CRST article

CRST article

CRST article - A Decade of innovation in SMILE

Recently Dr Chan was invited to feature in a series of articles – published in leading eye surgery magazine Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today Europe (CRST Europe) – reflecting on a decade of innovation in SMILE, and the benefits of the procedure for both patients and surgeons. He was honoured to participate alongside some of the world’s leading authorities on SMILE, including the German inventor of the SMILE laser technique and the Chinese surgeon that holds the record for the highest number of SMILE cases in the world (around 35,000). This blog summarises some of the surgeons’ findings.

One million SMILE procedures and counting

According to Dr Walter Sekundo, who developed the femtosecond lenticule extraction technique close to 1 million SMILE procedures have been completed across the globe since April 2007. Dr Sekundo sees SMILE becoming a “first-choice refractive procedure”, particularly for those with higher myopia and in younger patients. He is preparing to conduct a 10-year follow up study for the first patients from 2007. Dr Sekundo adds that he still sees a place for LASIK, which has advantages and disadvantages when compared to SMILE.

SMILE sells itself

Dr Chan discusses the way SMILE has changed his Perth clinic. Since introducing SMILE two years ago, he reports that patients regularly comment about how quick and painless the procedure is. He found patients experienced similar visual acuities (1 day post-operative) as they would with LASIK. In addition, following a period of patient education – but where the most suitable procedure was always put forward – Dr Chan said most patients were drawn to SMILE once they understood its benefits. The opportunity to design dissecting forceps, and to suggest a new method to perform SMILE to an international audience, were among the professional highlights for Dr Chan.

Results from a high volume clinic

Dr Xingtao Zhou has been performing refractive surgery for more than 21 years and SMILE for the past five years. He runs a high volume clinic in Shanghai and laser vision correction procedures account for about 92 per cent of its business. He agreed with Dr Chan, saying patients loved the quick recovery of their visual acuity after SMILE. A recent four-year observational study Dr Zhou was involved in also found that “in the long-term, SMILE provided a predictable and stable correction of moderate to high myopia”.

USA and beyond

One of the first American surgeons to adopt SMILE, Dr Martin Bechmann, discusses how his clinic developed methods for educating patients about SMILE following a steady increase in demand for the procedure. He shares his Top 10 tips for “perfect patient counselling” in his contribution. Meanwhile, patient satisfaction and high-end technology were two of the success markers reported by surgeons at the Ama Optimex Eye Clinic in Romania.

To read the articles in full, and learn more about SMILE and the work of these world-leading surgeons, visit CRST here.


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