SMILE: An Alternative to Lasik


TAMPA, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Around ten million Americans have had Lasik surgery to correct their vision since it was FDA approved 20 years ago. But now a lesser-known vision correction procedure is offering a smaller incision and quicker recovery. Ivanhoe has details on why doctors are considering this Lasik 2.0.

Twenty-five-year-old Kelby Dolata is all about adventures, such as scuba diving in Thailand.

“I also like outdoor activities like rock climbing, biking, swimming,” shared Dolata.

But dealing with glasses and contacts sometimes would leave his active lifestyle floundering.

“If I’m swimming or doing something outdoors and get something in my eye, I always have to worry about contacts washing away,” continued Dolata.

Or even put him in dangerous situations.

Dolata explained, “One time I ran completely out of lenses, and I had to drive a motorcycle to the contact lens store with one eye like this trying to avoid potholes.”

So, Dolata looked for a solution to get rid of his vision problems for good. That’s when he found SMILE, or small incision lenticule extraction. With Lasik, eye surgeons use a laser to create a flap on the surface layer of the cornea, but …

“With SMILE, we don’t have to use a flap. So, we’re using a laser to create the correction just below the surface of the eye of the cornea through a very tiny opening,” said ophthalmologist Michael Manning, MD, FACS.

Since there is not a flap, there’s no chance of the flap shifting, folding, or dislocating while doing physical activities.

“As soon as the next day, patients can resume those activities,” continued Dr. Manning.

Dolata had the SMILE procedure.

“My vision was already almost a 100 percent better just the next day,” said Dolata.

Allowing him to have better vision for his newest adventure … welding.

“I can just wear safety glasses, or the welding helmets and my glasses never get in the way,” Dolata stated.

Allowing him to spark new interests with clearer vision.

Dr. Manning said people with dry eye can also benefit more with SMILE than with Lasik. The SMILE procedure takes about a couple minutes per eye and 30 minutes in total. The price is about the same as Lasik at $2,500 per eye and is not covered by insurance.


Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.


REPORT #2886

BACKGROUND: In eyes with normal vision, the cornea bends, or refracts, light precisely onto the retina at the back of the eye. With nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism, the light is bent incorrectly, resulting in blurred vision. Your vision can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses but reshaping the cornea itself will also provide the necessary refraction. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK, can be an alternative to glasses or contact lenses. During LASIK surgery, a special type of cutting laser is used to precisely change the shape of the dome-shaped clear tissue at the front of your eye known as the cornea to improve vision. LASIK eye surgery is the best known and most performed laser refractive surgery to correct vision problems.


RISKS OF LASIK: Complications that result in a loss of vision are very rare, but there are side effects of LASIK that can be common and usually clear up after a few weeks or months. LASIK surgery causes a temporary decrease in tear production. For the first six months or so after surgery, your eyes may feel unusually dry as they heal. You may have difficulty seeing at night after surgery, which usually lasts a few days to a few weeks. You might notice increased light sensitivity, glare, halos around bright lights, or double vision. If the laser removes too little tissue from the eye, you won’t get the clearer vision results you were hoping for. It’s also possible that the laser will remove too much tissue from the eye. Astigmatism can be caused by uneven tissue removal. It may require additional surgery, glasses or contact lenses. Folding back or removing the flap from the front of your eye during surgery can cause complications, including infection and excess tears. And possibly regression, which is when vision slowly changes back toward your original prescription.


NEW TREATMENT: SMILE: Small incision lenticule extraction, or SMILE, is a newer type of laser refractive surgery that uses a laser to treat myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea). The ophthalmologist uses the laser to change the shape of the cornea which improves the way light rays are focused on the retina. SMILE is FDA-approved to treat mild nearsightedness and astigmatism and may reduce the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. In some cases, it may even allow you to do without them completely. This treatment does carry risks of problems or complications that can include glare and halos around lights, particularly at night; debris where the corneal disc was removed; inflammation within the treated area; infection; and retreatment which must be done with surface PRK. However, most complications can be treated without any loss of vision. “SMILE does not replace LASIK, but it is an alternative for patients who have thinner corneas, dry eye conditions, and people with careers that are at risk for eye trauma,” says Dr. Asim Piracha, a refractive specialist and medical director at John-Kenyon in Louisville, Kentucky.


* For More Information, Contact:

Audra Friis, Public Relations


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