The Treatment Options Comparison Table

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This comparison table offers a summary of the most important facts and figures when it comes to Laser Vision Correction. While all three treatment options of Laser Vision Correction have a high success rate, they differ slightly in their characteristics.

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  SMILE LASIK PRK/LASEK
Name of Medical Procedure
 
         
Small Incision Lenticule Extraction Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis Photorefractive Keratectomy/ Laser Sub-Epithelial Keratomileusis
 
         
Method Minimally invasive surgery, extraction of lenticule Flap surgery, folding away the top corneal layer and reshape tissue underneath Surface ablation of corneal tissue
Benefits Keyhole procedure, preserves structure of the front corneal tissue High rate of experience, widely available Option for thinner corneas or other cornea conditions
Potential complications Some complications require changing to LASIK Possible flap related complications Longer visual recovery, less patient comfort during recovery
Eligibility      
Nearsightedness
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Farsightedness Currently in clinical trials
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Astigmatism
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Surgery      
Access to the deeper layer of cornea
  • Small incision up to 4 mm made by a femtosecond laser
  • Flap made by a femtosecond laser or a handheld device (microkeratome) with a circumferential incision of approximately 20mm
  • Removal of the epithelium (covering clear skin) by an alcohol solution (Temporary removal with LASEK)
Shaping the cornea
  • Laser creates a thin lenticule inside the cornea
  • Laser shapes tissue by multiple-pulse photoablation to change the shape of the cornea
  • Laser removes tissue by multiple-pulse photoablation to change the shape of the cornea
Completing the procedure
  • Laser creates incision
  • Surgeon removes the lenticule through the incision to change the shape of the cornea
  • Flap placed back to its original position by the surgeon
  • PRK- Bandage contact lens inserted
  • LASEK- Epithelium placed back to its original position
Recovery      
Bandage Sleeping patch for the first few days after surgery Sleeping patch for the first few days after surgery Bandage contact lens is worn for about 4 days after surgery
Healing Eye may feel a bit irritated for the first couple of days after surgery. Usually the eye recovers quickly after surgery. Vision can improve immediately but may also take a few days.
Vision may be blurred for some hours and there may be a burning sensation for the first day after surgery. Vision may take a few days to become stable. Eye may feel a bit gritty and cause discomfort for one week after surgery. Visual recovery could take more than a month.
Activity restricitions Restrain for approx. 3 days from outdoor and strenuous activities Refrain for approx. 1 month from outdoor and strenuous activities Restrain for approx. 1 month from outdoor and strenuous activities
Technical Info      
Lasers used Only a single femtosecond laser Femtosecond laser or microkeratome for flap creation; excimer laser for tissue ablation Only an excimer laser for tissue ablation
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