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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 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.