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Q&A: How to Resume Flying After Cataract Surgery

By Penny Giovanetti, D.O. Manager, Aerospace Medical Specialties Division
Source: FAA Safety Briefing, Jan/Feb 2018

Q. What is the procedure to resume flying after successful cataract surgery? What documents do you need to furnish to your AME/physician?

A. You would be eligible for a medical certificate 1-3 months after surgery as long as your visual acuity is stable and within standards for the class of certificate you request, and there are no complications such as residual glare. We would need to see a current status report from your eye surgeon and also the operative report, as different types of lenses require different follow up. Use of unifocal, non-accommodating intraocular lenses is acceptable, as well as multifocal lenses.

Send your questions to They will be forwarded to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division, without your name, and the answer will be published in an upcoming 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.

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