Decoding Laser Vision Correction: Choosing the right solution for you

 When researching laser vision correction with the intention of investing in this lifestyle enhancing procedure, the choice of available technology and procedures can seem confusing.  

Understanding the benefits of each technology, it’s suitability for different prescriptions, and the impact of individual factors such as eye anatomy, ocular health, history, and lifestyle goals is important in determining the best fit for your unique visual needs.  

Through detailed consultation and testing at Adelaide Eye & Laser Centre, our team of clinical ophthalmic experts can guide you through this journey, answering your questions and providing advice on your optimal solution. 

While it is recommended that you wait until you have had these tests and conversations, and that you approach your pre-surgical appointment with your doctor with an open mind on what type of laser vision technology is most suitable, we completely understand that you may wish to educate yourself about the choices available. 

In this blog we will discuss each of these technologies and who they are broadly best suited to for excellent visual outcomes. 


Before we get started – what is laser vision correction? 

Very simply, laser vision correction alters the focusing power of the eye, by changing the shape of the cornea. It was developed over 30 years ago and has steadily advanced to now being a minimally invasive day-time procedure. 

There are now a number of technologies that can be employed to achieve your visual goals. The best option for you will depend on your individual ophthalmic requirements.  

Adelaide Eye & Laser Centre was the first in South Australia to perform laser vision correction. In affiliation with ParkView Day Surgery, which offers a complete suite of laser vision correction options and is Adelaide’s only purpose-built ophthalmic day hospital and the only facility to conduct laser in an accredited theatre environment, we are qualified to provide advice for those people looking to invest in laser vision correction. 


About the available technologies 

All laser vision correction technologies aim to do the same thing – change the focussing power of the eye. 

Each are excellent options with pros and cons, and based on your individual case, your doctor will advise on which option is most suited to your individual eyes.  

SMILE Pro (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction)  

This is the most recent development in laser vision technology and is a minimally invasive and gentle option in laser vision correction. It is a keyhole procedure, where a small piece of tissue (called a lenticule) is created inside the cornea with the laser and is then removed through a small incision. This means many of the layers of the cornea are unaffected, allowing fast healing with no flap-related complications. 

Well suited to correcting shortsighted (myopic) prescriptions and mild astigmatism, its advantage lies in its minimal impact on corneal nerves, reducing dry eye symptoms post-surgery.  

In addition to providing improved vision, it’s benefits can be listed as: 

  • Minimally invasive and gentle with only a small incision 
  • Fastest surgical time – less than 30 second each eye 
  • No flap and no flap related complications 
  • Visual recovery is fast 
  • Reduced risk and incidence of dry eye 
  • Supports a comfortable and stress-free patient experience 
  • Odourless and noiseless 

Adelaide Eye & Laser Centre conduct SMILE Pro using the new Visumax 800 Laser, which is performing SMILE procedures quicker than ever before. Watch a video of this procedure here. 

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis)  

LASIK is the world’s most commonly performed laser vision correction surgery and is backed by proven results. With LASIK, a thin flap of corneal tissue is created in the outer layer of the cornea. This is folded back to expose the underlying corneal tissue, which is reshaped with an Excimer laser to correct the refractive error. View a video of the procedure here. 

As one of the most versatile laser procedures, it is well suited to those who are shortsighted (myopia), longsighted (hyperopia) and to a wider range of astigmatism 

As the treatment standard for more that 20 years its benefits include: 

  • minimal pain and discomfort 
  • fast procedure time – not as fast as SMILE but under a minute each eye 
  • Fast visual recovery 
  • covering a wide prescription range 
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy – a Surface Laser Ablation)  

PRK was the first type of laser vision correction technology and has advanced significantly since its first iteration. 

PRK is still widely performed and while recovery time is longer than that of SMILE and LASIK, it is often recommended as the best option for some patients when anatomical considerations or clinical reasons preclude LASIK or SMILE.    

PRK involves gently removing some corneal tissue from the surface of the eye and so there is no flap and instead a clear protective bandage lens is used as a part of the recovery process as the eye naturally heals. See how the procedure is performed here. 

PRK is well suited to those with shortsighted (myopic) and low longsighted (hyperopic) prescriptions, as well as patients that have thinner or irregular shaped corneas and dry eye. It is also recommended to patients that are at risk of impact or trauma on the front surface of the eye as it is impact resistant due there being no flap created. 

Recovery is longer post procedure, however it offers a number of benefits over other treatments including: 

  • better suited to thinner and irregular shaped corneas  
  • more suited for patients with mild dry eye symptoms 
  • safe and predictable 
  • recommended for patients that have a higher risk of impact to the front surface of the eye like athletes playing contact sports, firefighters, police officers and other physical professionals.  


Which option is best for you?  

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, the good news due to the flexibility and choice that is now available within laser vision correction suite of technologies, most people and most prescriptions can have their vision improved with laser. 

However, due to this breadth of choice, and the expertise required to understand each individual’s best option, we recommend that you leave it to the experts. Through testing and detailed discussion with each patient on what their visual goals are, these highly skilled experts can recommend your best option. 

As the first to offer laser vision correction in South Australia, Adelaide Eye & Laser Centre has pioneered investment in laser vision correction from its very beginning and remains Adelaide’s premier precinct and choice for this lifestyle enhancing procedure. Offering a complete suite of laser vision correction technologies, including SMILE Pro, LASIK and PRK, and with two of Australia’s most experienced and respected laser vision correction specialists in Dr Peter Ingham and Dr Ben LaHood, if you are considering laser vision correction, we encourage you to reach out to us. 

To get started take our Online Eye Suitability Test here. This simple series of 3 questions will help to start your journey and begin to inform you of your possible laser choices. Or alternatively you can get started straight away by booking an obligation free appointment here. These are done in centre or via zoom based on your preference and allow us to gather some information from you and an opportunity for you to ask us questions before seeing your chosen doctor. 

Got questions? Why not visit our FAQ page or please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of our team at or 08 8274 7000. 

Book complimentary laser assessment

To understand your best laser options we provide either a tele-consultation or in-house assessment that is no cost to the participant. Provided by a skilled refractive counsellor from ParkView Day Surgery, our affiliated day surgery facility, during this appointment we are able to refine what your personal eye solution is, and provide you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Are you suitable for eye laser surgery?

Not all people are suitable for laser surgery and a thorough examination with an Ophthalmologist is necessary to determine suitability, however, there are some general guidelines and questions which can provide an initial indication of suitability. Take the suitability test and take your first step to a clearer brighter future.

Your questions answered here

We understand that having eye laser surgery is an important decision and that you may have questions about the procedure, your immediate recovery and what you can expect in the days, weeks and months after surgery. We have answered as many as we can here.