Is Smile Pro Surgery Better Than Contoura?

In the realm of refractive eye surgery, two cutting-edge technologies, SMILE Pro Surgery and Contoura, promise freedom from glasses or contacts. As you embark on the journey to visual clarity, the question arises: which is superior? Let’s delve into the details of each procedure to guide your decision.


Understanding the Innovations: SMILE Pro Surgery

A Flapless Marvel

SMILE Pro, or Small Incision Lenticule Extraction Pro, is a major advancement in laser vision correction (LVC). Developed by Carl Zeiss Meditec, this minimally invasive procedure eliminates the need for a corneal flap, a common aspect of traditional LASIK surgeries.

The incision created is 80% smaller than LASIK and reduces the risk of complications associated with flap-related issues like displacement or infection.

Precision Redefined

SMILE Pro uses advanced femtosecond laser tech to create a small lenticule in the cornea, precisely correcting refractive errors. The absence of a corneal flap minimizes disruption to corneal nerves, reducing the risk of dry eyes or infection after surgery.

Advantages of SMILE Pro:

  1. Quick Procedure: 1-Step Laser treatment takes just 7-9 seconds per eye.
  2. Minimally Invasive: Less discomfort and faster healing.
  3. Swift Recovery: Clear vision often within 24 hours, speeding up visual recovery.


  • Prescription Limitations: Currently not approved for long-sightedness or high astigmatism.
  • Potential Side Effects: Temporary minor glare, halos, or starbursts are reported in some cases.
  • Novelty Factor: Being a newer procedure, long-term outcomes are under ongoing study.


Contoura Vision: A 3D Approach

Topography-Guided Brilliance

Contoura Vision, also known as topography-guided LASIK, is a laser vision correction (LVC) surgery that uses a combination of femtosecond and excimer lasers. It uses personalized 3D mapping of the cornea to precisely address any corneal abnormalities, irregularities or imperfections. 

This technique customizes the treatment plan to the unique characteristics of each patient’s eye. It reshapes the cornea and corrects vision with exceptional accuracy, leading to improved visual outcomes compared to traditional LASIK.

Advantages of Contoura Vision:

  1. Customized Treatment: Tailored to individual corneal topography.
  2. Versatile Correction: Effective for a wide range of refractive errors, including high degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
  3. Quality Vision: Potential for superior visual outcomes and contrast sensitivity.
  4. Quick Procedure: Typically completed in under 15 minutes per eye.
  5. Precision and Accuracy: Utilizes topography-guided mapping and a detailed 3D corneal map for a precise, customized treatment plan leading to improved visual outcomes.


  • Longer Recovery: Visual recovery may take slightly longer compared to SMILE Pro.
  • Dry Eye Potential: Creating a corneal flap may contribute to dry eye symptoms in some patients.
  • Cost Consideration: Usually more expensive than traditional LASIK.


Comparative Analysis: Choosing Your Visionary Path

Efficacy: Studies confirm the effectiveness of SMILE Pro and Contoura Vision for correcting myopia and astigmatism. However, Contoura can treat higher degrees of astigmatism, making it a suitable option for patients with this specific visual impairment.

Technology: Contoura Vision is 4th generation technology (2016), while SMILE Pro is the latest generation (2023) that utilizes robotic surgical technology.

Safety: Both procedures have excellent safety profiles. However, SMILE Pro, being minimally invasive, carries a lower risk of post-surgery dry eyes compared to Contoura. Contoura Vision surgery involves creating a corneal flap, which may cause dry eye symptoms in some patients after surgery.

Invasiveness: SMILE Pro is less invasive than Contoura Vision and carries a lower risk of nerve or tissue damage.

Flap Creation: In Contoura Vision, a corneal flap is created for reshaping. However, SMILE Pro is a flapless procedure, eliminating the risks associated with flaps, such as complications, tearing, shifting, and infections. With SMILE Pro, patients can safely resume their activities without worrying about mild trauma or dirty environments causing the corneal flap to dislodge or debris to get trapped underneath.

Suitability for Different Visual Impairments: While both are adept at myopia and astigmatism correction, Contoura’s prowess extends to providing customized treatment and can treat irregular corneas, such as those with keratoconus. This makes it a suitable choice for patients who may not meet the criteria for other laser eye surgeries.

Recovery: The process of visual recovery in Contoura Vision may require a slightly longer duration when compared to SMILE Pro.


The Decision Dilemma: SMILE Pro vs. Contoura

Factors Influencing Your Choice:

  1. Refractive Error: Contoura offers a wider correction range, making it beneficial for higher degrees of refractive error like astigmatism and higher-order aberrations. It’s a viable option for a broader range of patients, improving vision quality, especially in low-light conditions.
  2. Lifestyle: SMILE Pro’s flapless design is ideal for contact sports or activities with potential eye impact.
  3. Mild to moderate refractive errors: SMILE Pro is preferred due to its flapless nature and minimal corneal tissue removal, especially for lower degrees of refractive error.


Which one is Better?

Deciding between SMILE Pro and Contoura Vision depends on individual factors. Both procedures—SMILE Pro and Contoura Vision—are safe, reliable, and affordable methods for vision correction with high success rates. They both use laser technology to reshape the front part of the eye, each offering unique advantages. 

But, SMILE Pro is an appealing option for patients seeking fast visual recovery and who are not concerned about the cost. Its minimally invasive approach promotes quicker healing and allows for a swift return to daily activities after surgery.


Consultation with an Expert

In the quest for superior vision, the ultimate decision rests on personalized consultation with an experienced refractive surgeon. A thorough examination, discussions about lifestyle, and understanding of your unique vision, goals, and preferences will pave the way for the most suitable choice.


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