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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/17/2005 9:02:31 PM EDT
I am curious...

With each passing month, and many successful PRK patients in the military ( procedeure performed while they are enlisted/comissioned ), I know that the military's attitude towards PRK is growing more positive. Results are hard to argue with. I do know that since LASIK is a more recently created procedeure, they don't like it, especially since the cornea is actually cut during the procedeure.

I want to know this - since they offer PRK eye surgery, and have an increasingly positive opinion of it with each passing month, could you have the procedeure performed before you enter basic?

And for another scenario, say you were in a large ROTC program, would they let you in then ( if the procedeure was done before basic )?
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:06:46 PM EDT
I'd love to get my eyes normalized again. I've been a slave to fragile glasses and annoying contact lenses for far too long.

First I plan on doing when I enlist is getting my eyes fixed ASAP.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:08:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2005 9:08:22 PM EDT by CFII]
Well, my cousin is an enlisted KC135 avionics tech, and his ANG squadron in Alaska is going to allow him to get LASIK, and then pick up his commision as a pilot. I do, however, think that ANG units are allowed to use common sense more than regular active service.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:10:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2005 9:18:31 PM EDT by Blackjack272]
They are? Then again, he is a technician, not a pilot.... I can see the logic there.

Anyone know if pre-enlistment PRK would be a possiblity in any way?

Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:18:44 PM EDT
BTT.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:24:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2005 9:25:52 PM EDT by Spade]

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:
Anyone know if pre-enlistment PRK would be a possiblity in any way?



You can get a waiver, so long as you're vision was within regulation to start (+-8.00 diopters). You have to submit your medical stuff, etc. They also like to make sure your vision is stable before they let you in.

www.defenselink.mil/news/Mar2000/n03092000_20003093.html
www.defenselink.mil/news/Oct2004/n10252004_2004102506.html

I'd just do it once you were in. DODMERB's a bunch of bastards.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:32:30 PM EDT
Dude, you just made my day.

I think I have something like 20/100 vision right now.... I'll read off my perscription for my contacts, because I honestly have no clue what it means.

Left eye - 8.6 14.4-2.50/-0.75 X 080 ( whatever that means )
Right eye - 8.6 14.4-2.75/-0.75 X 100 ( whatever THAT means )

Can someone tell me if I'm still elegible? I know NADA about my eyeballs.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:34:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:
Anyone know if pre-enlistment PRK would be a possiblity in any way?



You can get a waiver, so long as you're vision was within regulation to start (+-8.00 diopters). You have to submit your medical stuff, etc. They also like to make sure your vision is stable before they let you in.

www.defenselink.mil/news/Mar2000/n03092000_20003093.html
www.defenselink.mil/news/Oct2004/n10252004_2004102506.html

I'd just do it once you were in. DODMERB's a bunch of bastards.



+1 to that and the rest.

Plus, if the military does it for you, it's free.

DO NOT go to one of the el cheapo fly-by-night joints for laser eye surgery. Any place that sees you for your first appointment in the AM, and does the surgery in the PM the same day is jsut wrong, especially if they have cheap prices. You need to ensure your vision is stabilized by having an experienced and competent opthamologist look over the history of your corrective prescriptions.

I had PRK at Bethesda a few years ago and couldn't be happier.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:35:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:
Dude, you just made my day.

I think I have something like 20/100 vision right now.... I'll read off my perscription for my contacts, because I honestly have no clue what it means.

Left eye - 8.6 14.4-2.50/-0.75 X 080 ( whatever that means )
Right eye - 8.6 14.4-2.75/-0.75 X 100 ( whatever THAT means )

Can someone tell me if I'm still elegible? I know NADA about my eyeballs.




I have no idea. My suggestion would be just go to an OD (not a glasses guy, but an eye doctor) and ask him. Have a full workup done just to make sure you can have surgery (not everybody can). Good idea to get the eyeballs looked at every so often anyway.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:40:18 PM EDT
At Ft. Campbell, combat arms soldiers get PRK done for free. Mine was done about two years ago and it kicks ass. LASIK is a no-no.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:43:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rifleman2000:
At Ft. Campbell, combat arms soldiers get PRK done for free. Mine was done about two years ago and it kicks ass. LASIK is a no-no.




