SMILE vs LASIK
Thanks to innovations in laser-guided surgeries, millions of people around the globe can have clear vision without contact lenses or eyeglasses. Laser-assisted in , or simply LASIK, is the most popular of these surgeries, correcting most refractive errors to 20/40 clarity or better.
Although LASIK works for many people, it’s not an ideal solution for some. Therefore, experts have come up with more forms of laser surgeries like the (SMILE) to give people more options.
If you’re considering to correct your , it’s best that you familiarize yourself with both SMILE and LASIK procedures so you can decide which one among the two options is best for you.
Laser Surgeries for Refractive Errors: vs. LASIK
LASIK Basics: The is a laser-guided , whereby a uses either a specialized to make a small flap in the , referred to as a .
After that, the lifts the and uses an to laser the tissue, so it can reform and refract light properly to the retina, at the back of the eye.
The can correct all types of refractive errors, which include far-sightedness, near-sightedness, presbyopia, and . The procedure takes 10-15 minutes per eye, and local anesthesia is usually administered.
SMILE ( ) Basics: This is a newer type of laser-guided is less invasive as it doesn’t require making a flap in the to reshape it. that specifically treats or near-sightedness. Compared to LASIK,
The , sometimes called , is similar to LASIK in the sense that a laser is used to reshape the . During the procedure, a uses the to make a small, lens-shaped bit of tissue within the .
With the same laser, the that requires the use of two devices, the SMILE requires the use of the only. makes a small arc-shaped opening in the surface of the from where he/she removes the tissue and discards it. So, unlike
Like the , the takes 10-15 minutes to complete. It is an ideal treatment option for most people with .
SMILE and LASIK: Three Major Differences You Must Know
After understanding the basics of , it’s easy to see the differences between the and the . The three main differences between the two procedures are:
The is less invasive than the . This is because SMILE does not involve the creation of a . It is ideal for active individuals or those working in environments that have the possibility of contact.
The is a treatment option for and , while the LASIK treatment can be used to correct all refractive errors including , hyperopia, and .
The only requires the use of one device, i.e., the , while the requires the use of two devices, i.e., the and the .
The may treat larger refractive errors better.
The has a shorter recovery time.
Corneal Strength and Biomechanics: SMILE vs. LASIK
A lot has been said and written about the corneal strength after laser-guided . One study shows that the removal of by either procedure inescapably results in reduced corneal tensile strength.
While both procedures significantly alter corneal biomechanical properties, most studies show that corneas treated with SMILE are biomechanically stronger than those treated with LASIK.
One study revealed that SMILE might save more corneal biomechanical properties than LASIK. The study also showed that might protect and leave more stromal tensile strength compared to LASIK.
During the , the vertical side cuts through corneal lamellae, rather than horizontal delamination incisions contribute to the loss of structural integrity during flap creation.
In SMILE, the anterior stroma remains uncut, and the is taken out from the deeper stroma layers than in LASIK. That’s why the results in stronger corneas as considerably less anterior is subjected to transverse separation and does involve as many .
: LASIK vs. SMILE and
When recovering from ., your eyes need more tears to stay healthy and heal after . Unfortunately, laser procedures can enhance
Most studies show that LASIK comes with more complications compared to SMILE. In one study, researchers found out that there were more patients complaining about after undergoing the compared to those who had the same problem after undergoing the .
In another study, researchers found out that only 20% of used eye drops six months after , while 43% of LASIK patients needed artificial tears to reduce eye dryness.
The . has fewer complaints because it is minimally invasive compared to the . The lesser degree of damage to the and nerves often results in fewer complications and reduced
Recovery Time: LASIK vs. SMILE
Healing and recovery time in LASIK and SMILE is about the same. Patients can resume most normal activities soon after either . However, complete healing of the eyes after both LASIK and SMILE procedures takes two to three months.
Since the is flapless and minimally invasive, the risk of scarring is also lesser. Since the ‘s surface is minimally disturbed, there should not be problems with the flap that can occur with LASIK.
SMILE vs. LASIK: Limitations of
Like any :, the carries the risk of complications. The following are some common limitations of
- Halos and glare around lights, especially at night
- Inflammation within the treated area
- Retreatment, which must be done with surface PRK.
Another limitation of is that your vision may end up being overcorrected or under corrected. Some of the rare problems may include blindness and having worse vision than before the operation.
Luckily, these complications can be improved with contact lenses, eyeglasses, or additional , your ophthalmologist can help you weigh both the risks and rewards of the procedure so you can decide whether it’s the best option for you. . Before the
SMILE vs. LASIK: Advantages of
Patients who undergo enjoy more benefits than those who undergo the . Some of the benefits that the has over the include:
- The procedure is quick and painless as it only involves one device () and does not involve creating a flap.
- Since it is minimally invasive, the has fewer complaints compared to the .
- The flapless procedure is less painful and eradicates problems with the flap, such as flap dislocation.
- The performs better than LASIK in terms of strength and stability.
Conclusion: SMILE vs. LASIK: Which Should You Get?
Studies indicate that both treatment options, outcomes are comparable, with improvements for both procedures noted the day following the . However, one study shows that report slightly higher satisfaction with their procedure compared to those who choose LASIK.
Considering the benefits that are associated with the , it’s apparent that the is a much better option for you if you have . But if you need to correct short-sightedness, or , the might be your only best option.
Schedule a SMILE Consultation Today!
Are you considering to get rid of ? You should seriously consider undergoing at LaserCare Eye Center. We strive to be the leading refractive and cataract procedures that we perform. in Dallas. We also offer various payment options for the various
Call us at 214-574-9600 or 844-900-3937 to schedule your free consult to see if you’re a candidate for .
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