Face Time: SMILE Procedure Lets Young Mom See Daughter Contact-Free

SMILE Eye Surgery

The inability to clearly see the faces of loved ones without contacts or glasses drove Alicia Stanek, 29, to take an important step toward change. With vision of -4.0 in the left eye and -4.5 in the right, everything in her world was blurry – including her beautiful 4-year-old daughter, Eleanor. 

“I used to describe to my family members what their faces looked like to me. Chins blended with the neck. I couldn’t see eyes. Just round dark circles in fuzzy faces with no nose,” she says. “Nothing had an edge or any detail. It just all blended together.” 

On top of poor vision, Alicia experienced severe dry eye and light sensitivity she couldn’t relieve, no matter how many different contact lens brands she tried.  

“I never realized that my contacts were actually causing my eye sensitivity and dryness until the laser eye consultant from Dr. Khambati’s office told me. I was blown away and was so confused as to why all the eye doctors I had been going to for years had never told me this.” 

So, in August 2020, she went to Dr. Shabbir Khambati at Lake Lazer Eye Center, who determined Alicia was an ideal candidate for the SMILE procedure (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction). With SMILE (a leading-edge laser treatment similar to LASIK), Dr. Khambati uses a precise laser to create a small opening in the surface of the cornea and then reshape the cornea to correct nearsightedness like Alicia’s.  

“I have better than 20/20 vision now, and it’s incredible! Dr. Khambati is a very kind person and he goes above and beyond for his patients. At the follow-up appointment he gave me a special gift made from the children in his hometown in India. If this all wasn’t enough, the best of all is that because of my surgery, Dr. Khambati provides a free cataract surgery to someone in need!” 

No longer does Alicia deal with the inconvenience of glasses and contacts, or the pain of dry eye and light sensitivity. Work is easier without these things slowing her down as well. But best of all, her better-than-20/20 vision means she can see every feature of her daughter’s face. 

“I can see when I go to bed and see when I wake up. I don’t have to fumble for my glasses anymore. My eyes don’t hurt anymore, and I can actually handle going outside in the sun without my eyes burning and watering. I just feel free.” 

Dr. Khambati at Lake Lazer Eye Center is among the first laser eye surgeons in the nation to offer the innovative SMILE LASIK procedure to treat poor vision. Start your vision correction journey with a thorough eye examination to find out if you’re a candidate for permanent vision correction.  Call (586) 792-3891 or click here to request an appointment online.

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