Prk Vs Lasik Vs Smile Cost in India

The ability to see clearly is a gift we often take for granted. For millions of Indians grappling with refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, blurry vision can significantly impact daily life.

Thankfully, advanced technology offers freedom from glasses and contact lenses through laser vision correction surgery. But with an array of options like PRK, LASIK, and SMILE, navigating this realm can be overwhelming.

This comprehensive guide demystifies each procedure and explores their key differences, cost considerations, and crucial factors to consider before making your informed decision.


The Battle of the Beams

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis): This established procedure, favoured by many, involves creating a corneal flap (18-20 mm) using either a blade (microkeratome) or a femtosecond laser. Next, the flap is lifted to expose the underlying tissue, and then an excimer laser precisely reshapes the underlying corneal tissue to correct your vision, and the flap is gently repositioned.

LASIK surgery is effective for correcting myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

Healing is quick, with most patients experiencing significant vision improvement within days to weeks and complete vision stabilisation within months. However, potential flap-related complications like dry eyes, flap displacement, or infection do exist.

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy): This procedure bypasses the flap creation and directly ablates the corneal epithelium (outermost layer) using an excimer laser. After reshaping the cornea, the epithelium naturally regenerates over time.

PRK surgery is effective in correcting myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

Although PRK may provide greater long-term corneal stability, the healing process can be slower and may entail discomfort, blurriness, and pain in the initial days to weeks. After the procedure, the use of bandage contact lenses for protection is necessary for a brief period of 5-6 days.

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction): Among the latest innovations, SMILE employs a femtosecond laser to create a small incision (2-4 mm) and extract a lenticule of corneal tissue, reshaping the cornea without a flap. This technique enhances vision by combining the advantages of both LASIK and PRK surgeries.

SMILE surgery is effective in correcting myopia and astigmatism.

This minimally invasive and painless approach boasts faster healing and potentially lower risks of complications compared to LASIK and PRK, as it preserves more corneal tissue and avoids flap-related issues.


Unveiling the Cost Landscape

Cost is a crucial consideration, but it shouldn’t solely dictate your choice. Here’s a general overview, keeping in mind that variations exist based on the clinic, the surgeon’s expertise, the technology used, the complexity of your case, and geographical location:

  • LASIK:
    Varies depending on the type (traditional vs. advanced wavefront-guided). Traditional might be slightly cheaper than SMILE, ranging from INR 60,000 to 80,000 for both eyes, while advanced options may be comparable, reaching INR 1,00,000 for both eyes.
  • PRK:
    Generally, it is the most affordable option upfront, averaging around INR 50,000 for both eyes, but remember, potential future enhancements can increase the long-term cost.
  • SMILE:
    Often the most expensive due to its advanced technology and potentially higher surgeon fees. It falls in the range of approximately INR 1,20,000 for both eyes, although it can vary depending on the factors mentioned above.
  • Beyond the Bottom Line:
    While cost is crucial, remember it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Here’s a deeper dive into the hidden costs and benefits of each procedure:



  • Opportunity Costs:
    While initially more cost-effective because of its long history and widespread availability, LASIK and PRK procedures come with extended recovery times that could lead to more time off work, impacting your earnings. This prolonged recovery period might require taking several weeks off for adequate recuperation.
  • Potential Complications:
    LASIK carries a higher risk of flap-related issues, potentially requiring additional procedures and unforeseen expenses.
  • Touch-ups and Enhancements:
    Both procedures may necessitate follow-up interventions for the best outcomes, increasing long-term expenses. Additionally, there are associated travel and accommodation costs to consider.



  • Faster Recovery:
    A quicker return to work and fewer follow-up visits can translate to savings on lost wages and transportation.
  • Single-Step Procedure:
    Minimised surgical time and resources used potentially equate to lower costs compared to LASIK and PRK’s two-step process.
  • Reduced Follow-up Needs:
    Less risk of post-operative complications like dry eyes and sensitivity might translate to fewer doctor visits and lower medical expenses.
  • Precise Results:
    Advanced newer technology minimises the need for future enhancements, potentially saving you money on additional surgeries.


Additional Factors to Consider

  • Your Age:
    Younger individuals with healthy corneas often qualify for all three procedures. As you age, your candidacy for SMILE or LASIK might decrease due to corneal thinning.
  • Your Prescription:
    The strength and type of your refractive error influence your eligibility for each procedure. Consult your ophthalmologist to determine which option best suits your specific prescription.
  • Your Lifestyle:
    Active individuals or those prone to dry eyes might benefit from SMILE’s minimally invasive approach and potentially lower risk of complications.
  • Your Preferences:
    Consider your comfort level with different recovery times, potential risks, and long-term stability when making your decision.



These are generalised comparisons, and your individual case and surgeon’s expertise significantly impact the final cost. Consult a qualified ophthalmologist for a personalised assessment, keeping in mind your health history and cost breakdown. Discuss your lifestyle, budget, and vision goals to determine the procedure that best aligns with your needs and financial considerations.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions and compare quotes from different clinics to ensure you make an informed decision.

Investing in your vision is an investment in your life. Understanding the nuances of PRK, LASIK, and SMILE, along with their associated costs and potential long-term implications, empowers you to choose the path that leads to clear sight and a brighter financial future.


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