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Hi Dr Ethan,
Am currently exploring my options to correct my eyesight and just read your post on LASIK.
I was looking at other websites and there seems to be a plethora of options nowadays, from EPI-Lasik to ReLEx® Smile. Did you consider these options before going for LASIK, and if so, why did you choose LASIK in the end?
I discussed this at length in my previous answer on which LASIK to choose, but i’ll just be a little cheeky here.
After all this talk of cornea-refractive surgery we have many OTHER options of refractive surgery that do not involve a laser re-shaping your cornea.
These typically do not have the same side-effect profile of causing dry eyes, significant glares / haloes, loss of contrast sensitivity and period of visual recovery that post-LASIK patients typically report.
The first option here is that of Photorefractive Intrastromal Cross-Linking (PiXL). This is a non-surgical method of correction of minor degrees of myopia by riboflavin saturation and ultra-violet-A (UVA) accelerated cross-linking of the cornea. This non-surgical procedure corrects minor degrees of myopia, but does not correct astigmatism unfortunately.
The second option is that of an Implantable Collamer Contact Lens (ICL). This is a surgical procedure to implant a specifically tailor-manufactured lens that is placed in the posterior chamber (behind the iris, and in front of the normal crystalline lens). This is a completely reversible procedure (unlike LASIK) and offers excellent vision with minimal recovery time, and minimal / no dry eye complications. The most important benefit is that it may treat a wide-spectrum of hyperopia, myopia (in the thousands of degrees even!) as well as astigmatism, with excellent retention of contrast / color testing and minimal side-effects like glares / haloes.
Dr E-Shawn Goh
Hi Bren, thanks for your question.
Relex smile wasn’t available as an option at the time I did my Lasik. It’s a much newer procedure.
Having said that, I’d still have chosen Lasik if both were available.
In medicine, there’s generally a ten year period with each procedure where patients are closely observed in various studies for side effects. That’s partly why Lasik took so long to be accepted amongst the greater population and doctors themselves – everyone was waiting and “observing” the initial batch of patients to see if there were any bad side effects 10 years later.
As to why Lasik over Epilasik – Lasik produces a quicker recovery, and Julian at EEC recommended me towards Lasik over Epilasik. He also chose Lasik for both his own son and daughter – compelling enough reasons for me!
As always though, there are certain criteria and individual patient factors which may make you more suitable for one procedure over the other, so definitely get an opinion from your ophthalmologist before deciding “I definitely only want this procedure”.
In truth, Lasik is all about “case selection”, meaning the doctor’s expertise is in choosing the most appropriate treatment for each unique patient, which will produce the best results and minimise side effect. The procedure itself is relatively straightforward, as it’s mostly done by the machine.
You can follow this link for a full comparison table as compiled by an ophthalmologist:
Hope that helps!