Silk / Smile

SILK surgery, which stands for Small Incision Lenticule Keratomileusis, is another name for the SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) procedure. Both terms refer to the same minimally invasive laser eye surgery used to correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness) and myopic astigmatism.

  • Preparation: The eye is numbed using anesthetic drops to ensure patient comfort during the procedure.
  • Lenticule Creation: A femtosecond laser creates a small, lens-shaped piece of tissue (lenticule) within the cornea. The laser also creates a small incision on the corneal surface.
  • Lenticule Removal: The surgeon removes the lenticule through the small incision. Removing this tissue reshapes the cornea, allowing light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina, thus correcting the refractive error.
  • Healing: The small incision heals naturally without the need for stitches, and the corneal surface remains largely intact, which helps in maintaining corneal strength and stability.
Benefits of SILK/SMILE:
  • Minimally Invasive: The procedure involves a single, small incision (usually 2-4 millimeters), which is smaller than the flap created in LASIK, leading to less disruption of the corneal surface and faster healing.
  • No Flap Creation: Unlike LASIK, SILK/SMILE does not require the creation of a corneal flap, which eliminates flap-related complications such as dislocation or flap wrinkles.
  • Reduced Risk of Dry Eyes: The smaller incision size and lack of a flap reduce the risk of postoperative dry eye syndrome, which is a common side effect of LASIK.
  • Rapid Recovery: Patients often experience quicker visual recovery and less postoperative discomfort compared to traditional LASIK. Vision typically stabilizes within a few days to a week.
  • Corneal Integrity: Preserving more of the corneal structure helps maintain corneal strength and stability, which can be beneficial for patients with thinner corneas.