When we first started 22 years ago, in the early days we did a procedure called Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA), also known as Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). The procedure had a rather slow vision recovery.
Technology then evolved into laser eye surgery by making a flap (LASIK), which gave the same visual results as ASA/PRK, but with faster recovery periods and lesser discomfort to the patient (from many weeks with ASA/PRK to just few days with LASIK). The flap at that time was created using an automated microkeratome, also known as a blade cutter.
Further advances in technology allowed improvements to be made to the flap creation method by introducing a Femtosecond laser to create the flap. This allowed us to make the flap in a more precise, accurate, and safer way, as compared to using the microkeratome (Blade LASIK).
Over the years, improvements in laser technology have made it possible for better and more predictable surgery outcomes.
Now, the latest evolution of laser technology comes in the form of the Relex SMILE procedure, where you do not even have to make a flap on the cornea anymore – which results in a procedure that can provide the patient with fewer post operative complications and better comfort after treatment, while maintaining the benefits of all the other methods.