SMILE, LASIK, or PRK Eye Surgery – A Comparative Study

LASIK Eye Surgery: Overview

Living a life free from the use of glasses and contact lenses is a fantastic decision to be permanently free from any eye defect. And before you choose the best option from the three kinds of laser surgeries, you should learn about each of them to make an informed decision. However, the right decision to choose the best procedure is not as easy as it sounds.

Therefore, there are several laser eye surgery options you can choose from. At the same time, the top three are SMILE, LASIK, and PRK Surgery.

Laser Eye Surgery Options

PRK – Photorefractive Keratectomy (1st Generation)

PRK is the first level generation of laser eye surgery for vision correction for different eye defects. For instance, some common refractive errors that require correction include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. And during the PRK procedure requires a gentle removal of the cornea’s outer layer, called the epithelium.

PRK Vision Correction | New York Laser Vision

Moreover, the removal is done using a manual instrument. After the removal, the surgeon uses a cool excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct your vision. 

Benefits of PRK Eye Surgery

The PRK is an essential surgery type that applies to patients with a thin or irregular cornea. Moreover, it works for those patients who are predisposed to a chronic case of dry eye. In addition, it can also work for patients who have lifestyles or jobs that bring them in direct contact with their eyes. Examples of such jobs may include sports such as fighters and boxers.

In other words, patients with dry eyes, thin cornea layers, or high-risk occupations for the eyes should choose the PRK procedure for eye surgery. The reason is that these patients may not be suitable to undergo LASIK eye surgery or the SMILE procedure. But before we draw up our conclusions on any of these procedures, let us consider the downsides of the PRK procedure.

Downsides of the PRK

The number one issue with the PRK is the recovery time for the patients who pass through the process. Of all the three strategies that we will be examining in this article, the PRK still has the longest time for the patient’s recovery. Firstly, it can take up to a week for the epithelial cells on the outermost layer of your cornea to grow back. Afterward, the process of the cells smoothing out to allow a clear vision can last for between two and six weeks after the surgery.

It is an excellent option to choose PRK eye surgery for both eyes, and then it will take much time to recover fully. Furthermore, the patient may have to take up to a week or two from work and driving. However, the alternatives of SMILE and LASIK may come with some post-operational discomfort with different symptoms. Visit to learn about Safety and Efficiency Ideas for LASIK Eye Surgery.

LASIK – Laser-Assisted Stromal In-situ Keratomileusis (2nd Generation)

Of all three procedures, the most popular is LASIK eye surgery, as many have already found. It is also the most performed laser eye surgery due to its high effectiveness and success rate. Moreover, the eye surgery that involves the LASIK procedure is also mild enough to a moderate level to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

In a typical LASIK eye surgery, a small portion of the corneal tissue called the flap is created through a femtosecond laser tool. Afterward, the method is also folded back into another position. The next step is the surgeon using the excimer laser to reshape an underlying corneal tissue to correct your eye vision. But first, how do we know that LASIK is a good option?

LASIK Eye Surgery: Overview

How can LASIK Eye Surgery be a good option?

Certain conditions qualify a patient for LASIK eye surgery. One of the top reasons is an adequate corneal thickness, which can accommodate a thin layer of the flap to be raised. Moreover, after creating the flap at the beginning of the process, the next stage can proceed. On the other hand, if the cornea is not thick enough or has an irregular cornea shape, it may not undergo the LASIK procedure. 

Meanwhile, the patients with the thin or irregular shape of the cornea are better suited for PRK or SMILE procedures. In other words, SMILE or PRK is an excellent option for patients with chronic eye symptoms. On the other hand, the LASIK procedure tends to complicate existing issues with the eyes, such as dry eyes. It may sustain a chronic dry eye symptom. 

Disadvantages of LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK is a very effective process that is also very safe and has become a highly trusted opinion. Yet, it has a downside as a more complex procedure than the first generation of laser eye surgery. The LASIK procedure is also more complex than the SMILE procedure because it requires two lasers and a flap while the surgery is going on. Consequently, this condition brings about the possibility of other kinds of flap-related complications after the surgery.

Some of the notable complications that can arise from flap creation include tiny wrinkles known as striae. Others have irregular astigmatism, inflammation, epithelial ingrowth, dry eye syndrome, and inflammation. However, these complications may be rare and may not always happen that way. Still, an experienced surgeon will know what to do. 

SMILE – Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (3rd Generation)

The FDA approves the SMILE procedure to deal with eye defects to work out the best results. It started working in 2012 and can be applied widely, especially in the United States.

SMILE Eye Surgery – Is It Different From LASIK - Blog | Bharti Eye Hospital 

Why is SMILE a Great Eye Surgery Procedure?

The SMILE procedure is the latest method and is different from the others in that it is a one-laser procedure. Moreover, it doesn’t require the use of an excimer laser. In contrast, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to make a tiny incision on your cornea. The removed part of the corneal tissue is lenticular, and the process helps reshape the cornea and improve vision. Also, the process is less invasive on the eye than the LASIK procedure.

SMILE is a quiet, odorless, and blade-free method that can quickly reshape the cornea without making any sound. Unlike LASIK and PRK, the reshaping process includes a clicking sound and a noticeable smell during the surgery. SMILE has no flap-related complications, making the process very smooth, safe, accurate, and visually fast.

Demerits of the SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

One major downside of the SMILE procedure is that it cannot treat astigmatism and farsightedness. On the other hand, it can sufficiently treat nearsightedness. In addition to that case, the recovery process from the SMILE procedure is slightly longer than what is attainable during LASIK. For instance, SMILE visual recovery can take up to 2 whole days.