Skills for SMILE
Interviewer: Would you say you need a higher skilled surgeon to do SMILE?
Alex Shortt: It’s a different skill set.
I have reflected a lot on this. My initial thoughts were, this is just another laser eye surgery procedure.
But ZEISS, the manufacturer of the SMILE laser, they are the owners. And they patented and protected this technology. They insist you go on a very intensive 10-point training programme. And they will not sign you off to perform SMILE unless they’re happy that you’ve developed the necessary skills.
And what’s quite interesting is that LASIK is very much a one-handed procedure. The surgeon only ever needs to move one of their hands at a time. This involves not very much surgical skill.
So, in ReLEx SMILE, it is a dance with two hands, working together. And, so, surgical skill is a bigger factor in good SMILE outcomes than in good LASIK outcomes.
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