With new technology, new questions arise. This time we’ll discuss ReLEx SMILE
ReLEx SMILE has been presented as a less invasive procedure to correct for myopia and astigmatism. During SMILE, a 3D lens is cut and created in the cornea with a laser to correct the eye’s prescription. The laser also creates a small incision in the cornea, which the surgeon uses to pull and remove the lens that was created. This in essence flattens the cornea and corrects the myopia and astigmatism. Unlike LASIK surgery, there is no flap created which eliminates any flap complications, a smaller chance of inducing aberrations, and a more stable cornea after surgery. Also, because only a small incision is made in the cornea, there is potentially a smaller chance for dry eye post surgery. Some studies have shown that the precision between SMILE and LASIK differs more in patients with higher prescriptions. In patients with higher myopia, SMILE seems to provide better outcomes.
Predictability of LASIK decreases the higher the prescription but so far some studies have shown that SMILE’s predictability is the same between lower and higher amounts of myopia. Because SMILE is a relatively new procedure, there have not been as many large-scale studies proving long-term effectiveness. SMILE does seem to show a lot of potential but further studies are required to be able to equally compare SMILE and LASIK.
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