SMILE is the most recent and advanced form of laser assisted refractive surgery. SMILE stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction and is creating revolution in the realm of laser vision correction procedures like never before. SMILE is the first ‘NO FLAP’ technique that makes a small 2mm cut in the cornea to remove a thin slice of corneal tissue unlike LASIK that creates a flap by cutting 28mm circumference of cornea. It uses a single femtosecond laser throughout the procedure unlike LASIK that employs an excimer laser to treat the cornea under the flap. Here the tissue damage especially to the corneal nerve fibers is almost nil as compared to other laser based procedures.
The main advantage of SMILE is that it is flapless and hence there is no chance of the flap moving or folding unlike in LASIK. As corneal nerves are untouched in SMILE the incidence of dry eye is almost nullified resulting in better patient comfort following SMILE.
The small incision and the precision of femtosecond laser in SMILE results in excellent corneal stability. The procedure is also not affected by external factors like temperature and humidity as there is no flap and results in higher treatment accuracy. With SMILE the disadvantages of older laser vision correction treatments are eliminated retaining their advantages.