SMILE Eye Surgery vs. LASIK: What’s the Difference?

When most people think of laser eye surgery, they think of LASIK. However, LASIK is only one type of laser vision correction. SMILE is an effective way to treat many types of refractive errors, and you may be a good candidate for it even if LASIK is not recommended for you. While these procedures have many similarities, they work in different ways that make them better for different people. 

Smile, Lasik Edmonton, Northern Alberta

What is SMILE Eye Surgery?

SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction) is a type of laser eye surgery. Like LASIK, it works by using an advanced femtosecond laser to remove microscopic layers of the cornea, a clear structure that helps focus light. Changing the shape of your cornea can correct issues like astigmatism and let you reduce your need for glasses or contacts. While SMILE and LASIK both reshape your corneas, they use different methods to access the cornea and perform the reshaping. 

SMILE Eye Surgery vs. LASIK: What’s the Difference?

The biggest difference between SMILE and LASIK is the creation of a flap. During LASIK, your surgeon creates a flap in the outer layers of the cornea and moves it aside. This opening allows the laser to work on the corneal tissues. SMILE does not create any flap. Instead, it shapes a disc of corneal tissue below the surface without making an incision. Once the disc has created the desired corneal shape, your surgeon uses a small incision to extract the disc. 

Most other differences between these two procedures relate to how they are performed. One major difference is that the flap makes LASIK unsuitable for people with certain conditions. SMILE is recommended over LASIK for those with chronic dry eye, abnormally shaped or thin corneas, or some other eye conditions. 

SMILE is only recommended for those with nearsightedness (myopia) or astigmatism. LASIK can also treat farsightedness (hyperopia). Only a consultation can determine which procedure will work best for your needs. 

Request a Consultation

We’d love to help you get all the information you need in order to make the best choice for your eyes. Request a consultation today! Our staff is available and happy to answer your every question.

What is Recovery Like After SMILE Eye Surgery?

SMILE is the least invasive type of laser eye surgery, and recovery is usually quick and easy. You may experience a few days of irritation or sensitivity, but you will receive eye drops to help. Most people return to work and their other activities within one to two days. Your vision may continue to stabilize and improve for several months. 

What Results Will I See After SMILE Eye Surgery

Blurriness after SMILE usually resolves within the first few days, allowing you to appreciate your clearer vision. 97% of people who have SMILE with Dr. Senekal experience 20/20 vision or better after the procedure. Results can take up to a few months to fully develop and stabilize. While SMILE results can last for decades, your eyes will continue to change as you age so you may need corrective lenses again in the future, especially for tasks like reading. 

Dr. Senekal and the staff at Visionmax are by far the best in the industry. They were beyond accommodating before, during, and after the surgery. A thank you simply just doesn’t cut it for these guys, I would HIGHLY recommend Visionmax to ANYONE seeking any type of eye surgery. Absolute gems!
tye s.

Take the Next Step

To learn more about SMILE eye surgery, please schedule your consultation by either filling out the form on this page or by calling (866) 458-1545. We look forward to helping you!

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