New and Minimally-invasive Surgery for Myopia (Nearsightedness) is First Major Advance in LASIK Technology in 25 Years, Reducing Dependence on Glasses and Contacts
The first major advance in LASIK technology in 25 years, the SMILE procedure, was performed in Nashville recently at Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK Center by its director, internationally renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Ming Wang, Harvard & MIT (MD, magna cum laude); PhD (laser physics).
“We are extremely very excited to be the first again to introduce the next generation laser correction procedure to the state, helping out patients with this new and minimally invasive procedure,” said Dr. Wang.
Myopia is a common eye condition in which close objects can be seen clearly but distant objects are blurry without correction. LASIK and PRK have been the main stay treatments for myopia for over two decades. But SMILE, which stands for SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction, has unique advantages over LASIK.
The SMILE surgery is minimally invasive as the surgeon needs only to create a small, precise opening to correct vision. No flap is needed. The laser incision is smaller than 5 millimeters for SMILE, compared to approximately 20 millimeters for LASIK. This helps the cornea to retain more of its natural strength and reduces the risk of rare flap complications. Dry eye after SMILE is also reduced compared with LASIK, as nerves responsible for tear production during the cornea remain more intact in SMILE.
One of the state’s first SMILE patients was Margaret Coleman, 34, a manager of the world-famous Bluebird Cafe, in Nashville, which was prominently featured in the ABC TV drama “Nashville,” among others.
Ms. Coleman has had poor eyesight all of her life, legally blind in both eyes without correction. Ms. Coleman’s 3D Laser SMILE procedure went beautifully and she is thrilled to have her crystal clear new vision and newly gained independence on glasses or contacts and being one of the first patients in the state to receive SMILE! “I am so happy!!!,” exclaimed Margaret at her post-op visit.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the VisuMax Femtosecond Laser for SMILE procedure for -1 to -8 D myopia with up to 0.5D astigmatism. During a SMILE procedure, a femtosecond laser with precise short pulses is used to make small incision in the cornea to create a disc-shaped piece of tissue. This tissue is then removed by the surgeon though the opening which causes the corneal shape to change, permanently changing the prescription.
SMILE has a proven track record of success. It has been used internationally since 2011 and more than 750,000 procedures have been performed worldwide. Dr. Wang noted that currently, the procedure has not been approved to treat large amounts of astigmatism and cannot treat farsightedness and that LASIK is still a better option for a majority of the patients seeking laser vision correction.
Dr. Ming Wang, a Harvard & MIT graduate (MD, magna cum laude), is the CEO of Aier-USA, Director of Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK Center and one of the few laser eye surgeons in the world today who holds a doctorate degree in laser physics. He has performed over 55,000 procedures, including on over 4,000 doctors. Dr. Wang published 8 textbooks and a paper in the world-renowned journal Nature, holds several US patents and performed the world’s first laser-assisted artificial cornea implantation. He established a 501c(3) non-profit charity, Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration, which to date has helped patients from more than 40 states in the U.S. and 55 countries, with all sight restoration surgeries performed free-of-charge. Dr. Wang is the Kiwanis Nashvillian of the Year.
Dr. Ming Wang can be reached at:
Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK Center
1801 West End Ave, Ste 1150
Nashville, TN, 37203