Looking to live a glasses- and contacts- free lifestyle? One way to improve your vision is through vision correction surgery. There are numerous types of vision correction surgery out there, so finding the one that’s best for you is important. Currently, the most common options are known as LASIK and SMILE.

Depending on your eye care needs, one surgery may benefit you more than the other. By comparing SMILE vs. LASIK, you can learn more about what each option can offer. Plus, you’ll be more prepared to discuss these options with your ophthalmologist to determine which is the best for you.

Keep reading to learn more about SMILE and LASIK eye surgery, the benefits of each option and which is right for you.

SMILE vs LASIK Eye Surgery: What to Know

Procedures & Processes

SMILE and LASIK surgery procedures are similar to an extent. First, both surgeries use a laser to correct your vision. However, the surgery processes differ between SMILE and LASIK.

Let’s start with what happens during the LASIK procedure. The first step of LASIK surgery is the creation of a small flap of corneal tissue. This is necessary because your surgeon must be able to access the underlying tissue. Once this flap is created, it is folded back. Then, your surgeon uses a laser to reshape your cornea gently. By and large, this procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete.

In comparison with LASIK, SMILE is typically seen as the less invasive surgery option. The reason for this is the major difference between the two surgical procedures.

While LASIK creates a corneal flap, SMILE does not. Instead, SMILE uses one laser to create a small incision through the cornea’s surface. Next, a contact lens-shaped layer just below the eye’s surface is removed through this incision. The SMILE procedure is faster than LASIK—on average, the laser portion of SMILE takes around 30 seconds.

Side Effects & Recovery

While the side effects of both SMILE vs. LASIK are rare, they can occur in some patients. Depending on your current eye health, one option may seem more appealing than the other. This is why discussing the best choice with your ophthalmologist is important because they can explain what side effects you might experience.

Generally, the most common side effects of LASIK are dry eyes. LASIK can reduce your tear production temporarily, causing your eyes to feel dry while healing. For this reason, your doctor will prescribe eye drops for you to use while you recover. Conversely, dry eye symptoms are less common with SMILE surgery.

With both surgeries, there is the rare possibility of needing multiple surgeries. Typically, you shouldn’t need more than one surgery, but there are exceptions. For LASIK, the factors that impact this are your cornea health and thickness. An ideal LASIK candidate must have adequate cornea thickness to undergo LASIK.

How quickly you recover after either vision correction surgery will vary from person to person. Nevertheless, when comparing SMILE vs. LASIK recovery time, some patients recover faster with LASIK than SMILE. Additionally, patients who get SMILE can experience less discomfort than those who get LASIK. While LASIK doesn’t cause pain, there can be discomfort during the healing process. Because SMILE is less invasive, dry eye is less likely, and there is a low potential of corneal nerve damage.

Which Surgery is Right for Me?

So, how can you determine which surgery you should get? By consulting an ophthalmologist! Many doctors tend to specialize in LASIK because the procedure has been around longer than SMILE. However, there are places like Carrot LASIK & Eye Center, where you can see ophthalmologists who offer both surgeries.

At Carrot, we are a local and military-owned center that’s passionate about offering the best eye care at an affordable price. This is why our doctors take a personalized approach when helping each patient with vision correction services. Our doctors want to help every patient find the option that helps them and fits with their lifestyle.

If you’re ready to explore vision correction services, contact our staff at Carrot LASIK & Eye Center for a consultation! Schedule your first appointment and begin your journey towards better eye health today.