There is now good news for people who wish to correct their vision when suffering from near- sightedness. Apart from LASIK, we now also have a new laser procedure called SMILE that has been approved by FDA in the United States in September 2016.
SMILE is an abbreviation for a laser or Lasik eye surgery program called “Small Incision Lenticule Extraction”. A VisuMax femtosecond laser is used while performing SMILE laser eye surgery. As per CARL ZEISS MEDITEC, over 1.5 million SMILE laser eye surgery procedures have been performed worldwide till date. Studies have shown that SMILE helps in correcting vision as LASIK eye surgery for nearsightedness without performing the LASIK-style corneal flap. Also, the risk of dry eye is less post SMILE eye surgery when compared with LASIK. The major reason for this can be that SMILE eye surgery takes place within the cornea without the corneal flap that takes place in LASIK< and hence fewer corneal nerves are affected during the procedure.
Another advantage that SMILE eye surgery has over LASIK is that the risk of needing an additional treatment for correcting high among of nearsightedness is much less in SMILES laser eye surgery procedure when compared with LASIK eye surgery. Also, it is important to note that SMILE eye surgery procedure enables the cornea to have more biomechanical stability after surgery when compared to the ability of cornea to maintain its shape after the trauma post LASIK eye surgery.
Due to these advantages, people all over the globe now prefer going for SMILE laser eye surgery than LASIK. However, it is very important to understand the following limitations of SMILE laser eye surgery:
It is able to correct only nearsightedness and no other vision-related issues
SMILE eye surgery is unable to treat HOAS (higher order aberrations) that affect the night vision. In fact, SMILE increases the possibility of developing HOAs to some extent.
Lack of expertise in this surgery is another very big drawback. As because this is a new program, it is difficult to find an experienced ophthalmologist surgeon for performing SMILE eye surgery.
SMILE laser eye surgery is able to correct up to -10.00 dioptres (D) of near-sightedness. Patients who wish to opt for this surgery should be of at least 22 years of age and should not have more than -0.50 D of astigmatism.
Other than this it is very important that their eyeglass prescription is stable for at least 12 months.
The cost of SMILE EYE surgery in Bangalore varies between 50,000 INR to 75,000 INR for one eye. The cost may vary depending on a number of factors such as the surgeon fee, hospital charges, follow-up treatments ( if needed) and so on