Corrective Eye Surgery

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by the_matelot, Sep 18, 2005.

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  1. Right, having looked at Sabre's post-op report, I've decided to think about getting the same thing done to me as I am blind as a bat without glasses. Seriously.

    Can any medical types tell me:

    a) What is the militarys stance on having corrective treatment done at my own cost?

    b) Does anyone know of any horror stories to have happened to anyone in the forces because of eye surgery?

    c) What's the recovery period?

    d) What's the safest/best form of corrective surgery?

    e) How much am I looking at (no pun intended!) cost wise?

    f) Would it be better for me to wait a while between eyes or get both of them done at once?

    g) Do any coppers know if I decided to become one, it would prevent my application?
  2. The Recovery period is you are not really allowed to do hard physical, or contact sports for the first month,

    Cost wise, it cost me 2450 NZD per eye, so you looking around 2000 pounds for both eyes.

    Its adviseable to get both eyes done at the same time, as you will still be under the recovery period per eye, so it just makes the healing time even less.

    As i said i dont feel any pain in it, i just have to go carefull for the first month

    The stuff i had done was called lasik surgey, but there are a few other forms, so your best of having a talk with them.

    The do cornea mapping and all kinds of test to see if you are a likley candidate for the surgery and answer all your questions then and there, and that part doesnt even cost a penny.
    Try booking your self in to have this done, least you get most of your answers straight from the horses mouthso to speak.
    As for the coppers/Army stuff not sure on that side of things
  3. There are a few different types of procedure that can cure shortsightedness. I myself went for a procedure called LASEK or Epiflap. This is the older more established method where the cells on the surface of the eye are softened with alchohol then pushed to the side, the laser correction is done then the cells are pushed back into place. £800 both eyes, job done. (this was a special offer though at half price). I got this done with Optimax in London. I have had no problems and now have better than 20/20 vision. The recovery time was three days of lying on the sofa listening to the radio. The after effects are a bit unpleasant but nothing major. After the anasthetic eye drops wear off your eyes will close up and hurt a bit, especially in bright light.

    The procedure that sabre got, LASIK, is where they slice off the front of the cornea then fold it back, the correction is done then the flap is folded back. This is more expensive but the recovery time is quicker and it doesn't hurt as much. Apparently! The reason I didn't have this done is that if the flap is disloged after surgery than there can be complications, also they dont advise people who have had this procedure to get involved in contact sports. I know the army and the marines don't want people who have had surgery but I think that will change in the future as I know loads of bill oddies who have had it done and kept quiet about it. I think the police are cool about it as long as you have waited six months or something before you apply.

    Like Sabre said get yourself along to a clinic, thay will have loads of info about it. Have a word with your GP and see if you can speak to a consultant at your local eye hospital. (dont bother aking an optician, they are a bit biased). I would thoroughly recommend it, not having to wear glasses or contact lenses again is brilliant and I havent noticed any problems with my night vision either.

    The actual procedure takes about 10 minutes and is no worse than going to the dentist!

    At the end of the day its your decision so make sure you get as much info as possible. Have a look at this website:
  4. Before you part with your money, it might be wise to do a bit of serious research.

    I cannot claim to be an expert, but about ten years ago I went on a training course at University College (part of the University of London), which included time in University College Hospital, its associated Medical School, and the Middlesex Hospital. It was some in-service training to help me teach a Medical Physics module in A-Level Science. The academic, doctors, and researchers there were none too keen on laser eye surgery. They advised only having one eye done at a time, in case there was a problem. As they put it, if the doctor screws up you've only wrecked one eye, not both. They also pointed out that they did not know of any doctor who did such eye surgery who had been prepared to have the operations done on their own eyes! All those I met were wearing glasses...

    Of course, things may well have changed in the past ten years, but I was put off for life, and remain quite happy with my double glazing. In any case, is it worth it? The good old ageing process will mean the lenses in your eyes will gradually harden as presbyopia kicks in, and you will end up wearing glasses again sooner or later.

