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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. I want to be considered for Refractive Surgery, where do I start?
Any military optometry department can help you get started. Please contact them directly to schedule an appointment for a refractive surgery consult. Call Tricare Regional Appointment Center (TRAC) to make an appointment by calling (800) 404-4506. You can either print a form from this website or get one directly from them. Either way, it is your responsibility to have your chain of command complete it, e-mail it to email@example.com. You may also fax the completed form to (360) 475-4411or mail it in. Please fill it out clearly.
Additional information for aviation: Aeromedical Reference and Waiver Guide (see page 24)
2. How can I contact your clinic?
Call us at (360)475-5105, Option #2.
3. Did you get my consult?
You will receive a call to schedule a preoperative visit once we review your consult, usually within one month. We cannot accept incomplete or illegible consults.
4. Can I wear contact lenses before my appointment?
Contact lenses can alter the shape of your cornea, and it takes weeks for your eye to go back to its natural shape. If you wear soft contact lenses you must not use them for two weeks prior to your appointment. If you wear toric, hard or rigid gas permeable lenses, you must not use them for four weeks prior to your appointment. This will ensure that we examine your eye in its natural shape and give you the best possible surgical treatment to correct your vision.
5. When can I have surgery?
We perform surgery primarily based upon the Priority Level assigned by your Commanding Officer. Priority Level 1 patients will ALWAYS have priority over Priority Level 2, 3, and 4 patients.
Time remaining on active duty is a very important consideration when scheduling for surgery, this consideration is regulated by the Surgeon General representing each branch of service. Navy,
Marine, and Coast Guard members must have 12 months of active services duty remaining from the date surgery is performed. Air Force/ Air National Guard members must have 6 months of active duty remaining. Army/ Army National
Guard must have 18 months of active duty. For further questions, please see the BUMED Refractive Surgery Policies:
Policy 08-0081 Deploy After Refractive Surgery
Policy Guidance LASIK
6. Can I make/schedule an appointment for surgery?
When you are selected for an evaluation for surgery, we will make every effort to contact you. It is your responsibility to ensure that your contact number is current so that we can reach you when your turn comes up. If you are deployed or if any of your information changes (including your duty station), please update your information by phone, fax or U.S. mail.
7. Why did my shipmate get in before me and I submitted my consult first?
Most often it is due to their Priority Level. Remember, we do not assign your Priority Level; this is done by your Commanding Officer. Keep in mind, if a Priority Level 1 submits a consult today, they will have priority over any Priority Level 2, 3 or 4 who has previously submitted their consult --even if it was several months to several years ago.
8. Do you treat dependants and retirees?
No, our refractive surgery program is for active duty only. Retirees and dependents may be seen in optometry for spectacle prescriptions when space is available and general ophthalmology clinic for exams and medically necessary surgical treatments.
9. I was deployed/changed duty stations did I lose my number in line for surgery?
Remember, there is no “waiting list” for surgery. It is a database and we only input your information from your consult. We use this database to select our patients for refractive surgery, and those patients are selected by using the Priority Level which is assigned by your CO and listed on your consult.
10. Can I get treated by a civilian and if I do can I do my follow ups with any military refractive surgery center?
If you are on flight status, you CANNOT have surgery by a civilian provider. Please see "Corneal Refractive Surgery" in the Ophthalmology section of the Navy Medicine Aeromedical Waiver Reference Guide:
Aeromedical Reference and Waiver Guide
If you are not on flight status and would like to have surgery by a civilian provider, it is recommended you review your situation with a military eye care provider by making an eye exam appointment prior to making any commitments.
Remember, it is your responsibility to get written permission from your Commanding Officer to have this, or any elective surgery, performed by a civilian provider.
11. I got treated by a civilian and need a “follow up” or a “touch up”. Can you do this for me?
You'll need to return to your civilian provider for your "follow up" or "touch up." It is recommended you review your situation with a military eye care provider by making an eye exam appointment prior to making any commitments.
12. On my consult form, what is meant by “SSN or DODID#”?
If you are active duty, you are the sponsor (use your social security number) or you may enter the DoD ID number found on the back of your Military ID card.
13. Can you forward my consult to another military branch (Air Force/Army) Refractive Surgery Center?
Other branches of the military require different consult forms. Please contact your nearest Refractive Surgery Center to inquire about their process.
14. Do you treat members of other services?
Yes, if they have submitted a Navy Refractive Surgery Consult and are within our geographical treatment area, or whose command will authorize them to travel to Naval Hospital Bremerton for surgery. If you are from outside our region, please download and review the out of town forms package.
Other Navy Refractive Surgery Centers:
For information about Refractive Surgery at other Navy Centers, please browse the following links:
U.S. Food & Drug Administration Information Regarding Refractive Surgery
LASIK and PRK Patient Information