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SMILE Vs Lasik

Anchor: Hello Doctor, could you please introduce yourself?

Yes, my name is Dr Prashaant Chaudhry and I work with Aakash Healthcare hospital in New Delhi. In the past 12 years of my practice experience in ophthalmology, I’ve helped correct the vision of over 3000 patients who have come to me for treatment.

Anchor: So, Doctor Chaudhry what are you going to be telling us today about LASIK and SMILE?

Before I start talking about specific procedures, let me briefly speak about when and why a patient should opt for the vision correction procedures.

An ideal candidate for any kind of vision correction procedure is who is suffering with near sightedness or someone who is using glasses and it causes distraction in their day to day life or someone whose profession demands perfect vision and cannot really wear contact lenses or spectacles.

Various vision correction procedures have different success rates when performed on patients.

Best way to decide is to consult an expert ophthalmologist and seek opinion, before opting for any vision correction procedure.

Anchor: Thank you doctor, this was very helpful information.

Sure, now moving on to procedures, Laser based vision correction techniques have been there in the industry for more than 20 years. With the advancement of technology, these techniques are also evolving and getting better day by day.

ReLEx SMILE is one of the latest techniques which is now emerging as a preferred choice of vision correction. It stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) and it is the next generation technique for treating short-sightedness, among many other vision correction irregularities.

Another laser technique which is used worldwide is LASIK. LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis. It is one of the 2nd generation refractive laser eye surgeries available in the market.

Anchor: Doctor, how are these procedures different technically?

SMILE is a minimal invasive technique in which a key hole of 2mm size is created on the corneal surface and a lenticule is extracted to correct the vision. In the ReLEx SMILE procedure bio mechanical strength of cornea is better preserved. The SMILE procedure is also the simplest and easy to perform. Once the keyhole incision is made, the doctor removes the lenticule to change the shape of the cornea. ReLEx SMILE procedure is approved by the US FDA and is very safe and reliable. Over 1.5 million patients have undergone this procedure worldwide and are now happily enjoying corrected vision.

While LASIK involves cutting a flap of around 20-40mm on the cornea treating the corneal surface with the laser and putting the flap back on the surface. We have observed that LASIK is difficult to perform on patients with higher vision values, as it gets difficult to remove the corneal tissue flap.


So, Doctor, what is the healing time needed for each of the procedures?

In the LASIK procedure, you may have to refrain from any outdoor activity for as long as 30 days. The vision will also be blurred, and there are chances of prolonged uneasiness in the eyes as the flap which is replaced will take time to heal and adjust itself to the new position. In LASIK, there are higher chances of dry or itching eyes.

In my experience, patients are more comfortable with SMILE procedure, as it involves minimal post-op procedure. Since ReLEx SMILE is a minimal invasive process, the vision is corrected almost immediately, and you can resume the outdoor activity within a span of 2-3 days.


Doctor, could you please educate our viewers on about the kind of equipment being used in these procedures?

ReLEx SMILE is a next generation treatment and most of the procedure uses ZEISS VisuMax femtosecond laser to create a lenticule without disturbing the cornea. This ensures that the correction happens precisely at the point where it is needed than disturbing the overall cornea structure and then performing the surgery. It is a one-step, one laser procedure.

Since LASIK involves, multiple laser incisions, the procedure uses microkeratome laser for flap creation and excimer laser for tissue ablation. These can create higher chances of the infection being present in the eye for longer period and vision taking longer time to correct.

Vision situation:

Doctor, what kind of patients can use which procedure?

We have seen that LASIK procedure is preferred by patients suffering from near-sightedness and Astigmatism.

However, as I told earlier, SMILE procedure is most effective and has shown great results on over 1.5million patients worldwide. ReLEx SMILE procedure has shown great results on patients suffering from far sightedness also, along with near-sightedness and Astigmatism.

Doctor, what could be the possible side effects of these procedures?

As ReLEx is painless, bladeless and flapless next-generation procedure, we have seen that this procedure has less or no side effects and post operation complications. On the other hand, patients who have opted for LASIK have complained of prolonged dry eyes and itching in the eyes. The patients have also complained of flap related complications. In extreme cases the patients were required to perform multiple LASIK surgeries in order to achieve the desired vision correction.

Dr. Prashaant Chaudhry
Senior Consultant & HOD

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