Refractive (Laser) Surgery Clinic
Madigan’s Refractive (Laser) Surgery Clinic is located in Madigan Army Medical Center and can be reached by taking I-5 Exit 122, traveling straight on Jackson Avenue and then turning onto Madigan Avenue to enter the Hospital Tower East Yellow Parking Lot. The Refractive (Laser) Surgery Clinic is on the 7th Floor of the Hospital Tower.
Refractive surgery, or more commonly known as laser eye surgery, is a non-invasive, same-day procedure that requires very little recovery time. The surgery itself can last anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes, which includes pre- and post-surgery preparations.
Madigan’s Refractive Surgery Clinic is comprised of specially trained physicians and technicians who use the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art procedures and equipment for PRK and LASIK surgeries.
Active-duty service members and Active Guard Reserve soldiers are the only patient categories eligible to receive refractive surgery at Madigan. This surgery is at NO COST for those eligible. In addition, candidates for refractive surgery must also meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- ETS date must be 6 months remaining on active duty after the scheduled date of surgery
- Be physically stationed within 50 miles of Joint Base Lewis-McChord
- Female service members must not have had any pregnancies, miscarriages or have been nursing for at least six months prior to the initial screening or surgery
- No adverse actions or pending a medical board
- Able to schedule surgery within 45 days of initial screening
- Must have contact lenses out and wearing current prescription glasses for 30 consecutive days prior to the initial screening date (this can be coordinated with the Refractive Surgery Clinic)
- Must show proof of annual eye exam with an optometrist within the last two years
- Able to make all follow-up appointments
Refractive Surgery Facts & Myths
Fact: There is no anesthesia required for refractive surgery. Numbing drops are used on the eyes during surgery, but because the surgery is relatively quick, the patient will wear his or her own clothes and will be released from the hospital soon after the procedure is over.
Myth: Service members who get refractive surgery lose out on career opportunities. Service members of every military occupational specialty (MOS) can receive LASIK or PRK surgery. Having had refractive surgery does NOT necessarily disqualify a service member from attending special military schools (jump, Ranger, Special Forces, HALO, etc.); the individual would have to obtain a waiver. The Refractive Surgery Clinic staff can provide more information.
Fact: A referral from your primary care provider is not required; however, commander authority is mandatory to receive the surgery. Upon completion of the surgery, the service member will be given five days of convalescent leave and will have a 30-day profile (no Army Physical Fitness Test can be administered and the service member will not be permitted to participate in any field exercises during this timeframe). The service member will also be in a non-deployable status for up to 90 days.
For more information on refractive surgery or to make an initial appointment, please call the clinic at 253-938-5516.