Difference Between ReLEx SMILE and LASIK: Which One Should You Get?

Difference Between ReLEx SMILE and LASIK: Which One Should You Get?

While all laser eye surgeries are incredibly useful, it’s important to know the difference between ReLEx SMILE and LASIK, the two prominent types.

This article on ReLEx SMILE vs. LASIK surgery explores the benefits and disadvantages of both procedures and when you should get them.

We will also see how to get the best eye specialists to perform the procedures at one of the best eye clinics in Mangalore, which also happens to be one of the top eye hospitals in India.

What is LASIK?

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a popular laser eye surgery that can improve vision without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

This procedure reshapes the cornea to focus light on the retina and provide clear vision. It is used to treat astigmatism, short-sightedness, and nearsightedness. The procedure is painless and may take between 10–15 minutes for both eyes. 

Let’s look at its benefits:

  • Usually, no bandages or stitches are required.
  • A faster return to a normal routine.
  • Fast, and usually permanent vision improvement.
  • Patients will save money on eyeglasses and contact lenses if they are deemed unnecessary.

Though the LASIK procedure is safe and the risks are not significant, it is useful to know about the drawbacks.

  • Dry eyes: As the surgery affects the production of tears, some patients may experience temporary dry eyes.
  • Enhanced light sensitivity: Following surgery, you may find it difficult to see clearly due to glare, halos, and double vision. Again a temporary condition.
  • Under and over corrections: These are extremely rare but are known to happen.
  • Regression: A rare condition where your vision gradually reverts to its original form.
  • Loss/change of vision: Extremely rare but easily avoided if you opt for reputed eye hospitals with experienced ophthalmologists.
  • Pre-existing conditions: They can be easily neutralized at reputed eye hospitals because they consult your medical history and monitor current health conditions before surgery.

Read More : DEBUNKED: 9 Myths About the LASIK Eye Surgery

What is ReLEx SMILE Surgery?

Even though LASIK is the most popular laser refractive surgery, it is not without its drawbacks.

Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) is a procedure that has lately emerged as another option to correct conditions like myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism.

Let’s look at its benefits:

  • It is minimally invasive.
  • There is no need for a blade in this procedure as it requires only a small incision.
  • The healing is fast.
  • Chances of infections are minimal.

And the drawbacks:

  • Night vision: It can produce glare and halos from bright lights.
  • Infection: It may cause red eyes, itching, or pain.
  • Inflammation: It can impact vision, induce headaches, and prolong recovery time.
  • Others: Clouded vision, double vision, and dry eyes are also sometimes experienced.

What Are the Differences Between ReLEx SMILE and LASIK?

Now that we understand what the two procedures do, it’s time to understand their differences.

1. Invasiveness

Invasive medical procedures involve the use of instruments to gain access to the body through incisions or percutaneous punctures. With ReLEx SMILE, a smaller incision than with LASIK is made on the cornea. As a result, fewer corneal nerves are disturbed, and tear production is maintained.

2. Flap Complications

As a flapless procedure, SMILE avoids the problems associated with incorrectly placed flaps that can cause wrinkles on the cornea.

3. Patient Comfort 

Unlike SMILE, LASIK produces some noise and an odour while removing corneal cells.

4. Versatility

LASIK scores over SMILE in this department because SMILE treatment can treat minor astigmatism and myopia. LASIK can not only correct short-sightedness but also long-sightedness and astigmatism under certain conditions.

How Can I Learn More About the Difference Between ReLEx SMILE and LASIK?

To sum it up, both procedures have their strengths as well as limitations. The LASIK procedure, for example, has been around for a long time and has proven results in its favour.

In comparison, SMILE is a relatively new procedure that particularly excels at correcting short-sightedness.

Being one of the top eye hospitals in India that has some of the best eye specialists on its staff, Prasad Netralaya Eye Hospital can offer you both surgical procedures and reliable advice, starting from consultations to postoperative care.

To learn more about our full range of services and affordable treatments, visit our website today.

About Vikram Jain

Dr. Vikram Jain, M.S. had his medical training (MBBS) from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India. He did his master's in Ophthalmic surgery from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. He currently manages the Glaucoma department of Prasad Netralaya hospital.