Skip to main content

Military Health System

MHS refractive surgery experts discuss warfighter readiness

Image of Mr. McCaffery looking at a monitor with an eye on it. Click to open a larger version of the image. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery observes the beginning stages of a refractive surgery at the Warfighter Refractive Surgery Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Oct. 21. The center is the largest refractive training program in the Department of Defense and has trained and certified more than 150 refractive surgeons. (Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Amanda Stanford, 59th Medical Wing.)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Readiness Capabilities

More than 200 participants from around the military ophthalmology and optometry communities gathered virtually on Jan. 8 to share ideas for the first time since the beginning of the transition to the Defense Health Agency.

The group participated in the “Refractive Surgery – Excellence for the Warfighter” virtual meeting where they discussed the latest techniques, safety protocols, and standards for refractive surgery. The meeting provided an opportunity for colleagues to share their experiences and get advice from experts, and was held in place of the annual Military Surgery Safety and Standards Symposium.

“We’ve been meeting since 2007 to talk about our best practices, our standards, lessons learned and safety,” said Army Maj. (Dr.) Gary Legault, Army Refractive Surgery Program manager and refractive surgery consultant to the Army surgeon general. “We emphasize key safety issues with the laser platforms and with our treatments and share the latest and greatest technology and updates.”

Refractive surgery is any surgery that eliminates the need for glasses or contact lenses. Refractive surgeries include LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), ICLs (implantable contact lenses), and SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction).

Within the Military Health System, these procedures are designed to improve the functionality, lethality, and combat readiness of the warfighter through improving their visual system. Refractive surgery is offered at no cost to qualifying service members with conditions including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Legault explained that his hope was for the meeting to produce practical lessons that those in attendance could use on a regular basis.

“We hope this helps the people in attendance from around the world of military ophthalmology and refractive surgery learn something new that they can apply to improving their practice with their patients,” Legault said.

Among the positive outcomes from the MHS’s transition to the DHA is a tri-service effort to standardize refractive surgery across the DOD.

“For us, it’s a benefit as the DHA helps us improve our standardization and create a standard experience across the board as well as become more efficient,” Legault said. “I think the DHA can help us improve our outcomes by sharing best practices and working together as a group.”

Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Tyler Miles, research director and division officer for Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Refractive Surgery Center, agreed.

“This is an opportunity for us to all come together and share what we’re doing. We have different flavors amongst the different services, and it’s nice to be able to share our gains across the board,” Miles said.

Paramount among the improvements resulting from the transition, is having a refractive surgery board at the DHA level, he explained.

“We now have a formal voice at that tri-service level, so that might bring some formal processes that empower our programs more than before,” Miles said.

As with many other areas of military medicine, COVID-related impacts to refractive surgery include a shift to a more virtual-heavy way of conducting consultations and pre-surgery briefs.

Legault said that the most important aspect what they do is improving combat readiness.

“We want to improve the warfighter in order for them to be better at their occupation, and we want commanders and leaders to know that we are here to help,” he said. “We’re here to assist.

“It can literally mean life and death where you can see your enemy through improved visual function versus your glasses fogging up or falling off,” Legault said. “These are procedures that can make a huge difference and occur within minutes.”

Miles agreed, saying, “This is one of the few instances where we’re actually enhancing the warfighter. We’re not just fixing them up and keeping them healthy, we’re making them better. We’re providing an enhancement by making them less reliant on glasses and contact lenses, which, although they’re effective in giving you clearer vision, may be a liability in certain areas where our folks are operating.”

Proof for him that their programs are headed in the right direction, he said, is in the outcomes he’s seen.

“You just have to spend a day in a clinic seeing post-operative patients,” Miles said. “They’ll tell you that it is life-changing to be able to wake up in the morning and open their eyes and see clearly, aside from the performance advantage that it’s giving our military.”

You also may be interested in...

U.S. Army Medical Laboratory Forges Relationship with Australian Defence Force Institute

Article Around MHS
1/25/2023
Military personnel in medical laoratory

American soldiers from the 1st Area Medical Laboratory were hosted by their counterparts at the Australian Defence Force Malaria and Infectious Disease Institute in Brisbane, Australia. Find out what was discussed at this meeting to strengthen critical relationships, save lives, and enable both sides' mission readiness.

Recommended Content:

Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Research & Innovation

959th Medical Group Airmen at BAMC Receive Distinguished Awards

Article Around MHS
1/18/2023
U.S. Army Col. Renee Matos speaks at ceremony

The New Year’s revelry may be over; however, with a host of local and national awards, the 959th Medical Group still has cause to celebrate. Several 959th Airmen assigned to Brooke Army Medical Center were recognized recently for their selfless service, professionalism, and clinical expertise, both at home and overseas.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Military Pharmacists Face Unique Challenges While Deployed

Article
1/12/2023
Military pharmacist counting pills

Deployed pharmacists are responsible for every medication used in their clinic. That includes preparing medication kits for medics on patrol, helping prepare aeromedical evacuation patients, normal outpatient prescriptions, and in some locations, even snakebite antidotes.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Pharmacy Operations | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Army Medical Logistics Command Focuses on Medical Readiness of National Guard Reserve Units

Article Around MHS
1/11/2023
Military personnel at workshop

U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command leaders meet to tackle the challenges of ordering medical equipment and supplies. Find out about the strategies behind "Medical Logistics in Campaigning" that will poise Army medical personnel to transition quickly from peacetime at home station to an active operational environment.

