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Laser Eye Surgery Advancements

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fyi... from today's AVweb's AVflash...


Military Lauds New Laser Eye Surgery

Permitted For Some Pilots...


Gone are the days when laser eye surgery meant an automatic disqualification for would-be military pilots. A more sophisticated version we told you about in May 2003, called wavefront-guided LASIK, is now being used by Air Force doctors as a "performance enhancement" procedure designed as "an improvement to the human weapon system." The Air Force now allows (in fact, seems to encourage) the procedure for pilots who don't fly high-performance or training aircraft, but does not allow it for "those whose aircraft have cabin altitudes potentially above 14,000 feet." The new procedure does a better job of precisely adjusting for the small aberrations on the cornea that can throw off vision. It does so by creating a map of the corneal surface to guide the laser. Conventional LASIK surgery relies on the person's prescription for glasses. Laser surgery was approved by the Air Force for non-flying personnel in 2000 and extended to low-altitude pilots last June.



...And It Works

Col. (Dr.) Robert Smith, the program manager of the Air Force Warfighter Refractive Surgery Program, performed the first laser surgery on a pilot in September. "That aviator now has 20/12 vision (better than 20/20) without glasses and tells me that his night-vision performance has been tremendously improved," Dr. Smith said. He added that the surgery gives military pilots "the competitive edge in their work environment." More improvements are on the way. New technology allows even more customized treatment with the potential for even bigger vision improvements. X-ray vision is next. (OK, maybe not.)

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Guest graunch1

Knowing TC I would say yes as they are always behind the technology curve. In PNR it was a 3 month wait when

i had mine Lasiked about 6 years ago and Quebec was 12 month at the same time for the same procedure. I would check with my friendly TC medic to see what today's requrements are form the geniuses

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

I was told by my CAME at my last medical that there is no longer any prescribed waiting period. Some guys are back on within as little as three weeks. Depends on how knowlwdgable your CAME is on the procedure and what your ophtalmologist sez to him/her about your particular recovery...


Jurgen, Laser surgery can correct Myopia, Astigmatism, Hypermetropy and a couple other rarer vision defects. Essentially, any condition that can be corrected by modifying the curvature of the cornea can be corrected by laser.


People who are not suitable candidates have thinner than average corneas or very large pupils. Any condition related to the optical nerve cannot be corrected with the laser.


I was myopic (-4.25 on both sides) with a touch of astigmatism when I had my eyes "lased" six years ago. Since then I've had 20/20 vision and no funky night effects as some people experience. :up:


The technology is improving all the time. When I had mine done, the ophtalmologist would examine you the good old way with the rig with all the different possible lenses and when you were comfortable with the correction, he would dial that correction into the laser. Now, the laser actuallt measures the curve of your cornea and calculates the necessary correction itself...


Just beware you may not be able to fly back home if you go ahead with it. I know France does not allow commercial helicopter pilots to have the procedure, but their standards are the same for commercial pilots as for astronauts, so...

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Guest graunch1

Check out the website for the Gimbel Eye Centre in Calgary




Dr Gimbel is a leading world authority and pioneer on eye surgery and has an amazing facility in YYC. I didn't even begin to know what some of the gizmos were they they were using - and that was 6 years ago!!

I went from 9.5 diopters to zero in other words I couldn't see the big E to 20-20

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