At the Conlon Eye Institute, we’re driven by our commitment to exceptional vision correction, grounded in rigorous evidence-based practices and a spirit of ceaseless innovation. With a legacy of over 25 years in the field, I’ve been privileged to both witness and contribute to the transformative journey of refractive surgery. In this article, I delve into a detailed analysis of two significant procedures: LASIK and SMILE, buttressed by scientific references. I also shine a spotlight on the promising SILK procedure, a pioneering initiative by Johnson & Johnson Vision.

LASIK: The Gold Standard in Vision Correction LASIK harnesses the precision of a femtosecond laser to craft a delicate flap on the cornea. This flap is subsequently elevated, permitting access to the cornea’s underlying layers. An excimer laser is then deployed to meticulously reshape the eye, effectively addressing refractive errors like myopia and astigmatism².

SMILE: A Contemporary Leap Forward In a departure from LASIK, SMILE requires a minimal incision in the cornea, enabling the removal of a lenticule, a disc-shaped fragment of tissue.

LASIK vs. SMILE: A Research-Backed Perspective While both techniques offer their unique strengths, scientific studies often highlight the superiority of LASIK, especially for conditions such as myopia and astigmatism⁴. Conversely, SMILE, despite its modern approach, encounters certain challenges in matching LASIK’s exacting standards of precision⁵.

The Next Frontier: The SILK Procedure on the ELITA™ Platform The domain of ophthalmology is in a state of constant flux, brimming with innovations. The recent introduction of the SILK (Smooth Incision Lenticule Keratomileusis) procedure by Johnson & Johnson Vision, as part of their ELITA™ Platform, exemplifies this dynamic evolution¹. Promising swift outcomes and a brisk recovery phase, SILK is set to make significant inroads into vision correction.

In Conclusion: Navigating the Future of Refractive Surgery While LASIK and SMILE each offer their distinct set of advantages, the comprehensive body of scientific research often tilts in favour of LASIK. Nonetheless, with the advent of groundbreaking techniques like SILK, the tapestry of refractive surgery is bound to witness further enrichments. At the Conlon Eye Institute, we’re at the forefront of these shifts, dedicated to offering our patients unparalleled care. I cordially invite you to join us on this journey, where we can collaboratively explore the best vision correction avenues tailored to your unique needs.

1. Johnson & Johnson Vision announces launch of ELITA™ Platform to Correct Myopia with New SILK Procedure at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Congress.

2. Pallikaris IG, Papatzanaki ME, Stathi EZ, Frenschock O, Georgiadis A. Laser in situ keratomileusis. Lasers Surg Med. 1990;10(5):463-468.

3. Sekundo W, Kunert KS, Blum M. Small incision corneal refractive surgery using the small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) procedure for the correction of myopia and myopic astigmatism: results of a 6-month prospective study. Br J Ophthalmol. 2011;95(3):335-339.

4. Ivarsen A, Asp S, Hjortdal J. Safety and complications of more than 1500 small-incision lenticule extraction procedures. Ophthalmology. 2014;121(4):822-828.

5. Blum M, Täubig K, Gruhn C, Sekundo W, Kunert KS. Five-year results of Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (ReLEx SMILE). Br J Ophthalmol. 2016;100(9):1192-1195.


Photo graph of Dr. Conlon operating with loops on.

Dr. M. Ronan Conlon started his career in the field of ophthalmology at the same time as the development of refractive eye surgery in Canada. In 1996, he brought laser technology to Canada from Germany, which allowed him to perform laser eye surgery before it was available in the United States. With the establishment of the Conlon Eye Institute, Dr. Conlon has performed more than 40,000 refractive procedures and has advanced his expertise in LASIK and refractive cataract surgery.

The information on this page should not be used in place of information provided by a doctor or specialist.


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