The results of a prospective, comparative nonrandomised clinical study indicate that small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) and LASIK with femtosecond laser-created flaps (FS‐LASIK) have similar efficacy, safety, predictability and long-term stability.
The study included 68 eyes of 37 patients that underwent SMILE and 55 eyes of 30 patients that underwent FS‐LASIK between December 2011 and January 2013. At a five-year follow-up, about 98% (49/50) of eyes in the SMILE group and 95% (39/41) in the FS‐LASIK group had a postoperative logMAR uncorrected distance visual acuity of 0.0 or better. The mean myopic regression was only −0.02 ± 0.39 D in the SMILE group and only −0.12 ± 0.32 D in the FS‐LASIK group. In agreement with some previous studies, SMILE induced less spherical aberration and more coma than FS‐LASIK.
In addition, in both SMILE‐treated and LASIK-treated eyes, coma and higher order aberrations remained stable from six months to five years postoperatively, and spherical aberration remained stable from three months to five years postoperatively.