By Zach RehnstromMay 16, 2019
The WRESP utilizes doctors with specialized training in diseases and surgery of the eye, such as Col. Thomas Lovas, deputy commander for U.S. Army MEDDAC --Fort Gordon Surgical Services.
"We have multiple different types of battle spaces that we engage in around the world," Lovas said. "Not all of them are predictable; eyewear is unpredictable. Refractive surgery gives you the ability to reduce your dependency on eyewear."
During combat, a Soldier's ability to see correctly is imperative to complete the mission effectively. To improve the medical and vision readiness of Soldiers on the battlefield, the Warrior Refractive Eye Surgery Program provides vision readiness surgical services that reduce the dependency of eyewear in the field.
"The bottom line is it's a procedure that you're committing maybe 10 or 15 minutes of your time to," Lovas stated. "And the upside potential is significant in terms of not just combat multiplier type processes, but also from a lifestyle perspective."
Lovas and his surgical team utilized the WRESP to accomplish a Photo Refractive Keratectomy procedure on Brig. Gen. Neil Hersey, commandant at the U.S. Army Cyber Warfare School.
"This is my first opportunity to work with Dr. Lovas," Hersey said. "I've worked with several professionals in the medical community, and I would say that the Army, in my humble opinion, is ahead of all the other services in terms of medical care."
The PRK is a roughly 10-minute laser-assisted refractive surgery procedure designed to correct myopia or nearsightedness, and hyperopia, better known as farsightedness, which is imperative for increasing combat effectiveness.
"The ability to operate without requiring corrective lenses in any situation provides a higher level of readiness," Hersey said. "To be able to adapt to any situation rapidly, and perform whatever tasks are necessary in combat or in other types of operations."
Autumn Currence, a certified ophthalmic technician at Winn, is part of the surgical assisted who assists the surgery, as well as, many other refractive surgical procedures.
"Having the ability to do this, and to increase the readiness ability of the Soldiers, makes Winn vital in the readiness platform," Currence said.
The WRESP provides the ability for Soldiers to function at optimum readiness without requiring corrective lenses in any situation. These procedures allow our Soldiers the ability to adapt and perform as necessary no matter the conditions.