SMILE, LASIK or PRK Surgery: Which Is Best For Vision Correction?

If you want to live without contacts and glasses, you have probably decided that Lasik eye operation is the right choice for you. Now, getting to know which procedure happens to be the best option for you is a tad bit difficult. Those who have chosen to go for Laser eye operation have three best choices to consider – SMILE, PRK, or LASIK surgery.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

PRK is the first generation of laser vision correction that can treat astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. During the procedure, the outer corneal layer gets gently removed through manual instruments. Then, the surgeon utilizes cool excimer lasers for reshaping the cornea and correcting your vision in this Lasik eye operation.


PRK is a good idea for the patients:

  • With irregular or thin corneas
  • Who are susceptible to chronic dry eyes
  • Whose lifestyles or jobs make them take enough direct contact with the eyes

Dry eyes, high-risk occupations, and thin corneas can make patients unsuitable candidates for Lasik eye operation.

Laser-Assisted Stromal In-situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)

Lasik eye operation is used for the treatment of mild to moderate astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. During the process, a small flap of tissue from the cornea is made utilizing a femtosecond laser. Finally, an excimer laser is used for reshaping the corneal tissues to correct the vision.


The patients need to have enough corneal thickness to be a suitable candidate for Lasik. As the flap is made during the process, corneal thickness is critical. The ones with irregular or thin corneas might be more suitable for PRK or SMILE.

If the patient is susceptible to a chronic dry eye condition, PRK or SMILE might be a better choice.

Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE)

SMILE laser eye operation is a highly advanced FDA approved vision correction laser procedure. It has been widely practised all over the world since 2012. Given below are the benefits of SMILE over PRK and Lasik eye operation.

A one-laser one-step procedure:

SMILE is a one-step one-laser procedure. Unlike LASIK and PRK, an excimer laser is not used during the SMILE procedure. Instead, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to cut the tiny incision in your cornea and remove a small part of the corneal tissue to reshape the cornea and improve vision.

Less invasive surgery:

SMILE is a less invasive eye surgery than LASIK. During the procedure, the surgeon makes a flap that is about 20 mm in circumference. PRK procedures create an 8 mm diameter surface removal. On the other hand, SMILE makes only a 3 mm corneal keyhole incision. It lets you get more corneal stability after surgery and less disturbance to the corneal nerves at the time of surgery.

Odourless, quiet, and blade-free

During both PRK and LASIK, an excimer laser helps reshape the cornea. However, the laser creates a clicking noise at the time of surgery and leaves a considerable odour. Since an excimer laser isn’t used at SMILE, the process is odourless and quiet.