If you have a vision problem and have decided not to use either glasses or contacts, you still have another option to correct the problem. Laser eye surgery London is available, and you can find out from your ophthalmologist if it is right for you. If this eye surgery appeals to you, you would have to make a decision on which procedure will be best for you.
There are 3 options available for this eye surgery, and they include:
- SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction)
- LASIK (Laser-Assisted Stromal In-situ Keratomileusis)
- PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
All these laser eye surgeries are safe, trusted, and effective in correcting vision, but you have to make a decision on which will be carried out on you.
PRK (1ST Generation Laser Vision Correction)
PRK is generally considered to be the first generation of laser vision correction. It can be used in the treatment of astigmatism, near-sightedness, and far-sightedness.
The procedure for a PRK surgery involves the surgeon gently removing the outer layer of the cornea, also called epithelium with a manual instrument and reshaping the cornea and correcting vision using a cool laser excimer.
When should PRK be used?
PRK is best for patients with thin or irregular corneas. It is also perfect for patients who are predisposed to chronic dry eye and those whose lifestyle or jobs expose them to a lot of direct contact to the eyes like boxers and fighters. People in the categories mentioned above may not be suitable for LASIK and SMILE.
Disadvantages of PRK
The major disadvantage of using PRK is its recovery time. Amongst the three available laser eye surgery procedures for vision correction, PRK has the longest recovery period. It takes about a week for the cells on the outer layer of the cornea to grow back and 2 – 6 weeks for the cells to get smooth and support a clear vision.
If you want to correct your vision using the PRK procedure, you would have to stop driving or working for about a week before the procedure. After surgery, PRK usually causes more discomfort than SMILE or LASIK.
LASIK (2ND Generation Laser Vision Correction)
This procedure is mostly familiar to new patients because it is the most common laser vision correction procedure today. LASIK is used to correct mild to moderate astigmatism, near-sightedness, and far-sightedness.
During the procedure, the surgeon will use a femtosecond laser to create a small flap of corneal tissue and then fold it back. Then, the surgeon will use an excimer laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissues and correct your vision.
When should LASIK be used?
LASIK is suitable for patients who have adequate corneal thickness because of the flap that will be created with it during the procedure. People with thin or irregular shaped cornea are not advised to use LASIK and are better candidates for PRK or SMILE.
Patients with dry eye symptom are not suitable for LASIK because it has a higher risk for postoperative dry eye symptoms and it can increase previously held chronic dry eye, these patients are better of using SMILE or PRK.
Disadvantages of LASIK
Generally, LASIK is a trusted and safe procedure, but its major disadvantage is that the procedure is a complex one. During the procedure, the surgeon uses two lasers and creates a flap. The flap has a high probability of causing post-surgery complications.
Flap-related complications include
- Irregular astigmatism
- Dry eye syndrome
- Epithelial growth
- Microscopic wrinkles which are known as striae
However, these complications are rare and can be avoided by getting the surgery done by an experienced and expert surgeon.
SMILE (3RD Generation Laser Vision Correction)
SMILE is the most advanced laser vision procedure. It has been used since 2012 to correct vision problems.
SMILE has may features that have made it more outstanding and widely accepted compared to the other procedures. These features include
- A one-step, one laser procedure
Unlike PRK and LASIK, SMILE procedure does not need an excimer laser the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to make a tiny incision in the cornea and removes a small piece of the corneal tissue called lenticule. This process reshapes the cornea and improves vision.
- Less-invasive surgery
SMILE is less invasive compared to LASIK and PRK. A LASIK procedure requires a flap that is 20mm in circumference while a PRK procedure requires an 8mm in diameter surface removal but a SMILE procedure only requires a 3mm corneal key incision. This incision makes the cornea more stable after the surgery and reduces disturbance to the nerves in the cornea during the surgery.
- Quiet, odourless, and blade-free
LASIK and PRK procedures require the use of an excimer to reshape the cornea, but this is not needed during SMILE procedure. An excimer makes a clicking sound and creates an offensive odour. SMILE procedure is quiet and odourless.
- No complications arising from a flap
A basic SMILE procedure does not require the creation of a flap, so there are no risks of post-surgery flap-related complications present in LASIK
- Safe, accurate and fast visual recovery
Clinical trials that have been conducted over the years show that SMILE is as safe and accurate as LASIK.
Disadvantages of SMILE
A major disadvantage of SMILE is that it is yet to be used in the treatment of astigmatism and far-sightedness. SMILE is currently used to correct only certain types of near-sightedness.
Visual recovery after SMILE takes a slightly longer time than LASIK. SMILE visual recovery can take about a day or two but instant visual recovery is possible with a LASIK procedure.
Over the years, SMILE has been considered the most significant and advanced procedure for laser vision correction because it combines the safety of traditional vision correction techniques, greater comfort, and precision.
You can correct your vision using SMILE procedure at Optimal Vision. Our experienced surgeons are always available to guide you through the process.
Which of these procedures is right for me?
A comprehensive eye exam and consultation by an experienced surgeon will help you determine which procedure is best for you. If you need a laser eye surgery Harley Street, you can contact us today on 020 7183372 or [email protected].