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Questions and Answers

There are a lot of questions when it comes to Laser Eye Correction. This website covers general information regarding laser eye surgery, and some of the most frequently asked questions are answered below. For further information and specific questions about an individual case and eligibility, it is important to consult with a physician.

  • General
    • Am I a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery?

      If your eyesight has been stable over the past year, which usually occurs after the age of 18, wear glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision, otherwise healthy and not pregnant, you might be a candidate for laser eye surgery. Please consult a physician to determine if Laser Vision Correction surgery is right for you.

    • How do I find the right doctor for laser eye surgery?

      One of the most important parts of a laser eye surgery is finding the right clinic. There are many factors to consider: A doctor’s experience, expertise and the technology he or she uses. Visiting doctors, researching surgeons and comparing them, might help when choosing the doctor or clinic you feel most comfortable with. When consulting with a doctor, it is good to prepare your questions beforehand.

    • Does laser eye surgery hurt?

      In almost all cases, the procedure is virtually pain free. You will receive drops of anesthesia to numb your eye. At some points during the surgery, you may feel some pressure around your eye. After surgery, you may have a foreign-body sensation in your eye for a few hours.

    • Who is eligible for SMILE?

      Today SMILE corrects nearsightedness, astigmatism, and a combination of the two. As with all other Laser Vision Correction methods, you will have to undergo a detailed eye examination to find out if this method is suitable for you. The nature and degree of the refractive error, and the curvature and thickness of the cornea, play a role in your doctor determining if SMILE is an option for you.

      Also important are your profession and hobbies. If you often participate in strenuous contact sports, your doctor might recommend SMILE over alternative Laser Vision Correction treatments. Your doctor will advise you after conducting a detailed examination.

    • PRK/LASEK also requires no flap in the cornea. How do these procedures differ from SMILE?

      In PRK/LASEK procedures, the top layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed manually. The exposed deeper layers of the cornea are then reshaped using an excimer laser.

      PRK/LASEK procedures have a longer healing time and involve some discomfort until reaching the final stabilized vision result. The stabilization of visual acuity also takes more time. Furthermore, PRK/LASEK is not typically recommended for the treatment of severe nearsightedness.

    • My eye doctor has never heard of SMILE. Is this not a popular procedure?

      SMILE is the latest advancement of Laser Vision Correction and has been available since 2012. Its technique is known and recognized by medical trade associations related to refractive laser eye surgeries. The familiarity of SMILE continues to grow, but this is taking some time, especially among general ophthalmologists. Over 1,000 surgeons have already successfully treated more than 1 million eyes with SMILE.

    • Is SMILE a proven procedure?

      Femtosecond laser technology is clinically proven and has been used for LASIK as well as in cataract surgery. SMILE is the latest procedure developed using this laser technology. SMILE has been performed in controlled clinical studies since 2007 and has been commercially available since 2011. The first SMILE-patients have been monitored for over five years’ post-treatment. SMILE is now established in many countries worldwide.

    • What advantages does Femto-LASIK offer over the classic LASIK method?

      The difference between the Femto-LASIK and the classic LASIK method is the way the flap in the cornea is created. A laser is used to cut the flap in Femto-LASIK. In the classic method, the surgeon opens the cornea manually with a microkeratome. The laser can be more precise and predictable in cutting the flap than manually with a mechanical device. However, eye surgeons do not have a uniform opinion that one method is more clinically superior than the other. The decision between the two is based on a patient’s existing conditions and the doctor’s preferences.

    • What is the difference between PRK/LASEK and LASIK?

      There are two big differences between these types of laser eye surgeries. The first is the method to expose the inner layers of the cornea. In LASEK, the doctor applies an alcohol solution to loosen the epithelium, which is temporarily pushed aside. When the doctor applies the laser to ablate tissue during LASEK, this is done at the exposed top-surface level of the cornea.

      In LASIK, a flap is cut with a mechanical device or a laser, folded back for surgery, and then repositioned when surgery is complete. The layer of corneal tissue ablated in LASIK occurs in the stroma, a sublayer of the cornea.

      The second difference is the recovery time and patient experience. LASIK patients typically have a much shorter healing period with less discomfort.

    • I have thin corneas. Does this mean I should get PRK/LASEK over SMILE or LASIK?

      This depends. The surgery most suitable for you also depends on your prescription and other pre-existing conditions – such as dry eye syndrome. If you are ineligible for LASIK, a possible solution for you could be PRK/LASEK or SMILE. These procedures might be alternatives for those with thin corneas or more severe cases of myopia. Candidates also include those who may be at a high risk for flap complications (e.g. certain jobs, sports and hobbies that are strenuous or involve contact). Consult with your eye doctor to learn which laser eye surgery procedure they believe will be best for your individual case.