LASIK

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by lsredmond, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. lsredmond

    lsredmond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    11
    Can a current cadet have LASIK done outside of the Air Force doctors? I know the Air Force will pay for PRK but LASIK is so much better and I am willing to pay for it.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    I cannot see why you would do that, mainly because it would open you up to a DoDMERB issue. You may personally believe LASIK is better, but it is not approved by the AF, whereas PRK is approved.

    The question is not about money for the AF, it is about protocols and eyes when pulling 8 or 9 G's will have issues.
     
  3. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    9
    I concur with Pima, an old high school friend of mine is currently one of the grand poobahs of eye correction surgery. I asked him about LASIK and PRK and he told me that over all the results of PRK are much more stable than with LASIK. That is why the military chooses this, the example he used was where one of his patients got into a car accident and the cornea tore along the cut lines of the LASIK procedure that occurred 5 years earlier! The DoDMERB issue is another, more immediate consideration, and that cannot be ignored.
     
  4. eboyd

    eboyd Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/airforce/a/pilotlasik.htm

    According to this article, LASIK is now approved for aviator applicants.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    If so the question is moot because the AFA will pay for it.
     
  6. lsredmond

    lsredmond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    11
    Thank you for all of the feedback. We are just starting to consider it; however, I was talking with a cadet in October who had just had PRK and was having trouble recovering from the surgery. He had missed 3 weeks of school. I asked why he hadn't had LASIK (I had just had LASIK a few weeks before) and he said that USAFA wouldn't pay for it. Maybe things have changed. I'll have to get my daughter to look into it (after Recognition.....)
     
  7. mustang10

    mustang10 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    PRK waiver

    After the surgery and the post-op checks finish there's a waiver that allows us to fly with PRK. It wasn't just about improved vision the waiver is the doc saying that we're safe to fly. Regardless what kind of surgery happens the process to get the waiver should be set-up before hand.
     
  8. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Isredmond,
    My DD is also looking into this. At the Academy they can't schedule the eye exam until 2nd semester of their sophomore year (C3C). The surgery itself will not be performed until after commitment which is the first class day of their C2C. I could be wrong on this, so I will defer to others if I am incorrect. This is just the information provided to me by my cadet. I had it done it the good old days when it was just RK, diamond bladed scalpel was used:biggrin:Now my eyes are just getting old and I need reading glasses. Sure was nice for twenty years not wearing any glasses or contacts :rolleyes:
     
  9. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,019
    Likes Received:
    2
    Does the AFA do the eye surgery for free?
     
  10. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    129
    OK, I'm going to sound snarky for a moment - do you think the AFA under the military medical system providing PRK for cadets would charge them for it? The obvious answer is no.

    Having provided that "please think for a moment" jab, USAFA provides PRK under both the rated and warfighters program. One is for potential pilots to become qualified and the other is to provide surgery for non-rated officers. The reasoning is that a one-time surgery is cheaper than a lifetime of glasses/contacts for the government.
     
  11. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,019
    Likes Received:
    2
    I think it's a valid question, because USCGA does not pay for cadets to have the surgery. We have to wait until we commission to get it paid for by the Coast Guard
     
  12. Packer

    Packer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yes you are.
     
  13. scraper

    scraper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lasik,prk

    I thought it was disqualifying for pilot status if you had lasik prior to entering AFA. I recall my son being told, do not do any eye surgery... there is the civilian way then the air force way??? When air force does it they know what they have is the way it was explained...
     
  14. Packer

    Packer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    5
    Eye surgery prior to entering is a disqualifier period. It may or may not get waived. At least part of the issue is age. They do not want surgery being performed prior to about 20 years as the eye is still growing and changing. I am sure there is also some truth to them wanting it done their way.
    https://admissions.usafa.edu/secure/online/WebPCQ2014.pdf

    See page 19
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    I think we need to take a time out.

    DS back in 07/08 was told he had an issue, potential PRK candidate, on the cusp.

    As Packer stated. They stated to him that eyes change up until 20/21. The AF prefers to wait until they are @ 20 (rising C2C yr) before they do the surgery.

    Believe it or not DS's eyes changed, drastically. He now has 20/15, no surgery.

    I openly admit DS opted AFROTC scholarship over AFA. As a rising soph he begged and pleaded for the surgery. We said NO! You don't mess with eyes unless it is your last resort. Insurance or not, it is the fastest way to end a career and your life. Bullet was flier and for him/us as parents that was a no go.

    We forced him to wait. DS leaves for Laughlin AFB in May (commissions AFROTC May 2012) with a UPT slot, no eye surgery. His eyes corrected without surgery...again why the AFA waits to do this.


    Understand that as a cadet if you do it behind their back on your dime, it will be a factor, because prior to commissioning they will require the cadet to go through a thorough physical and it will appear. That may mean a medical DQ.

    SamAca10.

    No offense, but if I am correct CGA doesn't need an MOC nom. and their budget does not come from the DOD. If I am correct than we are talking apples and oranges regarding this issue.

    Was Hornet snarky? Maybe, but's also acknowledge this is not about CGA, it is AFA.

    The fact is AFA and AFROTC are different when it comes to cadets. AFA cadets that are eligible for the surgery will get it without out of pocket expense, AFROTC it is out of pocket.

    We are talking AF here.

    WP/USNA/AFA/CGA.MMA have different levels for cadets/mids. We must respect that. We also must remember that we are responding to the OP, a parent of an AFA cadet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    It is also financial. A 22 year old C4C cadet can be at the academy, and they will still make them wait until the beginning of their C2C year. They want "Commitment". They don't like investing more than they have to on a cadet who isn't going to graduate and get commissioned.

    But I do agree that eyes do change and they don't want to do an operation, only to have to "Redo" it again later. My son had PRK surgery done in august 2010. He received his waiver and his Pilot Slot. We did a lot of research on PRK because many family members and friends have done lasik. We wanted to know the difference. I definitely like the PRK method of not cutting a flap and reattaching. I also like how history shows that PRK seems to be more permanent than Lasik. The one thing is that thr procedure tends to be more expensive because of the equipment. There are definitely those who can qualify for lasik and not for PRK, and PRK but not Lasik. Those who qualify for both tend to choose lasik because it's cheaper.

    But as others have mentioned, don't get any type of eye or other major surgery prior to attending the academy. Not unless it's mandatory.
     
  17. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    The bigger issue is that, for USNA at least, LASIK or PRK prior to applying can be disqualifying for admission. At a minimum, they look at your eyesight PRIOR TO surgery in determining whether to grant a waiver and the fact you had surgery may actually count against you. Again, this is for USNA but I would think USAFA would take the same approach.

    If you are considering corrective surgery to improve your chances of being medically qualified for a SA . . . don't do it unless you check and double check with that SA to fully understand its impact on the admissions process. Don't take the first answer you get, or the answer you want to hear. :)
     
  18. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    129
    Yup! I was in that fun gray area: not good enough to be qualified but not bad enough for PRK. I had to get an eye waiver.
     
  19. lsredmond

    lsredmond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    11
    Wow thank you for all of that information! I will step back and let USAFA do what they do with regards to DD's eyes. She entered having 20/40 eyesight but she says now that she really can't see the board when she sits in the back of the class. She normally tries to sit in front but sometimes those seats are taken. I just had LASIK done 3 months ago and love it. After listening to a current cadet having had complications from PRK, I thought LASIK would be the way to go since my eye doctor said he had never seen any complications with LASIK but did see a few with PRK. Oh well, DD can always get glasses or contacts until told otherwise....
     

Share This Page