US space agency NASA has for the first time approved LASIK surgery for would-be astronauts who previously would have been disqualified from applying for its training programmes.
The move came as NASA unveiled its recruitment programme for the next generation of astronauts which commences in 2009.
The space research agency will now consider applications from those who have undergone LASIK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) surgery.
The announcement followed a review of extensive military clinical data using Advanced Medical Optics Advanced CustomVue LASIK with Intralase method.
“NASA’s approval is further evidence that today’s LASIK exceeds all established standards of safety and effectiveness” said Steve Schallhorn, retired captain of the US Navy, investigator in multiple studies involving use of LASIK and other refractive surgeries and medical director of Optical Express.
“LASIK was able to withstand even the most extreme rigours of warfare and flight. All surgical procedures have risks, but with this exceptional track record, the average consumer has nothing to fear from LASIK “