RN's stance on surgery.

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Kyle, Feb 7, 2008.

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  1. Hey folks,

    I'm hoping to apply to the RN after I've finished my degree. The problem is I have an annoying condition called Hyperhidrosis, which causes my hands and pits to sweat excessively, its a complete pain in the arse when you've got a decent level of fitness yet you're struggling to remove a cap from a pen. I've been looking into treatment for this problem for years, and I've finally decided (after doing lots of research) to go for the surgical option, its a spinal surgery which involves cutting two nerves.

    My only fear is that the RN would have a highly negative view on pre-application medical surgery - especially in the spinal region. I'm just wondering if anybody might know what the RN's stance on this topic would be? I'm hoping if the surgery is a success, and side-effects are nonexistent or nonintefering, that it won't hinder my chance of entry.

    Cheers for any info, K.S.C

    -edit- Ah, bugger, I completely overlooked the Newbie folder.
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Hiya Kyle, welcome to Rum Ration.

    You may well get a few pointers by those who still are or used to be qualified to advise in this particular specialist area.

    Be aware the rules for entry are fairly stringent and seemingly apparent similar tales of medical conditions may be worlds' apart in actuality. (Think: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, " 'tis but a flesh wound..." spoken by a man with no legs or arms).

    Boring though I know it ultimately is, there's only one way to find out- Speak to the qualified Medical Officer at your AFCO for definitive advice.

    Good luck to you.
  3. I would just say you might be better to show an interest with the ACLO before you finish your degree the process for officer entry as i know usually takes a year or more. I would show an interest now, get your answer etc etc. Sorted.
  4. Cheers for the help.

    I'm hoping to get in contact with an ACLO in my second or third year. I really want to wait till I can get the surgery before I apply though, as I'd hate to join in a weak position. This sweating problem really hinders physical performance, I have little if any grip for a start, and it makes anything slightly stressful into a horrific ordeal.

    I'm off to see a specialist in a few weeks, so I'll get in touch with my ACLO afterwards and get some advice.

    Thanks guys.
  5. Kyle,

    I wouldn't worry about speaking to the AFCO before getting the surgery, you'll probably find that its a mostly superficial problem, but as Ninj points out, the only one who could say for sure is the Medical officer. You would no doubt have to tell him that you had the surgery if you end up applying formally, so why not just find out sooner than later and set your mind at rest.

    Also, think seriously about URNU, it would help a lot with confidence and knowledge and prep for AIB (assuming you are trying for a commission).

    Good luck and I bet its not nearly as bad as you think, you sweaty bast :whew:
  6. I had a discectomy a few years before i applied to join and was refused entry.

    Basically one of my discs had been knocked out of alignment and was rubbing on my siatic nerve - VERY PAINFUL! They cut the side off my disc to make it into a D shape instead of an O shape.

    After the op i continued with my very physical job, playing rugby and going to the gym regularly with no side effects whatsoever.

    I appealed against the decision and was sent to London to see a specialist (train fare paid by pusser obviously)

    The specialist gave me a scan and very quick examination and signed me off as fit for service.

    My advice would be have the op then apply to join. If they turn you down appeal against it. Without wanting to sound harsh it does sound like if you went in before the operation you may not get through basic training with your condition anyway.

    Edited to add good luck.
  7. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Not wishing to contradict or cause a storm particularly, but if everyone that was rejected on medical grounds appealed, as you suggest, the system would grind to an abrupt halt.

    To appeal against a set medical standard for entry would be rather pointless and would not make a scrap of difference to the outcome. In most cases you either have a condition or you don't- it's a bit like being "a bit pregnant" or "slightly allergic" to nuts for example.

    You may appeal against a diagnosis or prognosis providing you can provide specialist qualified evidence to the contrary regarding your medical suitability for service.

  8. That's quite encouraging actually, cheers.

    And I really do need to look up some of these terms, I figured an ACLO/AFCO was a recruitment/information officer... though I have no clue as to what they actually stand for. Thanks again guys for the info.
  9. The surgery pretty much has a 90% success rate of completely removing the sweating from my hands and underarms, so the condition I've got now should be eliminated. The only catch is the surgery usually does cause more sweating in other parts of the body - which is usually mild and less physically interfering than a constant sweaty palm.

    I'm sort of in a game of chance here, If I do nothing I've got to suffer with this condition for a hell of a long time, and if I do get the opp there's a chance my application will get rejected and I could theoretically make my life worse. I think the best idea is as mentioned, go and speak to the AFCO first, get the info as fast as possible.
  10. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    There are times when one wonders why one bothers.

    Good luck anyway.
  11. Ah no, I understand that full well! I'm just saying in my application the condition I have will actually cease to be a problem after the surgery, so its not something I'll need to note as a disability on the application form. The opp won't improve the condition or lessen its effects, it will literally just stop my hands and armpits from sweating, pronto. Trehorns post gave me a bit of a boost because he was able to appeal, the very fact that it is possible to appeal against a decision is encouraging.
  12. ACLO = Area Careers Liason Officer
    AFCO = Armed Forces Careers Officer (or possibly office, not too sure)!!
  13. Surgery for hyperhidrosis was routinely performed in years gone by on serving personnel, so it would be strange if you were refused entry on the basis of having had this surgery. Nevertheless, you could do worse than dropping a line to the Medical Director General's office (look on the Web) where somebody should be able to give you the advice you need. For your own peace of mind, speak to somebody with a clue as to your problem, rather than a recruiter.

  14. I'm slightly allergic to nuts, and take offence at your inference.
  15. offence noted.
  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Glad to hear it :thumright:

    Whilst not proclaiming to be any sort of authority on the medical side of recruiting, the people that are the authority are also infinitely better paid, hence the suggestion that they are probably best placed to advise too.

    Anecdotal tales of acceptable medical standards concerning those already serving are entirely irrelevant to those who have yet to join.

    Quite. Precisely what our Medical Officer suggested from the outset.

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