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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] LASIK Surgery Details -- Experience in ...


Thread: [Acro] LASIK Surgery Details -- Experience in ...

Message: [Acro] LASIK Surgery Details -- Experience in Arizona??

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From: Larry Lowe <webmaster at>

Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 00:56:49 UTC


I'm sure this subject has been discussed in general in the past, but I
am looking for several specific bits of information on LASIK eye
correction and aerobatics.

I'm within spitting distance of 50 years old, with 20/1200 native vision
corrected to more or less 20/20 with a pair of coke bottle bottoms set
in flimsy wire frames.

I am planning to have LASIK performed in the near future and want to
find out the following details, which probably are best sent to me
off-list to avoid cluttering up the list:

1 Any PIREPs from aerobatic pilots who have had LASIK corrective surgery
at the following Phoenix eye care centers:

  Swagel & Wooten
  Barnet, Dulaney, Perkins

I am given to understand an aerobatic pilot from Tucson has had LASIK at
Swagel & Wooten and am keen to hear what the procedure was and the
results are.

2. Any discussion from pilots who have had LASIK regarding where to set
the optimum vision distance.  As I suffer from age induced prespreopia,
(hardening of the cornea), I will have to choose some location for
generally optimum vision and settle for modest correction in the other
area.  Typically the vision is set for distance vision and reading
glasses are required, just like any older person.  My plan is to set the
eyes up for, say 1000 yards best vision, rather than infinity.

3.  Any discussion from pilots with narrow dilated pupil diameters (mine
is 4.25 vs. a normal of 6 or so.) where the laser correction is applied
to a relatively narrow area in the center of the cornea rather than the
normal wide range.  This tactic has been suggested by one eye care
specialist as a means to preserve the 'meat' of the cornea for potential
fine-tuning.  A good thought, since my correction is so large that it
will be difficult to get the tuning exactly right on the first pass.  A
bad thought, if the resulting edge of correction ends up infringing on
my peripheral vision.

4.  Any discussion of the LONG TERM side effects, particularly to night
vision, spectrums, blurries, peripheral vision and the like.

5.  What to expect on the day of the event.  Frankly, the thought of
letting someone cut my eye open scares hell out of me.  Everyone (that I
have talked to) seems to say that it is way easier to go through than it
is to explain.  But I am still anxious.

6.  Any good reason not to consider LASIK if I intend, in future, to do
advanced and unlimited level aerobatics.  I believe, after checking out
a good number of eye centers, that I have found a competent surgeon, but
want to make certain I hear all the pros and cons from the aerobatic
community, particularly those in Arizona, before committing to an
operation I cannot just 'Undo" if I don't like the result.

Thanks in advance to my aerobatic colleagues,

Larry Lowe
llowe at


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