I thought they allowed LASIK?

Either way, PRK is the better surgery, I think.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 9:49:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:

Originally Posted By rifleman2000:
At Ft. Campbell, combat arms soldiers get PRK done for free. Mine was done about two years ago and it kicks ass. LASIK is a no-no.




I thought they allowed LASIK?

Either way, PRK is the better surgery, I think.



Nope, LASIK is a no-go unless, you are enrolled in one of several ongoing studies being conducted.

That isn't to say that some don't get it done and take their chances that the military won't find out they had it done.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 2:10:58 AM EDT
SF and Rangers hate LASIK.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 12:49:40 PM EDT
Ft Hood has a Lasik clinic at Darnall Army hospital. About 20 guys in my unit have had it done there.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 12:59:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CFII:
Well, my cousin is an enlisted KC135 avionics tech, and his ANG squadron in Alaska is going to allow him to get LASIK, and then pick up his commision as a pilot. I do, however, think that ANG units are allowed to use common sense more than regular active service.



I think that data may be inaccurate. Last I heard, the AF allows PRK, but not LASIK. I'm in pilot training in the AF, and so far, we don't have one person that's even had ANY type of eye surgery. While I was in ROTC, it was highly emphasized NOT to get LASIK for those that were interested in becoming even medically qualified to be a pilot. Even if they get PRK, there is still a waiver process to go through. My $0.02.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 1:08:43 PM EDT
IIRC the problem with LASIK is that the military feels that the wound (so to speak) could break open when one jumps from planes or works in high wind type jobs
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 1:12:54 PM EDT
PRK is fine, the AF is paying for me to get mine done.

All pilots with glasses are being pushed through to have it done also.

Lasik is fine but not prefered over PRK. People who have LASIK probably won't be Aircrew or Pilot's for now.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 1:18:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PSYWAR1-0:
IIRC the problem with LASIK is that the military feels that the wound (so to speak) could break open when one jumps from planes or works in high wind type jobs



+1 and because in the event of aircrew members having to ditch or crash, you wouldnt want the "wound" to open during impact, and then having to egress and evade with a fucked up eye.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 1:26:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:
Ft Hood has a Lasik clinic at Darnall Army hospital. About 20 guys in my unit have had it done there.



Is it LASIK or LASEK? The navy did LASEK with me. From what I understand LASEK is nothing more than PRK with the skin that would be removed via abrasion lifted off first with a chemical. Than the standard PRK is done with the floated off skin reapplied over it. That skin sluffs over over the next week leaving a standard PRK.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 1:41:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By STLRN:

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:
Ft Hood has a Lasik clinic at Darnall Army hospital. About 20 guys in my unit have had it done there.



Is it LASIK or LASEK? The navy did LASEK with me. From what I understand LASEK is nothing more than PRK with the skin that would be removed via abrasion lifted off first with a chemical. Than the standard PRK is done with the floated off skin reapplied over it. That skin sluffs over over the next week leaving a standard PRK.



You've got me, I never was interested enough to research it. All the same IMO. There was quite a push to have people do it..
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 5:45:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JustinOK34:

Originally Posted By CFII:
Well, my cousin is an enlisted KC135 avionics tech, and his ANG squadron in Alaska is going to allow him to get LASIK, and then pick up his commision as a pilot. I do, however, think that ANG units are allowed to use common sense more than regular active service.



I think that data may be inaccurate. Last I heard, the AF allows PRK, but not LASIK. I'm in pilot training in the AF, and so far, we don't have one person that's even had ANY type of eye surgery. While I was in ROTC, it was highly emphasized NOT to get LASIK for those that were interested in becoming even medically qualified to be a pilot. Even if they get PRK, there is still a waiver process to go through. My $0.02.



