Is surgery after getting the medical exam allowed?

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Im asking because I've seen other people talk about how a simple surgery a few years ago got them disqualified and I don't know if it'll get in the way at all. It isn't a mandatory surgery.
 

LineInTheSand

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You would need to update your status, and you would risk disqualification (depending on the surgery).
 

AJC

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you will be "DQ'd" for 6 months after any surgery.
less of an issue for ROTC as a scholarship winner the waiver process is automatic and you can participate while waiting for the 6 months to pass.
then depending on the surgery there will will be some sort of remedial.
my son had his appendix out. they asked for the hospital discharge paper work and a letter from the surgeon.
the key phrase for the letter was "cleared for unrestricted activities".
 

Brave

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DD was advised to have her wisdom teeth removed before coming to the SA. The advice came from her cadre who said that taking care of that before getting there would mean she wouldn't miss any schooling/pt time during recovery. It was also advised by her FFR to tend to this beforehand. Being a three sport athlete, we were going to schedule the procedure between seasons in Feb/Mar to avoid lost athletic time. Should we rethink this plan?
 

ktnatalk

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DD was advised to have her wisdom teeth removed before coming to the SA. The advice came from her cadre who said that taking care of that before getting there would mean she wouldn't miss any schooling/pt time during recovery. It was also advised by her FFR to tend to this beforehand. Being a three sport athlete, we were going to schedule the procedure between seasons in Feb/Mar to avoid lost athletic time. Should we rethink this plan?

I am not a dentist, but have been told it really depends on the status of the wisdom teeth, and it is supposed to be easier/quicker to recover before they come out or are pushing on the healthy ones.

DS was going to have his pulled between HS graduation and I day for the same reasons. He took a few sips of water that morning and the surgeon said he has to reschedule. He ended up getting them taken out before Veterans Day and used that weekend to recover in school. Maybe there were too many Mids needing it - it was done out in town in Annapolis. It ended up saving us over $600 co-pay with Tricare dental plan.
 
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5Day

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You question is way too vague. Some surgeries are disqualifying just because you had the surgery and you would require a waiver. Others just require a waiting period. The best advice would be to contact DoDMERB with the specifics. If 6 months is required prior to I day, you will need to have the surgery soon.
 

tjb1975

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My son had an emergency appendectomy in August. Applied for AROTC in September. Notified he was a 4 year winner in December. He listed it on his medical form. No additional information was requested.
 

xcmum

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My DS has his applications in to USAFA, USMA and USNA. Both his regular dentist & his orthodontist highly recommended he get his wisdom teeth out and referred him to an oral surgeon. In September, we made an appointment with the oral surgeon for an evaluation during the first week of Christmas Break (Dec.21) with an appointment for surgery the next week (Dec. 28th) so it wouldn't interfere with his classes. He received his "Qualified" letter from DoDMERB a little over a week ago. That letter stated, "IN PARTICULAR. IF ELECTIVE SURGERY OR MEDICAL TREATMENT IS CONTEMPLATED, NOTIFY DODMERB PRIOR TO TREATMENT OR PROCEDURE, AS THIS MAY ADVERSELY AFFECT YOUR MEDICAL STATUS." He received this letter on a Friday and the following Monday, I called to let them know about the scheduled surgery and asked if we should wait on surgery since I didn't want anything to interfere with his 'Qualified' status. The gentleman I spoke with seemed somewhat dismissive and told me I only needed to contact them if DS had any complications from the surgery otherwise he was fine. Based on this conversation, DS proceeded with the evaluation appointment, where the oral surgeon told him they absolutely needed to come out and he then had his surgery this past Wednesday(28th). He is doing great so far, no swelling and only minor mouth aching for which he had been taking ibuprofen. His surgeon told him he could resume his running today if he felt up to it and he ran an easy 4 miles this morning without issues. Now after reading replies to this post, I am a little worried again that we should have waited.

If he gets an appointment, USAFA class of 2021 enters on June 29th. If the 6 months is the magic number, then that would be June 28th, the day before he would need to report for BCT which is cutting it very close. Not sure if he should contact DoDMERB again or not?
 

ktnatalk

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@xcmum, please do not worry. He is fine, just reference the conversation with DoDMERB if the subject come up in the future.

Wishing you and DS a happy new year!
 

Dial the gate

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My DS was DoDMERB Qualified in August, shoulder surgery from fall football injury in November. When he notified DoDMERB (as you are required to do), they revoked his qualified status while still on the phone! He was instructed to send every medical report until completely cleared. A couple weeks later he received the remedial paperwork in the mail and is now just waiting while he heals.
Call the DoDMERB help desk, they will tell you what you need to do, as 5Day (who is always spot on!) says, it really depends on your condition. I do believe wisdom teeth, although a surgery, is a different animal than ACL, torn labrum, medical issues, etc.
Also, as an aside, when you say it isn't a mandatory surgery, DoDMERB may completely disagree with you and consider it an unresolved issue. Don't wait too long; as others have said, your condition may require a 6 month healing period. DS's surgeon wanted to wait until after the holidays and we had to stress to him that it needed to be done right away or we had the potential risk of running out of time.
 
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You question is way too vague. Some surgeries are disqualifying just because you had the surgery and you would require a waiver. Others just require a waiting period. The best advice would be to contact DoDMERB with the specifics. If 6 months is required prior to I day, you will need to have the surgery soon.

Okay that makes sense. What about if I get into the academy? After I am already there, is there a possibility I could get it? It's a breast reduction by the way.
 