    As they said, your money, your eyes, your risk, your choice....
  5. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer lad Goatboy (16) wants to be a present he wears glasses only if he's at the back of the classroom ...... for reasons which elude me he's thinking about a career with Crab Air, driving Fat Alberts/Chinooks if they'll take him. ( I think its the lure of the 4 star hotels personally....)

    I don't think he would pass the current (unassisted) eyesight requirement so laser surgery is the only way forward ....does anyone know what the RAF medical position is on laser eye surgery please ?

    Much appreciated,

    Le Chevre
  6. Goatman, from speaking with both a laser eye clinic and from someone who had it done, I would venture to suggest that your son's eyesight would not be considered bad enough to warrant the risk of laser surgery. The guy I spoke with personally has told me that his eyesight is now not perfect but good enough to be a pilot, whereas before he was almost legally blind without specs.

    Unfortunately he screwed up his flight screening and was told "no thanks", AFTER spending beaucoup $$$ on the laser surgery just to get in as a pilot, but he's happy he doesn't have to wear glasses any more for anything.

    If your son is intent simply on being "in", perhaps he would be happy with being a loadmaster or other crew, which perhaps has slightly less stringent standards.
  7. Well, I soldiered for many years with specs and c lens. Eventually I had Lasik, and wished it had been available years ago (I'd been following eye surgery developments since the early 1980s, but it was a bit like buying a computer - as soon as you commit, something better and cheaper comes along..). My Lasik clinic advocated the "both eyes at once" route (my sister had the "one" eye method and just suffered headaches and eye strain until no2 was done). Op was fast - 10 minutes for both eyes - completely painless and i was able to see as soon as I stood up. Bit of discomfort for 24 hrs, but no worse than a bit of grit under a contact lens. I ended up with 20/20 or better for distance, and a slight variation for nearsight - they usually offer free adjustment, but I haven't bothered. So far, no problems after five years. No data exists yet on long-term affects, but the number of short-term problems does seem to be very, very small. I previously had eye damage from an explosive injury, and I tend to the view that eyes are a lot more rugged than people think - main problem is infection, which is probablly more common with contact lens wearers. Now that I'm back in a hostile desert location (!) I am extremely glad I am free of c lens or glasses - no point in worrying about poor eye-sight in old age if steamed-up glasses or a lost contact lens might get you killed whilst you're young.
  8. This is only for the first month really, rather than for ever otherwise i wouldnt have had it done!!
  9. I would be interested to know what the Army's stance on this type of treatment is as I've been thinking about having it done since before I joined up. After hearing so many positive stories from people that have had corrective surgery done, I'm now even more determined to give it a go. I understand it's expensive and somewhat risky but the thought of being able to ditch my specs and contact lenses for good is very appealing. I currently pay about £150 a year for disposable contacts and about another £40 a year on glasses so it would be great to have that expense taken away. Also when I go on tour I wouldn't have to worry about accidently crushing my glasses or having to keep my contacts clean (which is nigh on impossible in the field).

    Does any one know the definitive stance the Army have on it?
  10. Had both done in the early 90's. Still serving but keep shelling civilians and can't hear a thing.
  11. My eyes aren't great, and I was considering this option. My MO last year actually said that it wasn't allowed because of problems at high altitude. However, I'm not in the paras and "Reg" mates of mine have had it done without any difficulty at all. I also happen to think that he might have been a couple of c0cks short of a gang-bang.

    I now use the (relatively) new type of lenses which you can leave in for a month. £20 for the month (i.e. one pair), they're good, although it's important that you take them out every now and again and, like normal lenses, give them a clean if you feel them getting dirty. They've been a godsend on exercise though, and I highly recommend them.
  12. Goatman, I was in exactly the same situation when I finished my A-levels, after speaking to the careers officer I was assured that the RAF would NOT accept pilots with laser eye surgery. This may have changed in the past 3 years, as it is becoming a more common procedure, so who knows there may be hope :)
    If he is that desperate to fly, he could always try the AAC, you can be up to -1.75 to fly choppers for them, as long as the eye can be corrected to 20/20 with glasses etc.