Q. Which one is the better eye surgery option- LASIK or SMILE?

Answered by
Dr. Manjunath Natarajan
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 28, 2018

Hi doctor,

I want to go for a corrective surgery and am confused between Contoura and SMILE. I request you to please give your opinion on the following doubts of mine. People say that all LASIK surgeries involve greater cornea related risks which SMILE does not. Your view on this?

While for SMILE people say that actual corneal depth removed is more and even the appearance objects after SMILE is very artificial and is not as sharp or 3D like in Contura. Your view on this? Also, is there any clause like if one is not able to focus eyes on point or concentrate (which is totally in hand of the patient in SMILE) then he should not opt for SMILE as there is a risk of hurting eye. Is that true? Also, irrespective of which one we do, are these surgeries always accompanied by halos, glares and night vision problems? Finally, I am getting married in two months and I would be required to indulge myself in all the dance rehearsals, makeup, market traveling, etc. What do you think, is it the right time to go for a surgery? And which one (that is less risky and recovers faster)?



Welcome to

1. If LASIK has greater corneal risk than a SMILE? This is true. LASIK does have a greater risk of flap-related complications. In SMILE, as there is no flap created, there are no complications associated with it.

2. Corneal depth in LASIK vs SMILE.

The depth in LASIK is dependent on your refractive error. The more your refractive error, the more will the tissue abated. In SMILE, the thickness of the lenticular is preset by the surgeon and does not depend on the refractive error. In both procedures, the surgeon can also take measures to conserve thickness. So the answer is that it depends on the surgeon and your refractive error.

3. The sharpness of images Contoura vs SMILE.

There are various studies done on this and a majority say that SMILE offers better results in most laboratory tests, but under practical and daily life situations, it can be assumed that both are pretty much the same.

4. Can hurt your eye in SMILE if you do not concentrate on a point?

I am not very sure about the exact context of the question. I can tell you that in both surgeries you will be asked to look at a pointer light and the accuracy of your correction will depend on how well you maintain a fixed gaze on the pointer. If you look any other way for even a fraction of a second the outcome will be bad in both of the procedures.

5. Glare halos and night vision problems. These will be present soon after surgery in both, but will slowly resolve. Not a major problem in a majority of the patients.

6. Right time for surgery, which surgery is less risky and has a faster recovery?

Right time for surgery would be around three months from your wedding, although some do get SMILE done just one day before their wedding. Anytime before 1 to 2 months, you will be in the recovery phase and will have to be instilling eyedrops- a bothersome task when piled along with shopping and organizing tasks before the event.

7. Less risky and has faster recovery- SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction).

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