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PRK vs. LASIK

Discussion in 'Military Pilots' started by UAShopeful, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. UAShopeful

    UAShopeful Well-Known Member

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    I know this is a much-discussed topic, but all of my research seems to be falling short, and I've been finding that the best information I've been getting has been personal anecdotes from those of you who have had surgery.

    My situation: I need to get one of the procedures done and I need to get it done soon. I've read through the FC1 guide and from what I've been reading, it seems both procedures are good to go. However, I have heard from a few people that PRK is the preferred procedure for civilians who are applying for a military pilot slot (which would include me), suggesting that LASIK is more for guys who are already flying in the military by the time of their procedure. However, some of the research I've been doing seems to suggest that that was the case years ago, but I have not seen anyone mention anything like that in recent years. I haven't been able to get much info from recruiters either.

    This was one such page I've read through to try to gather info:
    http://www.flyingsquadron.com/forums/topic/15257-prk-and-lasik-information/

    I have spoken to a few guys who have gotten picked up by units, but coincidentally, all of those people have had PRK. I have yet to speak to any civilians who had LASIK and then got picked up and completed MEPS. While I have no problem getting PRK, I seem to be finding more blogs/forums/etc of people saying that PRK didn't quite grant them the results they were hoping for, or having other complications like blurry vision for months and still not seeing as crisp as they used to. I seem to find less of those accounts with the general population who has gotten LASIK. My doctor wants me to have LASIK, but that's because the doctor he wants to pair me with only does LASIK. I've been calling around to places that do both procedures and asking them if they have any experience with military pilot applicants and whether or not the doctor has any experience/knowledge of AF waiver situations, and naturally, all offices tell me that they "are sure the doctor is and has experience and would be a great choice..."

    So I was hoping you guys could post your personal experiences with either procedure (or someone you know) and any kind of special insight that I should keep in mind before/during/after the procedure. Also, if anyone has had their surgery done in the Philadelphia or Los Angeles areas and knows of any particularly good/knowledgeable doctors, I'm all ears. If I have to travel to see a doctor who can properly guide me in my situation, I'm willing to do it. I just need to know I'm doing the right thing.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. tumppi

    tumppi Well-Known Member

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    Here is my experience: I got LASIK (IntraLasik) done in 2010. Like you, I did some research prior deciding on the method/doctor.. I read about this rather new method called IntraLasik in which they also utilise the laser to cut the flap, I saw it was approved by NASA and USAF so I thought I will take my chances. My EASA Class 1 got suspended for 6-months but that did not bother me as I left for deployment (non-flying) shortly after the op. I got the medical back (also FAA Class 1) with no limitations after a very thorough examination of both eyes.

    The procedure itself was a success in my case.. besides the normal blurry vision initially the eye sight kept improving to near perfect in a month or two and has stayed there for seven years now. They say night vision degrades but it is hard to see a difference to be honest. In the medicals I can pretty much see the lowest row of the chart. Besides flying, I play hockey and surf etc. and it was so nice to get rid of the everyday hassle with glasses and contacts.

    If I recall correctly back in those days PRK was considered generally an inferior method here in Euroland.
     
  3. scoobs

    scoobs Well-Known Member

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    LASIK

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