Recommended Content:

Readiness Capabilities | Medical Logistics

Injured Fort Bliss K-9 Handler Makes Inspiring Return to Duty

Article Around MHS
1/10/2023
Military personnel with K9

A military working dog handler assigned to the 93rd Military Police battalion survives a horrific motorcycle crash with a speeding pickup driver, but his prognosis was grim. Find out how dedication, motivation, and his sweet connection with a K-9 got U.S. Army Spc. Cade Brown back on the road to recovery.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Theater Medical Command Experiment Focuses on Large-Scale Combat Operations, Future Operating Environment

Article Around MHS
1/6/2023
Military medical personnel at Fort Sam Houston

The Medical Capability Integration Directorate hosted its culminating limited objective experiment for calendar year 2022. See how the Theater Medical Command (TMC) Experiment will affect large-scale combat operations and prioritize limited Army Health System capabilities and how the TMC will support future operating environments.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

New Work Group Looks at Preventive Health Measures for Service Members

Article Around MHS
12/9/2022
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Christopher Mohan

The U.S. Coast Guard is now prioritizing a review of health-related data to determine how to reduce illness and injuries within the workforce. This shift is prompted by a policy update within the Coast Guard Medical Manual COMDTINST 6000.7, as well as the new Population Health Optimization Work Group that will impact members, civilians, dependents, and retirees.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

How the U.S. Military Acclimates Units to High-Altitude Operations

Article
11/28/2022
Service members on a mountain

The Military Health System takes measures to prevent and mitigate altitude sickness in service members operating at high altitudes. For best results, it’s key to acclimate units gradually and progressively.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Medical Center of Excellence Publishes Its Medical Company Doctrine Publication

Article Around MHS
11/20/2022
Infographic for Army Techniques Publication 4-02.6

As the U.S. Army’s culture shifts from counterinsurgency or limited contingency operations to large-scale combat operations, medical forces must optimize Army Health System support for maximum effectiveness.

Recommended Content:

Readiness Capabilities

Medical Maintenance Sustaining the Warfighter

Article Around MHS
11/1/2022
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Monica Hewey works on ventilator

Biomedical Equipment Technician, or BMET, is one of those little-known career fields in the Air Force, yet it has a big impact on readiness and lethality.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Tactical Medical Augmentation Team Increases Combat Medical Capability

Article Around MHS
10/24/2022
Tactical Medical Augmentation Team Increases Combat Medical Capability

To find a solution to an identified gap in medical care provided in combat situations, the U.S. Air Force 920th Rescue Wing’s Aeromedical Staging Squadron developed the Tactical Medical Augmentation Team, an embedded medical team that will bring a new level of patient care directly to the battlefield.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Readiness Capabilities

U.S. Army's Regional Health Command-Europe Redesignates to Medical Readiness Command

Article Around MHS
10/11/2022
Military personnel at color ceremony

The U.S. Army is modernizing medical care to provide sustained expeditionary, and tailored medical forces to support the Army against any adversary in joint, multi-domain, high-intensity battlefields of the future and through the next pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Training Marines as Combat Life Savers

Article Around MHS
10/7/2022
Military medical personnel practice lifesaving procedures

U.S. Navy Corpsman from Expeditionary Operations Training Group (EOTG), I Marine Expeditionary Force, hosted the second iteration of Marines training on life saving fundamentals and casualty care.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 10 - October 2022

Report
10/1/2022

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Surveillance trends for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens among U.S. Military Health System Beneficiaries, Sept. 27, 2020 – Oct. 2,2021; Establishment of SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance within the MHS during March 1 – Dec. 31 2020; Suicide behavior among heterosexual, lesbian/gay, and bisexual active component service members in the U.S. Armed Forces; Brief report: Phase I results using the Virtual Pooled Registry Cancer Linkage system (VPR-CLS) for military cancer surveillance.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 09 - September 2022

Report
9/1/2022

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Surveillance trends for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens among U.S. Military Health System Beneficiaries, Sept. 27, 2020 – Oct. 2,2021; Establishment of SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance within the MHS during March 1 – Dec. 31 2020; Suicide behavior among heterosexual, lesbian/gay, and bisexual active component service members in the U.S. Armed Forces; Brief report: Phase I results using the Virtual Pooled Registry Cancer Linkage system (VPR-CLS) for military cancer surveillance.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 38
Refine your search
Last Updated: December 27, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery