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These two documents need to be completed and sent to the Optometry Office as soon as you are approved by the Ophthalmologist. The Next screening will begin next week so think Quick. Please Insure that you meet these guidelines.

1. You can not wear contacts for three weeks prior to your exam.

2. You are not deploying within the next 90 days.

3. You most have at least 18 months of retainability. 

SUBJECT:  Corrective Laser Eye Surgery procedures.

1.  PURPOSE:  To inform the 10th Mountain leadership of the procedures and requirements when a Soldier is referred for Photorefractive Keratotomy (PRK) laser eye surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC).

2.  INFORMATION:  Laser eye surgery to correct vision is being performed at WRAMC and other military hospitals as a research protocol to enhance the Warfighter.  The primary target recipients of this surgery are those Soldiers most likely to conduct combat so as to unencumber them of their eyeglasses.  10th MTN Soldiers have had difficulty getting this procedure done since TRICARE views it as elective and won’t authorize payment for the procedure performed by a civilian Ophthalmologist.  LASIK entails cutting a thin flap on the cornea surface, using the laser to reshape the underlying cornea tissue, and then allowing the flap to heal back down.  PRK applies the laser directly to the surface of the cornea and reshapes the cornea by burning away the proper amount of cornea in front of the pupil.  Since LASIK heals around the circumference of the flap incision, it only hurts for a day after surgery but the flap never completely reattaches and can be dislodged by minor eye trauma.  PRK takes about five days for the corneal burn to heal and therefore hurts longer but there is no flap to become dislodged.  PRK is the recommended procedure because long term vision correction has been better, minor eye trauma can be treated without an Ophthalmologist and Soldiers desiring duty with Special Forces, Ranger, HALO, SCUBA, or Aviation can get waivers if they have had PRK.  Unless LASIK is medically indicated by the WRAMC Ophthalmologist, PRK will be the procedure performed on 10th MTN Soldiers.   Recent changes have now made it possible to get scheduled slots to WRAMC while having the screening and post-operative exams performed at Ft. Drum.

   Identified Soldiers will travel to Jessup, MD by van with a designated NCOIC on a Monday.  Soldiers will be traveling on DTS TDY orders so government lodging and meals will not be provided.  WRAMC does pre-op evaluations Tuesdays and Wednesdays with surgery on Thursday.  Soldiers will take the provided TMP back to WRAMC on Friday for their initial post-op exam.  Since nearly all will be getting PRK, WRAMC requires a second exam on the Monday after surgery after which the Soldier will return to Fort Drum for the rest of their follow-up exams out to 90 days post-op.  Soldiers will be non-deployable and accounted for on the USR under a Temporary Profile until they complete all of their follow-up exams with CTMC Optometry including a 90-day follow-up exam.  Soldiers will provide Optometry copies of any range that they attend after their 30 day post-op exam if they are recovering normally and have been cleared to do so by the Optometry clinic.

SUBJECT:  Corrective Laser Eye Surgery procedures.  scorecard prior to surgery and then another when they re-qualify between 30 and 90 days post-op.  This marksmanship data may help justify future programs as well as instill confidence in Soldiers and Commanders as to the benefit of better vision.

   Soldiers wishing to be screened for this program will present a memorandum from their CO CDR stating a desire to allow the Soldier to be placed on the OML with the Division Surgeon SGM to have the surgery after they have been declared a good candidate by the Optometry clinic.  This memorandum must convey an understanding that the Soldier will be listed on the USR as non-deployable for 90 days after surgery and that he/she must make all follow-up appointments.  Soldiers must be deploying and have at least 18 months retainability after surgery.  Any contact lens wearer will be instructed to stop wearing the contacts for at least three weeks prior to the CTMC screening exam and at least three weeks prior to departing for the surgery.  Names of the eligible Soldiers will be given to the Division Surgeon Section and a Request for Orders will then be generated through DTS to put Soldiers on TDY orders for the eight days around the Surgery required to stay for care at WRAMC .  A driver will be assigned who is not getting eye surgery to ensure safety for the drive to and from Fort Drum and to all appointments Soldiers are not authorized to drive themselves from Ft. Drum .  If it is deemed by WRAMC staff that Soldiers that are two days post-op minimum can safely drive for short distances only, no long distance driving is authorized for one week, this requirement is non negotiable.   POC  2-6279.