laser eye surgery before joining navy

Hey I know all the rules about having laser eye surgery a year before joining. I just wonderd if anyone out there has had it done. And succesfully joined a year after treameant?
If you're applying for Aircrew then they will not accept it, thats direct from the surgeon commander who did my aircrew medical a couple of months back when I did AIB.

Don't know for other trades.
Cant help ya with the eye surgery fella but can confirm that i had a new asshole grafted on cos me original had a hole in it,and i ended up as Admiral of the fleet, :lol: :wink:
Hello there fella. I had LASEK surgery done back in April time, and I have to say it was the best thing I've ever done. It took about four weeks to fully recover, although I was driving a week after the op. I thought it was painful, although others have said it wasn't for them. (Maybe I just needed to man up!) Despite the pain, it was well worth it, and couldn't recommend it enough.
Although, beware, it is elective surgery. A small number of operations do go wrong, so I'd doubt there's much comeback. Remember, it's your eyesight, so don't try to skimp and look for the cheapest option. Mine cost £3000 (Ultralase), and worth every penny. Should add, I'm already serving, though I'd recommend doing it before you join, after a year I doubt you'll have many problems.
As Whizzbangdai said, it will preclude you from Aircrew, and some other trades, Diver, SF etc. This may change in future, though don't count on it.
Good luck, and PM if you've any further questions.

Not directly related to the RN, but my Mum had LASEK a month ago and it went wrong. I know this isn't the norm and as drunkensailor said, they can't recommend it enough, but she can't see properly at all shouldn't really be driving. If she did want to apply for the RN now then she wouldn't get past the eye test. Just a word of caution.


Wearing my old recruiting hat - this was the policy lat year... it may have changed... talk to your local AFCO for the latest rules...

Thank you for your enquiry regarding eyesight corrective laser surgery (comeal refractive surgery) and the relevant Royal Navy Policy. The Naval Service does not endorse the use of laser surgery as a method to gain entry and there is no guarantee that such treatment will improve vision to an acceptable standard.

The Naval Service requires individuals to serve anywhere in the world, in extremes of climate and operational situations, which are remote from primary and secondary care. Therefore, even minor conditions such as the use of correcting lenses can take on much greater significance when even basic support Is limited. As a consequence, medical screening is stringent and to a higher standard than might be expected for normal civilian employment.

In general, any defect or weakness of sight will be a bar to entry if these defects render an individual incapable of, or likely to be incapable of performing general duties in the Naval Service, The tri-Service standard for uncorrected visual acuity is right eye 6/60 and left eye> 6/60.

With regard to surgical correction of myopia or hypermetropia, it is acknowledged that the following methods are now considered suitable for entry on an individual case by case basis for non-specialist employment groups and subject to single Service requirements:
{a) Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
(b) Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK)
(c) Intrastromal Comeal Rings (ICRs), otherwise known as Intrastromal Segments (ICS).

Entry wMI not be considered for Radical Keratotomy (RK), or Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK), or any other form of incislonal refractive surgery, other than those procedures listed above. AIF invasive intraocular surgical procedures will remain a bar to entry.

In order to be considered a candidate must fulfil the following criteria and provide documentary evidence to support that:
(a) The pre-operative refractive error was not more than +6.00 or 6.00diopter (spherical equivalent) in either eye and;
(b) The best spectacle corrected visual acuity is 6/9 or better in each eye and;
(c) At least 12 months have elapsed since the date of the last surgery or enhancement procedure and;
(d) There has been no significant visual side effects secondary to the surgery affecting daily activities and;
(e) Refraction is stable; as defined by two refractions performed on each eye at least 6 months apart, with no more than 050 diopter difference in the spherical equivalent in each eye.
(f) Specialist visual function testing has been carried out with satisfactory results at least 12 months following surgery, including assessment of refraction, symmetry of visual acuity, high and low contrast sensitivity (with and without glare sources), astigmatism, glare, corneal clarity, masked mild hypermetropia and night vision.

An applicant who has undergone eyesight corrective laser surgery must supply evidence of the above and may be subject to evaluation by a Service Ophthalmic Consultant. Each case is considered on an individual basis and if all the criteria are met it may be possible to consider an application to enter the Naval Service.

Decisions regarding any kind of ophthalmic surgery should be discussed with an Ophthalmic Consultant. This letter should be taken to ophthalmic consultations where eyesight corrective laser surgery is to be discussed with a view to achieving the necessary eyesight standards for entry.
It is hoped this information is helpful and wish you all the best for the future.

Good luck...


Lantern Swinger
I had laser eye surgery (Lasik) done in January 2008 (altho at the time I had no plans to join the forces) and i'm joining up as CIS in October.
I have to have it re-done soon as my eyesight was quite bad in the first place. They did mention the possibility of having to have two procedures. It was £2800 with Optical Express.
I'm having to wait until i'm in the Navy before I can have the re-treatment as my AFCO said there has to be 12 months between treatment and entry.
Thanks for the advice. Is it 12months before you can apply again. Or could you apply again after say 8months as it wil be over a year before you join. I have already passed my recuritment test. Thanks for any help.


I had one candidate that went through the whole paperwork process, which it sounds like you have and she stood by until the 12 months was over... her mediacal was literally on the 12 month date and as I remember, as her opthalmic surgeon provided the appropriate paperwork before the medicals, thereby minimisaing delays further... another candidate is going through now, but his circumstances are slightly different for different reasons... where in UK are you?

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