Should you have LASIK or SMILE?
Both of these procedures change the shape or curvature of the cornea (the clear window at the front of your eye). Both LASIK and SMILE are used to correct myopia (short-sightedness) and astigmatism. LASIK is the most accurate procedure for low myopia and is the best option for higher amounts of astigmatism as well as the only corrective laser eye surgery procedure for hyperopia (far sightedness). SMILE is at its best when treating moderate to high amounts of myopia with lower amounts of astigmatism. If you have between 3 to 4 dioptres of myopia either procedure could be done.
The advantages of LASIK
Dr Kent has performed laser eye surgery at Fendalton Eye Clinic for over 21 years having performed in excess of 25,000 corrective laser eye surgery procedures. LASIK is very accurate for low myopia and is the best procedure for higher amounts of astigmatism as there is automatic alignment of the axis of the astigmatism treatment using iris recognition and the seven dimensional eye tracker on the Schwind Amarmis laser, the most technologically advanced excimer laser in the world. The visual recovery with LASIK is a little faster than SMILE by about 2-3 days.
The advantages of SMILE
We began SMILE in 2017 as it was becoming an increasingly popular procedure in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and especially throughout Asia. The main advantage we have noticed with SMILE patients is the much reduced incidence of dry eye in the first 3-6 months following the surgery. The reason for his is that SMILE surgery preserves the nerves in the front part of the cornea and only a small 2.7mm incision is made up underneath the upper eyelid. The other main advantage is that there is no chance of a dislodged LASIK flap with SMILE as there is no flap made. In theory SMILE also maintains the mechanical strength of the cornea more than LASIK but to date this has been hard to conclusively prove.