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Q&A: Cataract Surgery and Class 2 Medical Certificate

By Penny Giovanetti, D.O., Manager, Aerospace Medical Specialties Division
Source: FAA Safety Briefing, May/June 2017

Q. If cataract surgery is performed and the result is 20/20 vision, are you still eligible for a Class II Physical?

A. You would be eligible for a Class 2 medical certificate 1-3 months after surgery, as long as your visual acuity is stable, and there are no complications such as residual glare. We would need to see the operative report and a current status report from your eye surgeon, as different types of lenses require different follow-up. Use of unifocal, non-accommodating intraocular lenses is not acceptable.

Send your questions to SafetyBriefing@faa.gov. They will be forwarded to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division, without your name, and the answer will be published in anupcoming issue of FAA Safety Briefing.

Penny Giovanetti, D.O., received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford, a master’s in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine from the University of Iowa and a doctorate from Des Moines University. She completed a 27-year career as an Air Force flight surgeon. She is board certified in aerospace medicine, occupational medicine, and physical medicine/rehabilitation. She is also a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association and a private pilot.