September 13, 2019

Exploring the Differences Between SMILE & LASIK

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Read the full NZ Herald article here

When it comes to LASIK, many people don’t know that it’s just one type of laser eye surgery. There are multiple different methods of laser vision correction, and each one is suited to a different set of circumstances. Everyone’s eyes are different, and the expert team here at Re:Vision will examine your specific condition and recommend a method tailored for you.

Ultimately, this means that even if you don’t meet certain requirements for one type of laser eye surgery, you may still fit the prerequisites for another. To find out more about the methods and the technology involved, read on!

LASIK or Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis

LASIK eye surgery is a safe and efficient procedure that’s been in use for many years. Additionally, it’s been found to help correct a broad collection of the most common eye-focus issues over time. LASIK is a common way to address problems like astigmatism, hyperopia (long-sightedness), myopia (short-sightedness), and more. 

LASIK is similar to other laser eye correction methods in that it works by readjusting the shape of the cornea, located at the front of the eye, and is performed in two parts. First, a femtosecond laser generates light waves that help the surgeon separate the layers of the eye. Then a second laser—in our case, a German-engineered Schwind 1050 Excimer laser—is used to shape the exposed cornea in a few seconds. Once complete, the open flap on the top of the eye is placed back in position, where it will heal.

Our Re:Vision surgeons have successfully performed more than 15,000 laser vision correction procedures, fixing short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. LASIK surgery is extremely common, and it’s estimated to have been carried out more than 40 million times around the world. Its popularity can be put down to its relative ease and speed, as it only takes a few minutes to complete, and in most cases, patients are free to drive and return to work the day after surgery.

Re:Vision has been offering this technology now for nearly two decades. In fact, the life-changing benefits are so significant that LASIK has become one of the most frequently performed elective surgeries in the world with, with over 30 million people already experiencing the freedom of life without glasses and contacts - thanks to LASIK.

The Basics of LASIK

  1. Uses two separate lasers, a femtosecond laser and an excimer laser.
  2. Each laser phase of the surgery only takes a minute or so. The surgery overall takes about an hour; this is due to the preparation needed beforehand, and recovery time afterwards.
  3. Essentially painless, and no blades are involved.
  4. Very short recovery time, thanks to the healing powers of your eye.
  5. Can treat a large number of vision prescriptions.

SMILE or Small Incision Lenticle Extraction

As it is the latest development in laser eye surgery in the past ten years, Re:Vision is proud to be qualified with SMILE, as Re:Vision founder Dr Trevor Gray is a certified surgeon with the Zeiss VisuMax laser used to perform it. Using the newest laser technology available in New Zealand means we’re able to provide unequalled safety, care and quality of vision.

That said, new doesn’t always mean better! LASIK has been around longer, which means it’s had longer to be refined. Currently, LASIK and ICL generally outperform SMILE for safety and vision, but only by a slim margin. 

Ideally, SMILE will become less invasive and safer over time, LASIK and ICL are still more accurate, as they have eye-tracking capabilites, but many think that SMILE may become more accurate over time, which is why we think it’s best to invest in all possible technologies.

Studies suggest that SMILE results in less severe dry eye symptoms post-operatively, but the best possible way to avoid dry eye is proper care pre-operatively. 

Find out what works for you


Here at Re:Vision Sight Correction Centre we have a range of treatment options for a range of visual problems. If you want to see clearly again, talk to the friendly team here at Re:Vision—we can help you out with a free assessment. Book a visit today!


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