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6 Answers

What if any rules exist for corrective eye surgery?

Asked by: 5013 views ,
FAA Regulations

Are there any stipulations regarding corrective eye surgery like Lasik other than the 20/40 corrected (I think I read that). In other words, if I consider Lasik surgery does it impact my medicals in the future?

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6 Answers

  1. MaggotCFII on Apr 02, 2011

    What follows is from the FAA site:
    “Is a pilot required to report to the FAA that he or she has undergone LASIK or other laser eye surgery to correct vision?
    LASIK and other forms of vision corrective surgery have potentially adverse effects that could be incompatible with flying duties. These include:

    Corneal scarring or opacities;
    Worsening or variability of vision;
    Night-glare; and
    Haziness of vision.

    The FAA expects that a pilot will not resume piloting aircraft until his or her own treating health care professional determines:

    The post operative condition has stabilized;
    There have been no significant adverse effects or complications; and
    The person meets the appropriate FAA vision standards.

    If these determinations are favorable and if otherwise qualified, the pilot may immediately resume piloting but must ensure that:

    The treating health care professional documents his or her determinations in the pilot’s health care treatment record;
    A copy of that record is immediately forwarded to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division in Oklahoma City; and
    A personal copy is retained.

    The airman may continue flight duties unless informed otherwise by the FAA or another disqualifying condition occurs.”
    Here is the link:
    Note that there is a reporting requirement in the FAA info.
    I would suggest that you call your AME and get his opinion about the surgery. Mine is in the “don’t do it club”.  I had one fellow that had complications and his private flying days are over.

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  2. Matthew Waugh on Apr 02, 2011

    The only impact on your future medicals, once you have completed the procedure and have regained your “fitness to fly”, is that you will need to get any requirement for corrective lenses removed from your next medical certificate, assuming that you can meet the requirement without corrective lenses.
    The process between having Lasik and “resuming piloting aircraft” is a bit more complex.
    On the opinion front – there’s always risk, you could have Lasik, ruin you eyesight and never act as PIC again, you could get run over by a burning tanker truck on the drive to the airport with the same outcome. I too have stories of people who had problems with surgery, but equally I know of plenty of people who breezed right through it. I’ve flown with airline pilots who chose to have corrective eye surgery, so they chose to put their livelihood at risk. Presumably they took an informed risk (I hope).
    It’s just a decision, research the odds, figure out your risk profile, and either go for it or not. I, personally, couldn’t get convinced. People raved about being able to read the alarm clock numbers at night, and I thought “seriously, that’s your argument”.

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  3. Matthew Beyer on Apr 03, 2011

    Thanks, I have read enough to say that its not for me. I have an appointment to see if I am a candidate, I will go and learn and expect that I will pass on it. Thanks for the comments.
    Matthew Waugh, I just connected your name with a website I have been using…. hey its yours. I am doing my initial CFI and your site has been a great help. Thanks!

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  4. Matthew Beyer on Apr 20, 2011

    So I had my Lasik appointment and I am going to NOT pursue it, thanks for the help. He said I was a perfect candidate, lots to work with…. but I just do not like the idea that its ‘common’ to have to go back for a ‘fix-up’. To me its just not worth it. And the night Halo’s sound like will for sure happen. Again a strike against it. When he also says “we will shoot for 20/20, but sometimes people end up 20/40 and are still very happy”, to me its just sounds less than perfect science right now.

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  5. ramesh.ch on Nov 14, 2012

    laser eye treatment is any promblem for aviation

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  6. Denise on Nov 15, 2012

    I am having Lasiks surgery 11/16/12 and am due to start private pilot training 12/2/12. My medical restriction has corrective lenses, what do I need to do to be legal?

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