Comparing SMILE and LASIK

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Posted on Sunday, June 14th, 2020 by Dr. Robert Mack
LASIK and SMILE laser procedures in Hoffman Estates

SMILE is a great new option for patients who seek improved comfort, convenience and safety in a nearsighted laser vision correction procedure. SMILE is short-hand for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction — and a short-cut to a lifetime free from lenses.

Below, the experienced vision care professionals of Mack Eye Center compare SMILE with traditional LASIK, and discuss the unique benefits of each.

The 25-Second SMILE

Although LASIK has already become incredibly convenient, SMILE takes that one step further. During LASIK, the laser is in contact with the cornea for 40 seconds or less. During a SMILE procedure at Mack Eye Center, our advanced VisuMax femtosecond laser reshapes the cornea in 25 seconds, using a tiny “keyhole” incision to access the middle layer of the cornea.

With SMILE, the ophthalmologist does not need to create a flap to access areas of the cornea that will be reshaped, which is the typical LASIK technique. Benefits of using one small incision include faster recovery and even less discomfort than the already pain-free LASIK vision correction procedure. Less operating time and fewer incisions mean the risks of complications are lower, too. Because there is no need to create a flap, patients are less likely to develop dry eye, and there is no chance of a flap healing improperly or becoming detached.

Proven Around the World

SMILE was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2016, but has been available for a decade in many European countries, where it has established a solid track record of success. To date, SMILE has been performed at least 1 million times worldwide.

The experienced laser surgeons of Mack Eye Center offer SMILE for myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism, but the technique is also being clinically tested to determine whether patients with hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia or keratoconus can use SMILE to sharpen their eyesight. With continual refinement of the technology, there is no question that almost all vision correction patients will eventually be able to benefit from this remarkable procedure.

If you would like to know more about SMILE or LASIK, schedule an appointment today at Mack Eye Center, conveniently located in Hoffman Estates.

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