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SMILE vs. LASIK: What’s the Difference?

While most people are familiar with LASIK surgery, few have heard of SMILE surgery. Both of these procedures can be performed at a Columbia, SC eye clinic, and both use laser-guided technology to reshape your cornea and improve your vision.

SMILE is very similar to LASIK, but there are a few important distinctions. To decide which option is best for you, visit a Columbia eye center and consult with an eye surgeon.

Similarities Between SMILE and LASIK

SMILE and LASIK in Columbia both have similar healing times, costs, and side effects. Both operations at a Columbia eye center cost between $2,000-$3,000, take about 15 minutes per eye, and have a general healing time of 1-2 days.

You’ll need to avoid wearing makeup for 1-2 weeks and avoid intense exercise for 2-3 weeks. With both procedures, you might notice glares or halos for about six months after.

Differences Between SMILE and LASIK

While LASIK in Columbia works for all kinds of refractive errors, SMILE is only effective for people with nearsightedness, and sometimes, associated astigmatism.

SMILE is also less invasive than LASIK. While LASIK requires creating a flap in the cornea to reshape it, SMILE simply reshapes the cornea by flattening it. This eliminates the risk of corneal scarring or the corneal flap detaching from your eye, and makes SMILE a good option for those with thin corneas who are not good candidates for LASIK.

SMILE vs. LASIK: Which is Best for Me?

Both procedures require you to be at least 21 years old with healthy eyes and no underlying conditions that affect your ability to heal. Patients who receive SMILE tend to be slightly more satisfied with their results, but patients are generally happy with the long-term results of both.

The only way to decide which procedure is best for you is to consult with an eye surgeon at a Columbia eye center. To get started, make an appointment with one of our surgeons today!

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