Not inaccurate. He has the LASIK already, and is going to get a commision and spot in flight school when he graduates. This is my first cousin who I talk to quite a bit. This is an ANG squadron, so maybe guard puppies flying heavies will be a test case.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 6:12:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/18/2005 6:12:52 PM EDT by ASNixon]
I've had LASIK and the "flap" grows back after a year. If it has to be touched up, then they have to cut the flap all over again. My surgery took 20 sec in one eye and 17 in the other. Me can really see now.

LASIK - cut a flap out of the epithelium and placed back after surgery with overnight results.
LASEK - the epithelium is moved and replaced after the surgery with 2-4 day results.
PRK - the epithelium is completely removed and grows back after surgery with 4-7 day results.

Link Posted: 8/18/2005 6:56:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/18/2005 7:00:47 PM EDT by JustinOK34]

Originally Posted By CFII:
Not inaccurate. He has the LASIK already, and is going to get a commision and spot in flight school when he graduates. This is my first cousin who I talk to quite a bit. This is an ANG squadron, so maybe guard puppies flying heavies will be a test case.



Your first cousin still has to go through pilot training and this will be at an Active Duty US Air Force Base, and he'll be flying either the T-37 (depending on how soon he gets to flight school) or most likely the T-6, both of which have ejection seats and pull lots of Gs. The AF discourages LASIK for prospective pilots due to possible damage to the repaired eyes from high G loading and the ejection sequence (hence why it applies to ALL AF pilots, not just "fighter" pilots). And as of right now, the T-37 Tweet has the highest G-onset of any aircraft in the AF inventory. It'll go from 1 to 6.67 Gs faster than any other aircraft in our inventory.

There are 2 Reservists in my pilot training class, and 2 Guard members in my class. I also know of a few other Guard/Reservists in other classes here at Vance. I can say with 99% certainty that the KC-135 Guard unit in Alaska won't be a test case for the Air Force to base eye surgery on.

Your cousin is getting some bad info. Take this from someone who has already commissioned and is in pilot training in the US Air Force.

From www.avweb.com
www.avweb.com/news/aeromed/181889-1.html
...And The Military
If your desire is for a career in military aviation in the U.S., Canada, or any NATO nation, and you are looking at LASIK to help you meet military vision standards, save your money. It just isn't an option now or in the foreseeable future. The military, including the reserve forces, have too many doubts about long-term effects from the surgery to be comfortable allowing it in aircrew. Concerns include stress on the corneal flap with high g-loading, effects of an aircraft ejection, and long-term eye health in terms of glare and vision stability.

Several aviators, including flight surgeons, have tried to circumvent this policy with dire consequences when they were found out. One Army flight surgeon who had refractive surgery lost several years of flight pay retroactively, and was medically disqualified. The services are considering studying refractive surgery in aircrew more extensively, but the time required to obtain enough results to change military policy guarantees the status quo for years. If the military starts having trouble filling the fighter jock ranks with natural-born eagle-eyes, this could change. Don't look for NASA to buy into LASIK for astronaut candidates, either.

EDIT: Ultra slim chance he may go through the first phase of pilot training at a US Naval Air Station (NAS Corpus Christi or NAS Pensacola/Whiting).
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 7:01:35 PM EDT
I'm active duty Marine Corps and had PRK done at the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejune last summer. I LOVE being able to wear sunglasses.

It's my understanding that you can not have the surgery and then enlist, but I may be misinformed. Pretty much anything is waiverable to join up though (especially in today's recruiting crunch).

PM me with any questions.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 7:13:31 PM EDT
One more, but it's from Oct 2003:

usmilitary.about.com/cs/airforce/a/aflasik.htm
LASIK Now Available to Air Force Members
from Air Force News Service

Oct 15 2003

by Master Sgt. Richard B. Searles, Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs

BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE, D.C. (AFPN) -- The Air Force’s “warfighter” corneal refractive surgery program expanded its services to include laser-in-situ-keratomileuis, or LASIK, for qualified people at its centers.

Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force vice chief of staff, approved a memorandum written by Lt. Gen. George “Peach” Taylor Jr., Air Force surgeon general, announcing the immediate start of the expanded program.

LASIK and photorefractive keratectomy, a similar surgery already being performed at the centers, are Food and Drug Administration-approved elective procedures designed to reduce the need for corrective lenses.

