Laser Eye Surgery - Detectable?

#1
Hey all I'm off to Catterick for the CIC 24th Febuary 2008, Apparently I hear that it is possible to have laser surgery whilst in the Army, however you get downgraded or something for a year. The question is, If I had laser surgery on the sly, without informing the Army, is there anyway they can tell that I've had the surgery apart from asking me to read off the board (which I can most likely fake)? The reason I ask is because I've seen soldiers post on this forum before saying that they've had it and not informed the medical centre..

... how do I go about this?
 
#3
Depending on the method, the skill of the surgeon and the time elapsed, it's almost undetectable except to a specialist who knows he's looking for it.

However, think in terms of several years for the signs to go, and only then if you are lucky.
 
#4
Letterwritingman said:
You had an entry medical right?.....did you fake it then?

Values and Standards of the British Army, chief amongst which is integrity.

No I didn't fake it then. I doubt I speak only for myself when I say I don't want to have to be wearing glasses/contact lenses whilst in a conflict zone or even an op.. it's un-nessacary hastle.

I never thought I'd say this but Britain should take a leaf out of America's book on the term that the US Military pay for your laser wavefront surgery for everybody on entry, plus their pilots + special forces can have had it. There are no defects with Wavefront :/
 
#5
There are no defects with Wavefront
Don't kid yourself. There are possible complications with any surgical procedure. In addition, 'wavefront' is not the actual cutting/shaping bit of the op - it refers to the measuring of the eye beforehand, with assorted clever lasers and computer thingys. It is done to provide 'ultra-accurate' information to guide the subsequent operation, which is normally a Lasik procedure. Lasik has a 3 to 6% rate of subsequent complications - so that's 3 to 6 people in every hundred...

I've had it done, it's great, but no op is guaranteed safe, and you're screwing with your eyes - it's less fun than it could be. If any surgeon offering such procedures tells you it's 100% safe, they are unethical liars, and I would walk away with my sub-perfect but usable eyes intact.
 
#6
SmithsRail said:
Letterwritingman said:
You had an entry medical right?.....did you fake it then?

Values and Standards of the British Army, chief amongst which is integrity.

No I didn't fake it then. I doubt I speak only for myself when I say I don't want to have to be wearing glasses/contact lenses whilst in a conflict zone or even an op.. it's un-nessacary hastle.

I never thought I'd say this but Britain should take a leaf out of America's book on the term that the US Military pay for your laser wavefront surgery for everybody on entry, plus their pilots + special forces can have had it. There are no defects with Wavefront :/
So if you didn't fake it.......your eyesight would have been recorded on your entry medical paperwork and subsequently on the front of your FMed4. Eyesight rarely (if ever) spontaneously corrects itself, so if you suddenly start showing signs of a JC type miracle then someone will sniff something wrong.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#7
SmithsRail said:
I doubt I speak only for myself when I say I don't want to have to be wearing glasses/contact lenses whilst in a conflict zone or even an op.. it's un-necessary hassle.
Actually, I haven't found it a problem in the 22 years since I first went on ops.
 
#8
As laser eye surgery is relatively new, no one can tell you what the long term effects are/could be. Far better to wear contacts or glasses, than to have a medical discharge for bad eyesight ten years down the line.
 
#9
You don't want LASIK anyway, and they could see the flap. LASEK/PRK produces a cornea which is unusually flat in the centre compared to the surrounding area so if they were using optician kit they could see it, but not with the naked eye, or even with an opthalmoscope or a slit lamp.

And nothing is foolproof.
 
#10
gobbyidiot said:
You don't want LASIK anyway, and they could see the flap. LASEK/PRK produces a cornea which is unusually flat in the centre compared to the surrounding area so if they were using optician kit they could see it, but not with the naked eye, or even with an opthalmoscope or a slit lamp.

And nothing is foolproof.
My mate reckons that since he had it done, he can see out of one eye "like a fukin Kestrel"

the other is apparently bollocks.
 
#11
Had both eyes done some years ago. I can hear for miles.
 
#12
Letterwritingman said:
You had an entry medical right?.....did you fake it then?

Values and Standards of the British Army, chief amongst which is integrity.
Never nicked an extra bluebury muffin at scoff then.

I see fully why somebody would want to keep this quiet. I've never ha to sit down in an Opticians chair and get my eyes examined. Just had the read the letters back to front, see you later treatment.

Not advising you to go and do it, just saying when was the last time the army "Examined" your eyes?
 
#13
gobbyidiot said:
You don't want LASIK anyway, and they could see the flap. LASEK/PRK produces a cornea which is unusually flat in the centre compared to the surrounding area so if they were using optician kit they could see it, but not with the naked eye, or even with an opthalmoscope or a slit lamp.

And nothing is foolproof.
Reading that again, your cornea would be oddly flat in the middle if you start off shortsighted. If you are longsighted your cornea would end up unusually curvy in the middle, compared to the surrpunding tissue. That might be more noticeable - and you really, really don't want to have surgery for longsight - the surgery doesn't work as well, regression is much worse and longsighted people under 40 can function not too bad when they lose their specs/lenses.
 
