Pay for Surgery?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by hopefulacademyapplicant, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. hopefulacademyapplicant

    hopefulacademyapplicant Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone, I just got accepted to USMMA this past Thursday. My dream is to become either a commercial sailor or to switch into active duty and become a naval aviator. I understand that the Navy accepts lasik surgery for pilots. When I was also applying to the US Naval Academy, I discussed with my B&G officer about the procedure and he stated that the academy will pay for it during your third year at the academy. I was wondering if USMMA has a similar policy or will I have to go to another physician to get my eyes corrected?
     
  2. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    2
    Go back through the more recent postings or use the forum search tool for LASIK and/or PRK. You will find this issue discussed recently. Short answer is no you cannot get refractive surgery through KP. Darn it, DS would be first in line with me cheering him on. (Past refractive surgery coordinator here, non-military) However so much has changed In the few years since I worked in the field. Congrats on your appointment! Have you added yourself to the 2015 USMMA appointment thread? Please do so and welcome! :smile:
     
  3. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes Received:
    113
    At KP you would have to pay the cost for the surgery. I would highly recommend discussion with the Naval Science people at KP prior to pursuing this.
     
  4. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    2
    Kp2001, I am confused. With PRK and LASIK a patient has many preliminary appointments prior to a procedure, must wear eyeglasses for x amount of time depending on corneal surface, type of contact lens worn, etc ( now I am just showing off) the procedure, post op, and follow up care. With what I read about the KP schedule wouldn't it be next to impossible to work all that out? Plus it really doesn't make sense to proceed until rx is stable at least a year and for a young adult the more the better. A 20/25 result is not worth the risk on enhancement but not what an aviators goal would be either. You are not saying it is possible to get it done ( private pay) while there either, are you? As a DOT academy KP is not entailed to the free care but are they entitled to the military providers on a self pay? Just doesn't seem feasable to me. And doing prior isn't worth the headache of unforeseen problems or misplaced expectations of the result. The goal of the procedure is to lessen ones dependance on glasses and contacts not create perfect uncorrected vision. I am sure that is not the goal of a kid wanting to be an aviator. Their goal may exceed the realistic expectations of the procedure. Debbie Downer, here.
     
  5. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes Received:
    113
    Lots of questions, I'll try to answer, especially given your background with CRS:

    1)Scheduling conflict: I think you could do it. Basically you need two-three pre-op visits, surgery, and then a handful of post-op visits. My guess is that it would take some serious planning on the midshipman's part, but I think it could be done. (Surgery on Friday, back in class Monday type of deal)

    2)Rx stabilization: Absolutely need to be stable prior to surgery, for most folks though this will be around 20-22yrs of age, so midshipmen would probably be okay. I would not recommend this for the 18y/o plebe.

    3)Correct, as DOT they are not entitled to military care. They would have to have it done by a civilian provider in the area. Which leads to another question....

    4)Aviation standards: For applicants who are coming into aviation it is perfectly okay at this time to have PRK done by a civilian provider PRIOR to entering active service. Once someone is in the military they need to have it done by a military doctor, prior to that though they can get a waiver for Naval Aviation as long as they meet the standards after surgery. Again, this needs some discussion with KP Naval Science BEFORE anyone even thinks about going this route.

    5)DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT get any refractive surgery done prior to entering any Academy.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thank you kp2001, I think we finally have this nailed down for this month! :wink:
     
  7. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    0
    My DS had PRK surgery performed while at KP. It was coordinated through the Marine Corps selection office and his vision is now better than 20/20. When he was sent to Pensacola for his flight physical they were so impressed that they asked for the name of the clinic that performed the procedure. As stated earlier, we had to pay for the surgery and timing was critical. Do no, do not, do not have any "work" done on your eyes without consulting with and coordinating with KP. There are just too many variables to consider. LASIK is a dis qualifier in most cases for flight. Fell free to pm me with any specific questions you may have.
     

Share This Page