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“(Because) glasses and contact lenses may be an operational disadvantage, PRK or LASIK may be performed to enhance performance and safety, and increase the readiness of warfighters by eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses,” said Col. David Rhodes, chief physical standards at the Air Force Medical Support Agency.

LASIK will be offered to airmen who are not considered aviation and special-duty personnel.

“Aviation and special-duty personnel will continue to be covered under a separate surgeon general policy and are currently restricted from undergoing LASIK due to concerns regarding the stability of the corneal flap created during this procedure,” said Rhodes. “Selected special-duty personnel whose duties are not performed while flying, however, will be eligible for LASIK.

“There are general concerns with corneal-flap-related complications of LASIK that go beyond routine clinical issues that are specific to the aviation and operational environment,” said Rhodes. “There is no corneal flap created with PRK. For this reason, PRK remains the preferred procedure, and expectations are that it will continue to be performed in much greater numbers at the (Warfighter Refractive Surgery Center).”

Any person electing to have LASIK performed should be aware of the potential for complications associated with the corneal flap that are not associated with PRK. Rhodes said that although an individual is currently in a career field that is qualified for LASIK, having the procedure would make him or her ineligible to later train into most aviation fields under current policy.

Though either surgery may be operationally beneficial for some people, it is an elective procedure. There is no requirement for any airman to obtain either LASIK or PRK. Eligible people may undergo either procedure at any operational refractive surgery center.

“Wilford Hall Medical Center and the U.S. Air Force Academy’s center currently have the resources to do LASIK and PRK,” said Rhodes. “The other centers currently perform PRK and will offer LASIK as soon as resources permit.”

Other centers are located at Travis Air Force Base, Calif.; Keesler AFB, Miss.; and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Because of the expected high demand for this procedure, patients are assigned an operational priority based on mission requirement. They can have either LASIK or PRK depending on the center capability, the opinion of the surgeon, and patient eligibility based on Air Force specialty code.

“The individual’s squadron commander must certify the prioritization category,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes said the commander should consider mission impact when granting permissive temporary duty for these surgical procedures because the patient will not be allowed to deploy for a period of time resulting in temporary duty limitations.”

The corneal refractive surgery program was initiated in late 2001 with PRK. Since the program began, more than 6,000 airmen have had the surgery.

Airmen seeking more information on the procedures should contact their installation eye-care professional.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 7:23:18 PM EDT
O well, I dont really care. I was born with shit vision, so I just keep my flying civvy. The military can stuff it.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 7:40:43 PM EDT
I had LASIK performed while enlisted in the Air Force although I did paid for it. I consulted the base eye doc and he told me that it would pretty much waive all VA eye benefits (which isn't an issue since there was nothing wrong with my eyes except the fact that I was blind). I also had to let the squadron commander know and of course take leave.

The AF was starting a program (1yr ago now) for LASIK. I wasn't going to be a ginnie pig for some 27yo doc who's major in college was underwater basket weaving so I dropped my own cash on it. Questions were hard to get answered but if you press hard enough someone will answer them. I would suggest calling Kessler or Lackland medical centers direct; that is where I had most of my questions answered. There was only about 3-5 bases that performed eye surgeries. When I looked into it there was a long list of pilots, SF guys and even army above where I would have been.

Good luck, it is the best thing I have ever done. It is truly amazing!
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 10:11:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:
Dude, you just made my day.

I think I have something like 20/100 vision right now.... I'll read off my perscription for my contacts, because I honestly have no clue what it means.

Left eye - 8.6 14.4-2.50/-0.75 X 080 ( whatever that means )
Right eye - 8.6 14.4-2.75/-0.75 X 100 ( whatever THAT means )

Can someone tell me if I'm still elegible? I know NADA about my eyeballs.



This is jsut my opinion but......

Your vision is currently better then mine and I was allowed to enlist no problems. I was told at MEPS that your best bet is to wait for eye surgery unless you want to risk the waiver process. Which honestly right now they are handing our waiver's like candy from everything I've heard.

I can't wait to get those Army issue glasses............
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