First LASIK Performed on U.S. Naval Aviator

HUNTSVILLE, AL - Corrective eye surgery has taken a big step into the final frontier of Naval Aviation.  For the first time, as part of a new program, the vision correction surgery LASIK has been performed on an aviator.  Previously, aviators have been ineligible for this surgery.

The IntraLase FS laser is the first technology for a truly all-laser, blade-free LASIK procedure, replacing the hand-held microkeratome blade historically used in creating LASIK corneal flaps -- the first step of the procedure -- with a computer-guided, ultra-fast femtosecond (fem-to-second) laser. The IntraLase laser virtually eliminates almost all of the most severe, sight-threatening LASIK complications related to use of the microkeratome and, by creating an optimal corneal surface below the flap, provides for better visual outcomes -- taking many patients to 20/20 vision and beyond.

Though LASIK has been around for many years, concerns about the harsh aviation environment have prevented its use.  Aeromedical professionals have been cautious of employing the procedure on patients who frequently encounter environmental extremes such as high altitude, dry air, wind blast and 'G' forces.

Though this procedure is becoming more common Dr. William Mitchell at the Huntsville Laser Center is the only one to offer this in North Alabama.

More than 1,200 surgeons worldwide have incorporated the blade-free IntraLase Method into their LASIK practices. In fact, the majority of the top U.S. ophthalmic teaching institutes including Duke University Medical School, the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at University of Miami, and Stanford University use the IntraLase FS laser technology to train future generations of LASIK surgeons.

Fore more information on Lasik and the IntraLase method contact Dr. William Mitchell at the Huntsville Laser Center at 704-EYES or go to

for more information.