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Question for those that have had PRK done by the Navy

Royal Gramma

Registered User
Let me give you my background:

-Active Duty Coast Guard
-Assigned to a ship based out of Seattle
-Closest Naval clinic where can PRK is Bremerton, which is convenient since its a 30 min ferry ride away.
-Have already had a PRK consult with the military Optometrist here in Seattle and faxed the form to the folks in Bremerton (this was about 6 months ago).
-Categorized as a priority 2 by my CO.

Was instructed by the folks at the clinic in Bremerton to call them back to schedule my pre-op appointment at the first opportunity when I would be back from a deployment AND have a continuous 3 months in port. According to them, you aren't allowed to deploy for 3 months after you've had PRK.

Well because of our deployment schedule, I haven't yet had the solid three months inport. We have a very short deployment coming up, so my earliest opportunity to have the surgery would be early May. I'm also due to transfer this summer.

My question is: Since I'm due to transfer within 3 months of me returning from the deployment (probably in June or early July), will the Navy still let me have PRK while I'm still attached to my current unit? I will still probably be priority 2 at my next unit. It would extremely convenient for me to have it while I'm still in Seattle due to the proximity of the Naval Clinic. My next assignment will likely be Miami, where the closest clinic that offers PRK is Jacksonville, a not so lovely 6-hour drive away. Also, what's the norm for the post op appointments? For which ones are you required to return to the refractive surgery clinic? Which ones can you do at your local optometrist? What do active service members typically do, when the only MTF that offers PRK is not around the corner. Do MTFs the offer PRK require you to reside in the immediate area?



Sleepy Head
Please note this is for the Refactive Surgery Center in Portsmouth, VA. I am not sure if they have the same policies as other centers.

I am going in next week for my second PRK surgery by the Navy. Yes, I was the 1 in 100 that was undercorrected and needs another surgery. I was 20/400 in both eyes and am now 20/70 in both eyes.

In aswer to your questions, it was never specifically asked of me if I was deploying within the next 3 months (eithier time). I just had agree to stay "within the area" for 5 days, then make my post op appoinments as required. If I was out of the area, after my "5-day" post op appoinment, I would just have to make appoinments with my regular eye doctor. When I did my last surgery, we had people from all over (New Jersey, New York, etc) so I know that in Portsmouth, the do not require you to be a resident of the area. You just have to stay in the area for 5 days (or until you are cleared...usually 5 days but sometimes 7).

When I was first scheduled for my surgery, I couldn't make the dates because I was extended on my then current ship for a deployment. The Refactive Surgery Center was really great and I just emailed them when I new I was coming back from deployment. Even though I switched commands, they still kept me on the list and just rescheduled me for when I would be in port. For my second PRK, they just put me right back in with my surgeons next available surgery appoinment.

If I were you, I would submit your paperwork and get on the list. If you transfer commands before your surgery is scheduled, just make sure and update the refactive surgery center.

Good Luck!