To compare uncorrected distance visual acuities (UDVAs) and induced higher-order aberrations (HOAs) in the early postoperative period between low-energy (LE) small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE), high-energy (HE) SMILE, and femtosecond laser–assisted laser in situ keratomileusis (FS-LASIK) procedures.
University based refractive surgery center.
Retrospective cohort study.
Records of patients who underwent SMILE or FS-LASIK were retrospectively reviewed. SMILE patients were separated into 2 groups: HE settings (125 nJ, 3.0 μm spot spacing) and LE settings (125-130 nJ, 4.5 μm spot spacing). UDVA was measured at postoperative day (POD) 1. Corneal HOAs and UDVA were measured at postoperative month (POM) 1. Induced spherical aberration, vertical coma, horizontal coma, total coma, and total HOAs were calculated.
The study included 147 eyes of 106 patients, 49 in each group. For SMILE patients, the difference in mean UDVA at POD1 was highly statistically significant in favor of the LE group (−0.003 vs 0.141, P < .0001). No significant difference in mean UDVA at POD1 was noted between the LE group and FS-LASIK group (−0.003 vs −0.011, P = .498). Induced change in spherical aberration was less in LE SMILE than that in FS-LASIK (0.136 vs 0.186 μm, P = .02) at POM1. No significant differences in POM1 mean UDVA (−0.033 vs −0.036) or induced change in all other HOAs were noted between LE SMILE and FS-LASIK.
LE settings were associated with significantly improved POD1 UDVA. POD1 and POM1 UDVA were comparable with those of FS-LASIK. Spherical aberration induction was less with LE SMILE than that with FS-LASIK, whereas all other induced HOAs were comparable with FS-LASIK.