Refractive Eye Surgery
Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program & Research Center
Fort Belvoir Community Hospital’s Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program and Research Center -- or WRESP-RC -- performs refractive surgery for eligible active-duty service member beneficiaries from throughout the National Capital Region.
The WRESP-RC now offers cutting edge refractive procedures including Wavefront Guided and Wavefront Optimized Laser Assisted In-situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) with Femtosecond laser technology, Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), and Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE).
Only active-duty service members and activated, called, or ordered to active duty service for more than 30 days in a row. National Guard and Reserve service members are eligible for surgery under this program.
Eligible service members must:
- Complete a surgery application package, which has been approved and signed by their commanding officer with a rank of O-3 or above.
- Be an Army candidate with at least 6 months remaining on active duty after surgery, or in conjunction with an executed reenlistment action; or be a Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard candidate with at least 12 months remaining on active duty.
- Air Force members must follow their service guidelines shown here to request refractive surgery.
- Be an eligible service member with no pending adverse personnel actions.
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Be able to meet all pre-operative and post-operative appointments.
NOTE: Family members and retirees are not currently eligible for laser eye surgery through the program.
Service members who do not need glasses or contact lenses to drive a car are not candidates for refractive eye surgery. During the pre-operative evaluation, individuals will be assessed for candidacy. Those who are poor candidates for refractive surgery will be notified and potential alternatives will be discussed.
There are two priority categories. Category 1 patients are the highest priority, and include any combat arms service member and any deploying service member regardless of specialty (except Airmen, as noted above). Non-combat arms service members who are not deploying fall in Category 2, and are treated on a space-available basis.
Completing a Surgery Application Package
The refractive surgery application package includes the Refractive Surgery Consult Form and the Commander’s Authorization Form. Patients may request the application package through an encrypted email at email@example.com or pick up these forms from the clinic.
Service members must have their provider and commander sign appropriate documents. Unit commanders who require special considerations or have questions are encouraged to contact the refractive surgery center regarding surgery scheduling, using the clinic contact information.
Submitting Completed Application Forms
- Electronic submission may be completed with digital signatures by clicking on the Submit button at the bottom of each form, initiating an encrypted email to the Refractive Surgery Center.
- Completed forms may be sent as email attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Patients may drop off completed forms at the clinic's reception desk during normal clinic hours.
The application process is not complete until both the Refractive Surgery Consult Form and Commander’s Authorization Form are submitted. Once the documents have been reviewed and approved, applicants will be contacted to schedule a pre-operative consultation.
Patients who have been approved and scheduled for a pre-operative consultation must read through important information:
Patients should read through this information, ensure they understand and follow the provided guidelines, and contact the clinic with any questions.
As a research center, the WRESP-RC offers candidates the unique opportunity to participate in cutting edge research investigating military aspects of refractive surgery in order to improve visual function and consequently the performance of America’s warfighters.
Additional information about refractive surgery is available directly from the clinic or the websites listed at right, under the Links heading. Patients will be given ample opportunities to ask questions of the technicians, optometrists, and ophthalmologist during the evaluation process. Use the phone number at right to contact the clinic.