Which Type of Laser Eye Surgery is Right for Me?

June 1, 2024

Refractive errors such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism can affect your daily life and make ordinary tasks more challenging. Laser eye surgery offers a safe, effective way to achieve the clearer vision you want. We offer three types of laser eye surgery to choose from. Dr. Wu and her team will determine which one offers the best overall results for your needs. 

What is Laser Eye Surgery?

If you have considered vision correction surgery, you may have already heard of LASIK. While this is the most widely known form of laser eye surgery, it is not the only one and may not be the best option for some people. LASIK, SMILE, and PRK are 3 different types of laser eye surgery. They all correct your vision by using a laser to reshape your cornea (the clear window at the front of your eye) for better image focus, but the technique and treatment ranges differ. All three options offer excellent vision correction. 

Laser Eye Surgery Costa Mesa & Orange County

Which Type of Laser Eye Surgery is Right For Me?

Each form of laser eye surgery has advantages for the right candidate. We recommend a consultation with a surgeon to determine which procedure is recommended for you. Candidates for all three forms of this treatment should have:

  • Healthy eyes
  • A prescription in the range that your preferred treatment can address. 
  • Reasonable expectations about their results


As the most popular type of laser eye surgery, LASIK is the name most people recognize. It works by using a laser to create a flap in the outer surface of the cornea, the clear structure at the front of your eye. Another laser then removes microscopically thin layers of corneal tissue to achieve the desired shape. The flap is replaced, allowing a quick and painless recovery. 

Might Be Right For You If:

  • You have a normal cornea shape
  • You have astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness
  • You desire a quick visual recovery
  • You do not have a history of dry eye problems


SMILE also uses a laser to reshape your cornea. However, instead of creating a flap, it uses a small incision only a few millimeters long. The laser creates a disc of corneal tissue under the surface of the cornea. Your eye surgeon then removes the disc through the small incision to achieve the desired visual correction.

Might Be Right For You If:

  • You play contact sports and could dislodge the flap created by LASIK
  • You have normal cornea shape
  • You cannot tolerate your contacts or suffer from dry eye problems
  • You have astigmatism and/or nearsightedness (SMILE does not treat farsightedness)
  • You desire no downtime from surgery


If your eye surgeon determines that you are not a candidate for SMILE or LASIK, you may have another option. PRK is a great option for people who cannot have other types of laser eye surgery. It involves removing the outer surface of the cornea, which regenerates itself without the need for flaps or incisions. 

Might Be Right For You If:

  • You have thin or abnormally shaped corneas
  • You have problems with dry eye
  • You play contact sports
  • You have a high prescription

Request a Consultation

We’d love to help you get all the information you need in order to make the best choice for your eyes. Request a consultation today! Our staff is available and happy to answer your every question.

What is Recovery Like After Laser Eye Surgery?

Recovery after laser eye surgery depends on the procedure. SMILE and LASIK will generally allow you to return to work, driving, and other activities within two days. You will be instructed to limit swimming, strenuous exercise, and airborne dust or particulates while your eyes heal. The recovery time for PRK is considerably longer, with most people needing several days to start seeing clearly and a few weeks to months for full recovery. 

What Results Will I See With Laser Eye Surgery?

All three types of laser eye surgery offer dramatic vision improvement for good candidates. Most people will achieve 20/20 vision, and almost all will achieve less reliance on corrective lenses. Dr. Wu will discuss what you can expect based on your current prescription and other factors. While the results of laser vision surgery are long-lasting, your eyes will still experience age-related changes over time. 

Dr. Wu helped me get Lasik and now my vision is great! No more contacts or glasses. I had dry eye afterwards but that was expected; followed instructions and now all is good. Thank you!
John w.

Take the Next Step

Want to know more about laser eye surgery? Please fill out the form on this page or call (949) 208-9090 to schedule your appointment.

We proudly serve the Costa Mesa & Newport Beach areas.