If you’ve decided to pursue independence from glasses or contacts with laser vision correction, the next step is deciding which procedure is right for your needs. You have several options, including LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-situ Keratomileusis) and SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction).
At Laser Eye Center, our primary focus is achieving the best possible visual outcomes for our patients. We believe that LASIK is infinitely superior to SMILE not only in terms of visual results but also safety and accuracy. In this post, we break down the reasons why we prefer LASIK to SMILE.
Longer History and Safety Track Record than SMILE
LASIK has been around for over two decades and has reached the technological apex with no more room to grow from a technological standpoint (think what the moon landing meant for space travel). It has been studied extensively and has helped tens of millions of people achieve clearer, crisper vision in the U.S. alone. In contrast, SMILE was approved by the FDA in 2016, which means it only has a fraction of the history and track record of safety that LASIK does. Moreover, SMILE only works to address nearsightedness, as opposed to LASIK, which is able to correct for all conditions simultaneously, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
Because SMILE hasn’t been around as long as LASIK, there is also a steep learning curve. In other words, it takes a long time for a surgeon to get up to speed and perform the number of procedures it takes to master the SMILE technique.
LASIK surgery allows for an exceptionally high degree of customization unmatched by SMILE or any other vision correction procedure. Truly the perfect manifestation of personalized medicine, no two procedures are alike. With topography-guided LASIK (i.e., Contoura), over 22,000 points of the cornea as well as its unique curvature are captured prior to the laser correction; this detailed information is then used to calibrate the laser that reshapes the cornea correcting for the tiniest irregularity. SMILE doesn’t offer anywhere near this much customization or precision.
Better Visual Recovery
After LASIK, most patients experience an almost-instant visual recovery, and can return to work, the gym and other normal activities as soon as the day after surgery. On the other hand, SMILE patients don’t recover as quickly.
Wider Treatment Range
LASIK can correct nearsightedness as well as farsightedness and astigmatism; the procedure can also treat higher order aberrations that affect night vision as well as any light sensitivity arising from the cornea’s abnormal shape. On the other hand, SMILE has an exceedingly limited treatment range; right now, it is currently only available for the correction of nearsightedness and very mild astigmatism, and it does not treat higher-order aberrations.
Schedule a Consultation at Laser Eye Center
The only way to determine the laser vision correction that is right for you is to have an in-person consultation with our team. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call (800) 805-2737 or email us today.