Is Lasik OK

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by MSFaygo, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. MSFaygo

    MSFaygo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    I didn't find any recent threads on corrective eye surgery. Is It possible to get a waiver for LASIK surgery? Is PRK ok/better/worse? Are these deal breakers to being a pilot?

    DS has talked to his det. and was told first step is to see if his eyes have stopped changing and if his eyes are correctable. he would like to have procedure done over summer break.

    I wanted to get a 'big picture' idea of the process to see if we should put $$$ into medical flex fund for next year. Also, I'd hate to have him ruin his chances at being a pilot or even his AF career
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    What year group will he be next fall? If he is a rising junior than he would be at Maxwell for SFT. It might not be possible due to scheduling conflicts. If he is going to be a rising senior, he will have to go to WPAFB for his FC1 physical.
    ~ IE. He goes yo Maxwell July 10 to Aug 1st and has to be back at school by the 15th. If memory serves me correctly not to need a waiver it has to be 6 months out. Don't quote me on that! However, if I am correct that means when they meet in the beginning of Feb. he will still be in that timeframe and medically not qualified.

    Our DSs friend did do the surgery and it did mess him up for the rated board as a 300 because his eyes were not healed enough. He applied for the alternate board as a 400 and got RPAs. He felt had he timed the surgery better he would have gotten pilot as a 300. He was told that the alternate board gave out very few pilot slots.

    Our DS was on the cusp. He begged us to let him have the surgery, but Bullet being a flier said eyes are one thing you don't mess with unless forced. His eyes did change and did not need the surgery. It is a reason why the AFA puts it off until they are 20/21 because they know this. This is why for AFROTC cadets it is not an easy feat to time it perfectly. Reputable docs won't want to do it while they are a freshmen and after that you have to fit AFROTC into the equation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  3. MSFaygo

    MSFaygo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    How lucky his eyes changed for the better!

    DS is currently 3rd year (of 5yr program) so he is past SFT and will have 2 more years to go if he has them done this summer. He is already 21 so seems like this would be the best time to do it.

    So...LASIK isn't an automatic deal breaker?
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    I rarely ever say post DoDmerb questions on an SA thread, but this is one time I would recommend it if others don't post in 24-48 hours.

    I don't have enough insight regarding the operation and healing time, but I do have more than enough fingers ànd toes to count on regarding how many posters have had the operation at the AFA as cadets.

    OBTW, if he is on a five year program, than this summer is the summer to do it, because next summer he will be 6-9 months out from meeting the rated board.
    ~ A big difference between AFROTC and AFA is AFROTC cadets find out in the spring, or @14-15 months prior to graduation. AFA finds out @7 months prior. AFA cadets also don't go to WPAFB for the FC1.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  5. MSFaygo

    MSFaygo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good advice - found lots of past posts. However, now my head is spinning - can't tell if PRK or LASIK is better. Looks like both are approved. Sounds like AFA does PRK because they think it's better but other posters seem to think LASIK is less evasive.

    I guess we'll see what det. recommends and get some eye doc opinions

    I'd still like to get someone with specific DoDMERB info to weigh in (many of posts I've found are a couple years old)
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    I would not rely on the det. Instead I would pm kp2001. If I am right he is a flight doc. Your concern needs to be more about the FC1 and that is regs set froth by the FAA. Thus, even if kp is not an AF flight doc he knows the FAA regs for an FC1. The CoC will not.

    He may also be able to recommend a doc in your area that knows the process is different for your DS compared to just anyone that wants to do the surgery.
     
  7. MSFaygo

    MSFaygo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks...will do!
     
  8. Sampia

    Sampia Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    56
    My DS had his eyes done over the summer. Whoever does the procedure will help determine which one will work best for the eyes. My understanding is the military now will take either LASIK or PRK. they both have their pros and cons. The doctor for my son recommended a version of PRK called LASEK ( not LASIK) due to thinner cornea. After spending a little over a week and being very miserable, one month later he was seeing 20/20. He had his three month check up recently and the doctor said everything is perfect. He was already offered a scholarship but we have to wait until this final check up to get it activated due to the need of a waiver.

    There are specific requirements that need to be met for a waiver to be granted for the surgery. I had printed off a copy and we took it in when he had his initial evaluation done. These were requirements on various pre-op measurements. DODMERB can help point you in the right direction I am sure, but be pro active and be aware of the measurements needed and have the eye doctor tell you where he stands before the surgery is done.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Sampia gives good advice, but remember for your DS since he wants rated he needs to pass the FC1 which is a higher standard than just DoDMERB. The eye doc needs to do it to the FAA standards and DoDMERB.

    If you live near a military base, you might want to look at eye docs in that area. Many of the docs in the area deal with military members and some are retirees that were docs in the military. Or call a flight school that is in your area, they may be able to refer you to a doc that knows the FAA standards. That doc may then be able to refer you to a military doc.

    It is just really important to realize that this is just not a DoDMERB issue when asking questions. Look at the hoops Hornet is going through for color deficiency.
    ~ He was given a waiver for color deficiency for rated, but the standards had changed and now they are saying he is DQd for UPT. He has had to do very specialized testing to fight it with WPAFB. (Flight docs). He has been fighting his waiver reversal for ten months. He was suppose to start UPT this past February and it was at Laughlin that they told him he did not meet the new standard.
    ~~ All rated students will have a final flight physical prior to starting UPT. They can be sticklers. Hornet is the third person I know of that got slipped up at that physical. Stealths DS's roommate was pushed back because of wisdom teeth. Fencers DS flew with an earache and ruptured it, he was washed back for months.

    I know we are talking different medical issues, just saying that none of these conditions would have been a DoDMERB issue, but they all are for flying.

    The irony is rated officers have flight docs that they and their family see. Think of their own Marcus Welby. These docs will even do phone consults on the weekend. That being said because these guys know they can get tripped up for medical issue they will have to be almost on their deathbed before they go. Bullet has broken toes and fingers, and reset them himself before going to a flight doc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014

Share This Page