SMILE laser eye surgery is the newest generation of laser eye surgery but it's actually been around for longer than most people think. I first heard of SMILE in 2005 at a conference I was attending in Washington DC. At the time, I must admit, I didn't think it would ever be as good as LASIK but SMILE continued to evolve and now is used by surgeons all over the world.
What is SMILE laser eye surgery? SMILE stands for small micro-incision lenticule extraction. That's a mouthful but basically the key difference with SMILE compared to LASIK is that there is no flap. Instead access to the treatment area is through a much smaller "keyhole" or micro-incision created by the laser. This has three potential benefits: 1.Less dry eye 2. Greater accuracy in higher corrections of short sightedness (myopia) 3. Quicker return to contact sports
As the article featured suggests, for some people these potential benefits can be important. For example, many of my Asian patients with high degrees of short sightedness may be better off having SMILE than LASIK. Some of my patients who are avid surfers also prefer this version of laser eye surgery. Or my patients who are prone to dry eye are another group who may benefit. I think it's great to have another customised option to offer my patients. And yes, I do see a lot of smiles...:)
* Information on this blog is general in nature and should not be taken as professional medical advice or as a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional.