Boxing with laser eye surgery

Discussion in 'Professionally Qualified, RAMC and QARANC' started by lukederbygoines, Apr 22, 2010.

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  1. I am gunner smith and i am currently on hold from boxing for my regiment until an army opthalmic surgeon has had a look at my eyes.

    I have had lasek corrective surgery on my eyes. After surgery are the eyes good enough to take a punch? and what i want to know is, what are the chances that i will still be able to box??

    I would appreciate as much information that anyone has on this matter.

    Thanks a lot,

    Gunner smith.
  2. Just pulled this from the ABAE website:

    Eyes and eye-sight:
    i. Visual acuity must be assessed separately for each eye by the Snellen
    method, WITHOUT contact lenses or spectacles being worn. Visual acuity
    which is worse than 6/12 in the better eye and/or worse than 6/24 in the
    poorer eye automatically renders a boxer unfit to box.
    ii. Squint or visual defect requires referral for a specialist ophthalmological
    opinion. (This may be a qualified high street optician but if they remain
    concerned then a consultant ophthalmologist will need to give an opinion)
    iii. The eyes must be ophthalmoscopically examined for evidence of corneal
    scarring, cataract and retinal tears, detachment or haemorrhage.
    iv. History of retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataract or corneal or intra-ocular
    surgery (and this includes all laser surgery) is a bar to boxing (previous squint
    surgery that has given a good result is allowed).

    This document is available at

    It is in Ch 10.

    I hope this is useful.

    Eddited to add: not sure if Army boxing goes by the rules of the ABAE. A good person to speak to would be your unit MO. IIRC it is usually them that do the fit to box medicals.
  3. Thanks for that info.

    I have been told that i need to see a specialist army opthalmic surgeon and they will examine my eyes and decide whether im fit to box.

    Thing is, ive been told that it could take up to 4 weeks to be seen, and the next tournament is in 4 weeks...

    Does anyone know whether or not an army opthalmic surgeon would decide that laser treated eyes would be fine in boxing???
  4. Well you're going to miss the next bout.

    I would imagine an Army Opthalmic Surgeon would know wheter or not lasered eyes were fine for boxing....

    Think about it from this point of view, the roar of the crowd lasts for a few minutes, the pride lasts for ever and all that b0110cks... but then so would blindness/vision impairment if your oppo managed to land a good punch.

    You'd be out of the Army too.
  5. a good punch can damage anyone's eyes, whether they have had surgery or not. you have to sign a waiver accepting that knowledge before you can fight anyway....
  6. Don't get all macho about it. There is a finite risk that you will be injured boxing, starting from an uninjured position. The odds are favourable. Once you have had surgery, laser or otherwise, those odds change massively and not in your favour alas.

    I assume you had the laser surgery to improve your eyesight, get rid of the fudge factor of specs or lenses on ops/exercise and generally? Well that is your billy bonus. Your downside is no more boxing. Sorry - I know how I felt when I hung my boots up last year.

    Curiously there is no equivalent blanket ban for rugby. Indeed Marcus Di Rollo and Paul O'Connell are both playing after surgery. O'Connell did look a heck of a geek in his specs to be fair.
  7. I might be wrong but I thought the Army doesn't approve of laser eye surgery and it could still be classed as self inflicted injury if it effects your future employability.

    Not saying I agree with it, but it is (was) policy.
  8. I wasn'y trying to be macho about it, it's not like I can say: hey, I don't mind.. and then fight anyway.

    My opthalmic surgeon told me, and everyone they operate on, that after your eyes are fully healed, you can take part in contact sports like boxing, martial arts and rugby and the eyes will be fine. Thats why I had the longer procedure, with a longer healing time and more expensive due to this.

    I'm sure that the surgeons weren't lying to everyone about this?? And that it may just be a case of another, army qualified opthalmic surgeon to look at my eyes and say it's ok...

    Just got to wait.
  9. Yes you are wrong - it has been allowed for a few years now with a 6 month downgrading period.
  10. I heard 12 months, or did I hear wrong?
  11. I wonder if we can get done via the med centre now?

    I know many ATOs who are allowed free contact lenses, and this could be a cheaper option!
  12. Although some forms of Corneal Refractive Surgery (CRS) are permitted for serving military personnel and are not a bar to recruitment, there are some procedures that are not sanctioned by military ophthamologists and are a bar to recruitment.

    If your condition is correctable by CRS you have to approach your MO and let him/her know you'd like to undergo the procedure. You will then be referred to a military consultant opththamologist who will confirm if your condition is amenable for CRS, inform you that as with all surgery, things can occasionally go wrong (a few individuals undergoing CRS have ended up with worse vision) and refer you to an appropriate surgeon. The problem is that you have to self-fund the surgery.

    Do not under any circumstances be tempted to have CRS without consulting your MO and being referred. I know of a number of cases where this has happened and it ended in tears, pun intended.Oh! post surgery there is a significant period of downgrading.

  13. The answer is there sorry your out.
  14. I box and I've had surgery.

    Many people don't seem to understand that there are different types of refractive surgery.

    You had LASEK (as I did) which, after the healing period, has no appreciable difference from a normal eye with regard to injury. Once cleared by an approved ophthalmologist after 12 months post-op, you are good to go (with a few careers not open to you...SF is one, sniper may be another...) The careers caveat is due to the optential for slightly reduced light amplification in a surgically corrected eye - not relevant for a boxer.

    LASIK has a much shorter recovery period but the corneal flap tat is formed by the operation is prone to injury from physical trauma. LASIK and all corneal flap procedures are a permanent bar to entry into HM Forces.

    The ABA guidelines are a crock of shit and should be redrawn to distinguish between surface or flap treatments.
  15. Finally, the reply I was looking for!!

    I am aware of what the ABA's policy on laser surgery is thankyou, however like someone just replied, it depends on the kind of surgery that you have had.

    Carcass, did an army opthalmic surgeon clear you to box then?

    Do you think that once I have seen one, they will say that I am ok to box??