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Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by IgD, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. IgD

    IgD The Lorax 10+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2005
    My colleague (a physician) tried to get Lasik recently. The military told him he wasn't eligible for the procedure since he had less than one year on active duty. What do you think of that?
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  3. R-Me-Doc

    R-Me-Doc Now an X-R-Me-Doc 10+ Year Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    He's been on active duty for less than a year, or he has less than one year left on active duty? I know they won't do it if your committment is soon to expire . . . I can't really blame them for that, either.
  4. Galo

    Galo Senior Member Physician 7+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    SOP for the AF. It was something we all knew about. However, unless its changed recently, in the AF, you were only allowed to have PRK, and of course, your commander had to sign off on it. One of our surgeons got it, and other than thinking he was blind for 48 hrs, he felt he had great results.

    By the way, I think its petty for them to bait you and say that you have less than 365 days, so you cant have it.
  5. resxn

    resxn 10+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    the official AFI is that you cannot have elective surgery within 6 months of separation or retirement. I understand the separation rule, but retirement? when the benefits won't change anyway? Another stupid rule in a stupid system.
  6. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Home Again
    I think there are approximately 7,429 more important things to be annoyed about. I don't have a problem with the military not offering elective surgery to people who are getting out.

    For a while, you couldn't even get on the waitlist for refractive surgery at some MTFs unless you were a SF type, then a gonna-deploy type, now anyone can get it. Still, people who are getting out of the military ought to ride the end of the waitlist.

    C'mon, this is LASIK, not a hernia repair. It's only slightly less elective than a boob job. :rolleyes:
  7. Heeed!

    Heeed! On target, On time! 10+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    San Antonio, TX
    ...And how about some prior planning??? If you're waiting until 6 months prior to separation/retirement to start thinking about LASIK, it probably hasn't been a significant enough problem in the first place. Are there exceptions? Of course. But I concur with pgg.
  8. USAFdoc

    USAFdoc exUSAFdoc 5+ Year Member

    May 21, 2005

    possibly what they are thinking is that they do not want ANY elective surgery ("blanket rule") so that there is no channce of some unforseen complication delaying the retirment etc.

    I know, LASIK side effects/complications rare, but thats probably what they are thinking.:idea:
  9. megadon

    megadon 5+ Year Member

    Aug 26, 2006
    I had LASIK in 1999. I called the clinic in Charleston, and asked about wheter it was approved by the Navy for submarines. They said yes, so I had it done between prototype and Submarine officer basic course. Get ready to graduate, and find out I am medically disqualified. About three hours later, I was allowed to love Groton, CT and head to Norfolk. I was placed on medical hold, yet somehow reported to my boat and got underway. But those months don't count, I was waiting on a six month postop by the Navy to determine if I was waiver eligible. I should have done more legwork, cost me three months sea-pay while I was officially assigned to squadron, yet didn't figure out how to get into the building till about a year later.

    From a Navy standpoint, up until two years ago, when I got out, become a contractor and pursued med school, the Navy didn't like LASIK. I'm assuming the AF has the same arguments, concerns over the flap breaking in under/over pressure enviroments. Hence they were pushing PRK, which is the reason why they are so many more midshipmen eligible for aviation. I've heard Tuesday is Naval Academy day over at Bethesda in the PRK clinic.

    If the AF will let you have Lasik over PRK, take it, much less painful recovery, like none. If it is because he's been in less than a year, follow the stupid rule. He's committed to at least four anyway. It's not like we aren't used to following stupid rules. I understand being pissed over a stupid rule that possible could be only mandated for that hospital/clinic vice the entire AF. Hasn't been the first time I've seen that happen (extra rules limiting something to a single command beyond what the entire force is entitled too).

    My advice, if it is not a published AF policy, and is limited to that specific location only (because they don't want to do it), one option you have is contacting the inspector general. They should investigate whether or not that command has put in place a restrictive policy that is not in keeping with the AF. HOWEVER, this will make you EXTREMELY unpopular with the command if they find out you instituted it, cause you are a whistle blower.

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