In Los Angeles, ophthalmologists recommend the SMILE procedure to some of their patients instead of LASIK. SMILE is actually an acronym that signifies “Small Incision Lenticule Extraction” and is the recent advancement in laser vision correction. Not many people know about SMILE, so the LASIK eye center in Los Angeles has noted down the ten most important facts you need to know about SMILE.
SMILE eye surgery is a less invasive procedure and supports the strength of the cornea
Although the incision your eye surgery will make in the cornea is smaller during a SMILE procedure, the invasion deep in the cornea is exactly the same as LASIK.
Eye doctors also believe that SMILE protects the strength of the cornea!
SMILE isn’t new
SMILE is over ten years old now, and many clinics have included it as another method of vision corrective surgery. Some surgeons have taken SMILE up, like the LASIK in Los Angeles clinic of Excel Laser Vision Institute. You will notice that eye surgeons who perform SMILE still do a lot of work with LASIK and ASLA. The reason for this is because some patients are not suitable candidates for SMILE.
SMILE cuts less corneal nerves
According to LASIK in Los Angeles surgeons, this is absolutely true! However, what does this mean for the patient? Some patients experience dry eyes after both SMILE and LASIK after the procedure because of cut nerves. However, through research studies, it is noticed that dry eyes after SMILE is less common than with LASIK. Furthermore, dry eye symptoms after surgery generally only occur when the surgeon is performing on a preoperative dry eye. Most qualified eye surgeons would never send their patients to surgery, whichever procedure, knowing there is a dry eye present. In studies, patients who undergo a SMILE procedure, usually experience fewer instances of dry eye symptoms after surgery.
SMILE is just as safe and accurate as LASIK
The safety and accuracy between SMILE and LASIK are very similar, however, SMILE proves to create fewer dry eye symptoms than LASIK as mentioned before. Also, corneal sensitivity heals quicker after SMILE compared to LASIK.
LASIK is a well-proven and advanced procedure, but it is at the end of its development. Therefore, there isn’t anything else that can be done to drastically improve LASIK procedures since it has reached the stage where lasers and results are very near to the variation in refraction.
On the other hand, SMILE is picking up momentum since patients prefer the approach of a small incision and no flap. Many eye surgeons will agree that SMILE is a better procedure because of the risk of ectasia and the common issue of post-op dryness with LASIK, as well as complications with the LASIK flap.
Is SMILE good for nervous patients?
A lot of eye surgery patients will tell you that the most uncomfortable part of the SMILE and LASIK procedures is the pressure that is placed on the eye to hold it still while the Femtosecond laser gets the job done. This is the part of the procedure that most patients have a tough time with. In LASIK the laser operates as quickly as ten seconds, on the other hand in SMILE it is longer since more corneal tissue is changed by the Femtosecond laser.
SMILE doesn’t need a blade
SMILE doesn’t need a blade, but neither does modern LASIK.
SMILE is a quiet and odorless procedure
This is an advantage of SMILE that has been reported by patients. In LASIK, there is a buzzing sound that lasts for about 4 seconds. Also, in LASIK there is an odor when the laser removes the corneal tissue which has a similar odor to burning hair. Whereas in SMILE since it does not use an excimer laser, the procedure is both quiet and odorless.
Visual Recovery – Which is faster LASIK or SMILE?
This question is a little tricky to answer with a straight answer since recovery time slightly varies. It is claimed that SMILE is faster since there is no ‘cut’ or flap made. Instead, the small incision in which the lenticule is removed heals very swiftly – usually by the end of the day or next.
Also, there is no risk of flap related complications, so patients can return to activities such as swimming, outdoor sports, and so on within the first week itself after a SMILE procedure. However, after a LASIK procedure, these energetic activities are generally allowed after 15 days to a month.
In spite of this, recovery can also imply visual recovery. There have been cases of LASIK patients that get comfortable with activities involving computer screen time far faster than those who have done SMILE. Even though patients who have done a SMILE procedure are allowed to use computers from the very next day of the procedure, with small breaks in between, there is evidence that SMILE patients take a bit longer to get comfortable with computer-related work.
Far-sighted patients aren’t good candidates for SMILE
If you suffer from long-sightedness or lower levels of short-sightedness, surgeons cannot treat it using SMILE.
If you are active, SMILE might be a better alternative
Most eye surgeons will inform their patients that if they live very active lifestyles, the main advantage that SMILE brings to the table over LASIK is that the cap might resist eye trauma a lot better. As mentioned above, mild to moderate eye trauma in sports could cause a LASIK flap problem.
Also, if you have a bad habit of rubbing your eyes hard, there is no risk of flap dislocation after a SMILE procedure since there is no flap involved. Therefore, if you are a person that usually rubs or knuckles your eyes, you are better off with a SMILE procedure. After a LASIK procedure, you have to be more careful when handling your eyes because the flap needs some time to settle in. That is why it takes about 15 days to a month to be allowed to do any active activities.
Consult with your refractive surgeon for the eye surgery procedure that works best for you. If you want further information about SMILE or LASIK procedures in Los Angeles, give Excel Laser Vision Institute a call at + (818) 907-8606 today.