#14
why hide it, LES is allowed, LASEK, LASIK, even ICR's, which is basically cutting the eye, inserting plastic rings into it and then sealing it up, if they allow that they allow pretty much any modern LES, here's the actual information from the MOD

With regard to surgical correction of myopia or hypermetropia, it is acknowledged that the following methods are now considered suitable for entry on an individual case by case basis for non-specialist employment groups and subject to single Service requirements:

(a) Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

(b) Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK)

(c) Laser in-situ Keratomileusis

(d) Intrastromal Corneal Rings (ICRs), otherwise known as Intrastromal
Segments (ICS).

Entry will not be considered for Radical Keratotomy (RK), or Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK), or any other form of incisional refractive surgery, other than those procedures listed above. All invasive intraocular surgical procedures will remain a bar to entry.
 
#15
I had LASEK about two years ago - very happy with it. With something as important as your sight, it makes sense to go for the best, don't be taken in by the cheap offers you see in the paper. I was told that I'd always have scarring with this procedure. Nothing I can see but something an optician would pick up.
 
#16
Bad_Crow said:
Letterwritingman said:
You had an entry medical right?.....did you fake it then?

Values and Standards of the British Army, chief amongst which is integrity.
Never nicked an extra bluebury muffin at scoff then.

I see fully why somebody would want to keep this quiet. I've never ha to sit down in an Opticians chair and get my eyes examined. Just had the read the letters back to front, see you later treatment.

Not advising you to go and do it, just saying when was the last time the army "Examined" your eyes?
ok lets assume this guy who's had his entry medical done and has completed training aspires to SF.........integrity?

Moving on...most , if not all correction procedures carry a risk, night flaring, heavy blows causing other problems etc; why not just accept a 1 year downgrading having undergone an MoD accepted procedure?

As to the bold qouted text, either your not a Senior or your not 30, if you are then please PM me your Regt at which you last had a PULHEEMS.
 
#17
Guess it depends how hard they look. I was talking to a sailor who got into the Navy by passing the eye test using his contact lenses and no-one has found out to date lol. If he can pull that off then I'm sure you'd be allright. But why risk the bollocking if you get caught? Just tell them, get it done, and if needed do something different for a year. No big deal.

J.
 
#18
I'm not sure about the Army, but I went to apply for the Royal Marines last year to be told I was borderline S3 (blind as a bat) -4 in each eye. I decided to go the laser surgery route and was given the Navys policy on Laser surgery, which is that LASEK and PRK are acceptable. You have to wait one year after having this surgery before you can start the application process.

LASIK is classed as an invasive surgery and the flap created by the laser (intralase) or blade will never correctly heal. You should not consider this surgery if you are considering the armed forces or play an impact sport such as rugby/martial arts. LASIK is detectable.

LASEK would be my suggestion if you intend to go through with the surgery. I did significant research into outcomes and LASEK produced much better results.
The flap created during LASEK surgery will also completely heal as no cut is made to the eye, the front of your eye is scraped off after alcohol is applied to losen the fleshy bit. I bricked it when they did this.
I was also informed that once the eyes have healed, LASEK is pretty much completely undetectable.
LASEK takes longer to heal and a couple of hours after, you're in a bit of pain. But if you're going in the army you can take it. :D

The exact surgery I got was Lasek with wavefront from Ultralase (avoid the budget surgery, it's not worth going through a less reputable firm just to save a few pennies).
I had the surgery about 7 months ago and my eyesight is slightly better than 20:20 now. I chose to wait the year rather than blag it for the following reasons. I was told that if they find out you've had the surgery and not declared it, you could be immediately discharged. I also felt like I would be constantly lying and unfortunately I'm far too honest. Finally it cost me £3k so I needed a year to pay it back. :D

If you are going to blag it I'll make the following suggestions.
When you go for the surgery, they'll ask you for your current doctors details. Just say you don't have one at the moment. If you give them the details, they will contact them and the surgery will be put on your medical record, which I believe the army look at during your application.
If you get LASEK which I strongly suggest, I'd wait three months after having it done before applying. I found it took about 6 weeks for my eyes to go back to normal and even then they felt funny when I was doing jujitsu or weight training.
Make sure you fully aware of the armys stance on the surgery.

Sorry bit of a rant, but I hope this helps.
 
#19
well I posted the Navy's offcial line on the last page and LASIK is allowed along with ICR's, and yes you can play contact sports after LASIK, who ever told you otherwise is wrong...
 
#20
petergriffen said:
well I posted the Navy's offcial line on the last page and LASIK is allowed along with ICR's, and yes you can play contact sports after LASIK, who ever told you otherwise is wrong...
I had LASEK (ie no flap). You can engage in contact sports after they've cut a flap in your eye, just be aware that your cornea is half the thickness of a credit card, the flap they cut can be lifted easily by a surgeon many years after they cut it, and the only thing holding it onto your eye is the epithelium (1/20th of the thickness of a credit card).

The results of the two procedures are the same (see the Royal College of Ophthalmologists website). Don't have a risky procedure if you don't have to. Don't let them cut a flap. It suits them to cut one because i) it disguises the problems associated with a cheap laser (because the surface facing the light is untouched), ii) you can see immediately and so tell all your friends how great it is and iii) you need far fewer follow-ups with a flap - you come off the steroids earlier and so they don't have to monitor your eye pressures and healing.

But have a surface treatment. LASIK is an arse of a procedure - dangerous on the day (try cutting a flap 160 microns thick on a surface that curves in every direction using a motorised razor blade), and with the potential of weakening your cornea and (effectively) blinding you - google "ectasia" if you want to scare yourself.
 

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