grumbo

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I have a question that's not directly related to this forum, but is probably a pretty good place to find an answer anyway. One of my friends has been accepted to be a Marine aviator and will be attending OCS at the end of January. During his flight physical, the flight surgeon said he had a self-reducing inguinal hernia. The FS said he could have try to get it taken care of (out-patient surgery on his own dime) before going to OCS or just live with it if it's not too bad. Now that he's working out constantly to prep for OCS, it's causing him some irritation, but not a big deal. He's concerned that if he tries to tough it out, it might get exacerbated during OCS and they send him home. But, if he tries to get it fixed, it might not be healed in time, or they might send him home because he had a surgery since his last physical.

Do you surgeon types recommend he have it fixed before leaving? Will he have time to heal (8wks)? Should he try to tough it out and get in the system and then address it? Does anyone know what's the paper work process of having a surgery after the physical and then reporting for OCS?

I understand this may not be the best way to have these questions answered, but he just found out and is trying to make a decision as soon as possible. All of his resources and mine are out of town for the holiday, so I'm turning to you guys. Thanks for any help.
 

FliteSurgn

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He has to have it fixed. It's what we call a "disqualifying defect." That means that you are NOT able to fly until it has been fixed.

Eight weeks is plenty of time to heal. Most of my hernia patients are back to their usual activity within 1-2 weeks....but, there is still a misconceived notion among a lot of surgeons that everyone needs 6 weeks of activity restrictions after a hernia repair. This misconception dates back to when hernias were repaired under tension and without the aid of mesh reinforcement. In a modern, tension-free, mesh repair there is no reason to limit anyone's activity. I tell them to let their discomfort be their guide. For the first few days, they won't want to do a ton, but over the first week or two they can increase activity as tolerated back to their usual level.
 

grumbo

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Thanks for the advice. That's pretty much what I was going to tell him, but I wanted a more experienced opinion to back me up.
 
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gravy4thebrain

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He should not attend OCS with a hernia. When I was there, plenty of healthy,fit candidates developed injuries that required them to disenroll and attend the following summer. If he goes to Quantico with an injury, it is certain to only get worse- eventually causing him to be dropped.
 

IntelChick

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I know your frustration. When I initially started this process medical would not even allow me to have a IFC I physical done due to my vision. I then got my commander involved and the next thing you know I had a date for my physical. My physical was recently submitted to AFRC and it came back denied because my refraction is greater then what is regulated by AFI 48-123 A4.8 Table A4.1. I don't get it. My vision is correctable to 20/20 and I'm in AMC trying to fly heavies so why should my refraction matter? I know that people are granted vision waivers all of the time, so I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. If anyone has any good recommendations please feel free to let me know. Any help is appreciated. After all, there is nothing better in life then flying:D.
 

sethco

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I know your frustration. When I initially started this process medical would not even allow me to have a IFC I physical done due to my vision. I then got my commander involved and the next thing you know I had a date for my physical. My physical was recently submitted to AFRC and it came back denied because my refraction is greater then what is regulated by AFI 48-123 A4.8 Table A4.1. I don't get it. My vision is correctable to 20/20 and I'm in AMC trying to fly heavies so why should my refraction matter? I know that people are granted vision waivers all of the time, so I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. If anyone has any good recommendations please feel free to let me know. Any help is appreciated. After all, there is nothing better in life then flying:D.


The vision requirements for IFC 1A are strict. It does not matter if your vision is correctable to 20/20, if is really poor to start off with. The only way around this is to get either PRK or Lasik and then retake your flight physical months after your surgery.

Bomberdoc is right, there is no back door into the flying community regarding physical standards.
 

IntelChick

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Thank you. Your information was much more helpful then BomberDoc. Because I am in intel now I work with all of the pilots everyday and they just keep telling me don't give up because people get vision waivers all of the time. I will consider PRK or Lasik. I just want to fly and am willing to do whatever it takes to do so.
 

BomberDoc

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Thank you. Your information was much more helpful then BomberDoc. Because I am in intel now I work with all of the pilots everyday and they just keep telling me don't give up because people get vision waivers all of the time. I will consider PRK or Lasik. I just want to fly and am willing to do whatever it takes to do so.
Yeah, I'm a dick. I don't care. Anyway, don't be so quick to get the CC involved and you will make fewer enemies. If you want to do PRK or Lasik, go for it. The waiver requirement is two post-op dilated eye exams 6 months apart. You can probably get PRK through Warfighter and get it done at an MTF. In my squadron, Intel folks were coded as operators which made this kind of thing easier.

I had a strong reaction to your earlier post because I had a situation a while ago where a kid had Lasik done as a civilian and lied about it on his commissioning physical. He did this because he wanted a pilot slot. He was disqualified at that time. He kept trying and trying to get another physical, got everybody with birds on their shoulders involved, claimed he was being unfairly treated, got the MAJCOM involved, etc. I told the kid, "No. This is an integrity issue. If you had not lied upon entering the military, you would likely be in UPT now. Lying is bad. Live with the consequences of your actions. You could be admin separated for this. Be glad you aren't getting kicked to the street." I also this to his CC. I made him ARMA (Adaptability Rating for Military Aviation) Unsat. I've only had to use that stick twice, and both for people who wanted to backdoor their way into flying. That crap pisses me off. I want to play in the NBA but I'm short, uncoordinated, and my jumpshot sucks. I'm physically disqualified from an NBA career, but just because I really want it doesn't mean it should happen.
 
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