ReLEx SMILE and Lasik surgery are effective methods for correcting the eyesight. Both procedures allow the patients to get rid of glasses and contact lenses. There are certain differences between these procedures.
Lasik eye surgery is one of the preferred surgical interventions for treating myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Lasik stands for Laser-Assisted In-situ Keratomileusis. The Lasik eye surgery is safe and effective in managing the eyesight. The surgery lasts for 15-20 minutes, and the patient needs a day to stabilize after the surgery. During the Lasik eye surgery, the doctor creates and lifts a corneal flap, reshapes the corneal tissue, and put the flap back into its original position. Lasik does not cause pain in the eye, and the patient experiences vision correction immediately after the surgery. With sufficient post-operative care, post-operative complications are quite rare.
ReLEx SMILE is a minimally invasive eye surgery to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. It is a flapless procedure. ReLEx SMILE stands for Refractive Lenticule Extraction and Small incision lenticule extraction. It is the most recent, advanced, and novel surgery for vision correction. Carl Zeiss Meditec had developed this procedure. The SMILE was previously called Femtosecond lenticular extraction. The surgery is bladeless and stitch-less, and the patient does not experience any pain. It makes use of the femtosecond laser to prepare a 3D map of the eye tissues. This increases the accuracy, safety, and outcome of the procedure.
Lasik Eye surgery is currently the trending option for correcting vision problems, while ReLEx SMILE is a novel and advanced procedure. There are differences between both procedures. Some of these differences are:
Procedural difference: Both ReLEx SMILE and Lasik consists of two steps. However, there are certain basic procedural differences. The degree of incision in Lasik is 270 degrees, while in ReLEx SMILE, it is 90 degrees. Lasik comprises creating and lifting the flap on the upper surface of the cornea and reshaping the tissues of the lower layer. The surgeons create a flap because it is highly uncomfortable for the patient if the surgery is done on the first layer due to its high sensitivity. The surgeon reshapes the cornea with the help of an excimer laser.
Unlike a flap formation in Lasik surgery, the ReLEx SMILE comprises the creation of an intrastromal lenticule. For creating the lenticule, the doctor makes two cuts, i.e., posterior refractive cut and anterior cap cut. To get access to this lenticule, the doctor creates a small opening. In the next step, the doctor reshapes the cornea by dissecting and removing the lenticule. ReLEx SMILE provides excellent outcomes due to the use of the wavefront-optimization technique.
Different types of Laser: There is a difference in the type of laser used in ReLEx SMILE and Lasik surgery. ReLEx SMILE only uses a femtosecond laser by Carl Zeiss Meditec, which provides a highly detailed eye mapping. Lasik uses various types of excimer laser or the microkeratome. In some cases, the doctors may also use a femtosecond laser in Lasik.
Recovery time: Recovery time for Lasik and ReLEx SMILE is different for different activities. As the ReLEx SMILE has no cuts and there is no flap formation, the patients with this surgery resume normal activities such as swimming or playing outdoor games within 1-2 days after the procedure. Patient with Lasik surgery requires at least 15 days to a month to resume normal activities. The visual recovery in Lasik surgery is better as compared to ReLEx SMILE. People with Lasik surgery are like to get more comfortable with reading books or working on computer screens earlier in comparison to a patient with ReLEx SMILE procedure.
Scope of treatment: Both Lasik and ReLEx SMILE procedures are safe and effective in treating various eyesight conditions. However, Lasik surgery has a wider scope in treating ocular conditions as compared to ReLEx SMILE. Lasik surgery corrects myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The efficacy of ReLEx SMILE is limited to the correction of myopia and myopic astigmatism. Its efficacy in other conditions is under trial. Lasik surgery may not be an option for people with a thin cornea, while ReLEx SMILE is effective in such cases.
The cost involved: There is a cost difference between the two procedures. ReLEx SMILE is costlier as compared to the Lasik surgery.
ReLEx SMILE and Lasik surgery are safe if performed by the trained surgeons. Some of the basic differences between the two include procedure, types of laser used, cost, and the recovery period.