Capt MJ

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Okay that makes sense. What about if I get into the academy? After I am already there, is there a possibility I could get it? It's a breast reduction by the way.

TRICARE is the military active duty healthcare program. If you are deemed to have a medical need for surgery, the Academy healthcare team would coordinate that with specialists at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and it would happen there or possibly be referred to a civilian provider. Timing would be in direct relation with urgency, to minimize impact on academic year and summer training.

I have known people (not mids) with your procedure to get it, because of impact on shoulder joint or other problems. WRNMMC does have plastic surgeons. Getting the surgery for strictly cosmetic reasons - that's where I am vague. I think there is a waiting list... getting medical care from civilian providers for a non-urgent situation, especially elective surgery, while on active duty AND a mid - would take some coordination.

I have also known people to get elective surgery, timing it for shore duty and taking their own leave time to get it, depending on the nature of it. There are, of course, policies that cover all of this.

I suggest getting all the facts, expected recovery time, risk of complications, a timeline, and call DODMERB, talk it through. Soon! As in, this week. I am sure you wouldn't be contemplating this procedure lightly, and need it for your own comfort.

My comments relate to USNA setting.
 
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5Day

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Funny how the minor surgery was assumed to be wisdom teeth. Breast reduction surgery will not be disqualifying, but there will be a recovery period. I recommend you review the DoD medical standard and see if you can find anything pertaining to breast reduction surgery. Here is the standard http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/613003p.pdf After a quick reveiw I could not find anything on point. The closest I could find is: History of chest wall surgery (34-34.9), including breast (85-85.9), during the preceding 6 months, or with persistent functional limitations. If this applies it would be 6 months after the surgery and no functional limitations. You may need documentation that states there were no tumors, cancer or masses and that it was done for your comfort.

Best bet would be to contact DoDMERB or Larry Mullen. Larry is the Deputy Director of DoDMERB. His contact information is here https://dodmerb.tricare.osd.mil/Con...ate) Reference Document as of 12 May 2016.pdf
 

Capt MJ

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The concern would be how soon could you start pounding out push-ups and coping with other physical activities that put stress on the chest musculature and involved area.
 
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TRICARE is the military active duty healthcare program. If you are deemed to have a medical need for surgery, the Academy healthcare team would coordinate that with specialists at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and it would happen there or possibly be referred to a civilian provider. Timing would be in direct relation with urgency, to minimize impact on academic year and summer training.

I have known people (not mids) with your procedure to get it, because of impact on shoulder joint or other problems. WRNMMC does have plastic surgeons. Getting the surgery for strictly cosmetic reasons - that's where I am vague. I think there is a waiting list... getting medical care from civilian providers for a non-urgent situation, especially elective surgery, while on active duty AND a mid - would take some coordination.

I have also known people to get elective surgery, timing it for shore duty and taking their own leave time to get it, depending on the nature of it. There are, of course, policies that cover all of this.

I suggest getting all the facts, expected recovery time, risk of complications, a timeline, and call DODMERB, talk it through. Soon! As in, this week. I am sure you wouldn't be contemplating this procedure lightly, and need it for your own comfort.

My comments relate to USNA setting.

Thank you so much. That helps a lot!
 
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Funny how the minor surgery was assumed to be wisdom teeth. Breast reduction surgery will not be disqualifying, but there will be a recovery period. I recommend you review the DoD medical standard and see if you can find anything pertaining to breast reduction surgery. Here is the standard http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/613003p.pdf After a quick reveiw I could not find anything on point. The closest I could find is: History of chest wall surgery (34-34.9), including breast (85-85.9), during the preceding 6 months, or with persistent functional limitations. If this applies it would be 6 months after the surgery and no functional limitations. You may need documentation that states there were no tumors, cancer or masses and that it was done for your comfort.

Best bet would be to contact DoDMERB or Larry Mullen. Larry is the Deputy Director of DoDMERB. His contact information is here https://dodmerb.tricare.osd.mil/Con...ate) Reference Document as of 12 May 2016.pdf

Well in that case I would have had to have gotten the procedure on 1/1!!! Because I-day is exactly 6 months from then. I guess I will just have to wait to see if I get into the academy (fingers crossed) to see what my options are. Thank you!
 

Capt MJ

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If deemed elective by Navy medicine, it's a challenge to get those kinds of things done when in a strictly regimented training pipeline, such as a Service Academy, and after graduation, on sea duty (Surface Warfare officers go straight to their ships) or in aviation, submarines or other training pipelines. Your SA summers will be filled with training and about 3 weeks leave (vacation).

The only window I see to get it once admitted to USNA is immediately after graduation, when many grads take leave and then return to USNA in a "stash" job doing special projects or working in various departments around USNA, while waiting to report to various schools later in the same calendar year. Of course, if military medicine determines your condition merited surgery because of injurious effects on shoulders or spine, or other legitimate medical issues, then the landscape changes.

There could be other windows created during summer training, which is a mix of required, elective and leave blocks. That would depend on current policy, and support from Brigade medical and your chain of command, with concurrence by training staff.

I do urge you to get info direct from DODMERB, the primary source, on how surgery affects medical qualification status.

You are smart to gather info now, before going ahead with the procedure, to understand the implications.

In the meantime, invest in quality support garments professionally fitted to address your comfort. I know it's not a laughing matter.

Please remember these are just my opinions, based on what I have observed over the years. Nothing is a substitute for primary sources and current policy.
 
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