her medical expertise in underserviced areas, such as El Salvador and rural United States.

Dr. Bearelly received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, received her M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School, and a Masters of Health Sciences from Duke University School of Medicine. Following her ophthalmology training at Northwestern University, she completed her fellowship training in diseases of the retina and vitreous at Duke University Eye Center.

She has written 70 articles, chapters and abstracts, and frequently presents at scientific and professional conferences both nationally and abroad. Currently, Dr. Bearelly is a collaborator on a Columbia University clinical study of retinal changes in preeclamspia (a disease of pregnancy).

She is recognized as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor in Ophthalmology, and with Castle Connolly’s Exceptional Women in Medicine award. She received several research awards, including an NIH/NEI K12 and K23 Mentored Research Career Award, and a Young Investigator Award by Retinal Degenerations Symposium at the International Congress of Eye Research Meeting in China.

Dr. Bearelly has been certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She is an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), and the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS).

Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Intravitreal Injection
  • Laser Treatment
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Retinal Disease
  • Retinal Disorders
  • Retinal Vascular Occlusion
  • Vitreoretinal Disorder

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at CUMC

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • Female

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635 West 165th Street
New York, NY 10032

Insurance Accepted


  • Aetna Signature Administrators
  • EPO
  • HMO
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • NYP Employee Plan
  • POS
  • PPO
  • Student Health

Affinity Health Plan

  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care


  • Medicare Managed Care
  • Special Needs

Amida Care

  • Special Needs


  • EPO
  • Great West (National)
  • HMO
  • POS
  • PPO


  • Medicare Managed Care
  • PPO


  • ConnectiCare
  • EPO
  • Essential Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • POS
  • PPO
  • Select Care (Exchange)
  • Vytra

Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield

  • EPO
  • HMO
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • PPO

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care

Fidelis Care

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care


  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Leaf (Exchange)
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care

Local 1199

  • Local 1199

MagnaCare (National)

  • MagnaCare


  • Railroad
  • Traditional Medicare


  • Multiplan

MVP Health Care

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid Managed Care

Oxford Health Plans

  • Freedom
  • Liberty

Quality Health Management

  • Quality Health Management


  • Special Needs


  • Columbia University Employee Plan
  • Compass (Exchange)
  • Empire Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid (Community Plan)
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • POS
  • PPO


  • Medicare Managed Care
  • SelectHealth
  • Special Needs


  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care

*Please contact the provider’s office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • Residency: Northwestern University Medical School
  • Fellowship: Duke University Medical Center, NC

Board Certifications

  • Ophthalmology

Honors & Awards

2021 Precision Medicine Pilot Award

2018 Top 10 Poster Presentation Award, Women in Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, FL

2017-present Castle Connolly Exceptional Women in Medicine

2015-present Castle Connolly Top Doctor in Ophthalmology, Regional, New York Metro Area

2012-present Robert L. Burch III Scholar, Columbia University

2005-2010 NIH/NEI K12 and K23 Mentored Career Development Awards

2008 Young Investigator Award, Retinal Degenerations/International Congress of Eye Research

1999 Resident Teaching Award, Department of Internal Medicine at Northwestern University: Excellence in Teaching of Medical Students

1992-1999 Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME), Northwestern University BA/M.D. Program

1992-1995 Northwestern University Academic Grants

1992-1993 Robert C. Byrd Scholarship, ASTRA Scholarship

America's Top Doctor
NY Top Doctor


Dr. Bearelly’s primary research interests are in age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Currently she is studying imaging technologies to predict progression of age-related macular degeneration. The emergence of many new clinical trials evaluating therapies for macular degeneration has increased the need for reliable and accurate means of monitoring and predicting macular degeneration progression. Imaging markers could help to stratify slow and fast progressors, thus expediting the evaluation of new therapies.

Dr. Bearelly is interested in approaching scientific questions from a patient perspective. Her long-term career goal is to design and implement early, innovative phase I and II clinical trials by applying advancements in the basic sciences. The potential for public health impact is enormous, as prevalence of macular degeneration is expected to double by 2030, and the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy is expected to triple by 2050. Novel approaches to treatment are needed for both of these diseases.

Research Interests

  • Innovative clinical studies in vitreoretinal disease
  • Novel imaging and serum biomarkers in age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy

Selected Publications

  • Bearelly S, Espinosa-Heidmann DG, Cousins SW. The role of dynamic indocyanine green angiography in the diagnosis and treatment of retinal angiomatous proliferation. Br J Ophthalmol 2008; 92(2): 191-6. 2013, April 29. Epub ahead of print.
  • Xu L, Blonska AM, Pumariega NM, Bearelly S, Sohrab MA, Hageman GS, Smith RT. Reticular macular disease is associated with multilobular geographic atrophy in age-related macular degeneration. Retina 2013. Epub ahead of print.
  • Martillo MA, Marsiglia M, Lee MD, Pumariega N, Bearelly S, Smith RT. Is reticular macular disease a choriocapillaris perfusion problem? Medical Hypothesis, Discovery, and Innovation: Ophthalmology Journal 2012; 1(2): 37-39.
  • Khanifar AA, Lederer DE, Ghodasra JH, Stinnett SS, Lee JJ, Cousins SW, Bearelly S. Comparison of color fundus photographs and fundus autofluorescence images in measuring geographic atrophy area. Retina 2012; 32(9):1884-91. PMID: 22547167.
  • Bearelly S, Khanifar AA, Lederer DE, Lee JJ, Ghodasra JH, Stinnett SS, Cousins SW. Use of fundus autofluorescence images to predict geographic atrophy progression. Retina 2011; 31(1):81-6. PMC ID: PMC3040508.
  • Jain N, Farsiu S, Khanifar A, Bearelly S, Smith RT, Izatt J, Toth C. Quantitative comparison of drusen segmented on SDOCT versus drusen delineated on color fundusphotographs. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010; 51(10):4875-83. PMC ID: PMC2939301.
  • Bearelly S, Chau FY, Koreishi A, Stinnett SS, Izatt J, Toth CA. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT) imaging of geographic atrophy margins. Ophthalmology 2009; 116(9):1762-9. PMCID: PMC2738753.
  • Garg S, Mets M, Bearelly S, Mets R. Imaging of congenital toxoplasmosis macular scars with optical coherence tomography. Retina 2009; 29(5):631-7.
  • Cousins SW, Bearelly S, Reinoso MA, Chi SL, Espinosa-Heidmann D. Dynamic indocyanine green angiography-guided focal thermal laser treatment of fibrotic choroidal neovascularization. Graefe's Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2008; 246(12):1677
  • Bearelly S, Mruthyunjaya P, Tzeng JP, Suner IJ, Shea AM, Lee JT, Kowalski JW, Curtis LH, Schulman KA, Lee PP. Identification of patients with diabetic macular edema from claims data: a validation study. Arch Ophthalmol 2008; 126(7): 986-9.
  • Ahmed S, Bearelly S, Stinnett SS, Cooney MJ, Fekrat S. Photodynamic therapy for predominantly hemorrhagic lesions in neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Am J Ophthalmol 2008; 145(6):1052-7.