Which is the better solution: SMILE or LASIK?
If you’ve been looking into vision correction surgery, you have probably come across both LASIK and SMILE. These are the most common options, and they’re both proven procedures that can give patients the freedom of life without contacts and eyeglasses. What’s the difference between the two? Here, we’ll look at LASIK vs SMILE, examining the similarities and differences between these two procedures.
In LASIK surgery, the surgeon creates a small flap of corneal tissue, which is then folded back. Your cornea is gently reshaped, using a laser, and the flap is folded back into its original position. It heals naturally, with no stitches, and the person’s vision is clearer within 24 hours, improving greatly within two to seven days. A full recovery from LASIK, however, can take six months or more.
SMILE surgery is considered less invasive, and sometimes called “flapless laser surgery.” A computer-guided femtosecond laser is used during the procedure to generate pulses on the cornea’s center, creating tiny bubbles that outline an area that needs to be removed. A small incision of less than four millimeters is then made, allowing the surgeon to extract the targeted corneal tissue, called a lenticule. By doing this, the surgeon gently reshapes the cornea and improves the patient’s vision. With SMILE, vision is improved by about 80 percent in the first few hours, and patients reach full visual recovery in about a week.
These procedures are similar in that they both use lasers to correct vision, they each take about 15 minutes to complete, and neither requires stitches or a lengthy recovery time. Both SMILE and LASIK involve reshaping the cornea, and they have similar side effects, like glares or halos around lights, dry eye, and trouble with vision in dim light.
However, there are a few major differences, and these are probably what will determine which procedure is best for you. While SMILE does not require a flap to be created in the cornea, it can only be used to treat myopia and not farsightedness or astigmatism. LASIK treats all refractive errors, and can even be used to treat high-order aberrations that affect night vision. If you’ve got thin corneas, LASIK is not a good option, but SMILE can be beneficial. LASIK has been around for about three decades, and is less demanding for eye surgeons, while SMILE is a newer procedure to the United States and requires extensive training.
Ultimately, however, both procedures are good options. They’re safe, reliable, and effective, and are considered top-of-the-line procedures. The best way to determine which one is right for you is to discuss both with your eye doctor.
When contemplating vision correction surgery, trust Panorama LASIK to care for your eyes. Serving all of Colorado, Panorama LASIK utilizes state-of-the-art technology to provide comprehensive medical and surgical eye care. We’re committed to enhancing quality of life through exceptional patient care, and our doctors and staff members are second to none. Request an appointment with our community-oriented practice to learn how we work to understand your needs and exceed your expectations, call us at (970) 232-1565, or contact us through our website.