Why are so many people smiling about the SMILE procedure? The popular and vision correction procedure is known to be minimally invasive, highly precise and extremely successful in the correction of refractive errors. Here’s a brief primer on SMILE to help you decide if it may be an option for you.
What is SMILE?
SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction, usually referred to as SMILE, is a vision correction procedure used to correct refractive errors that affect vision, including nearsightedness and astigmatism. As of mid-2020, more than 900 clinics and 1,800 surgeons around the globe had begun using SMILE, and the procedure has to date been performed on more than 3 million eyes in 70-plus countries.
SMILE is performed using a femtosecond laser to reshape the cornea. The laser’s high speed and accuracy allows it to precisely correct vision problems without damaging surrounding tissue.
How does the SMILE procedure compare to LASIK surgery?
LASIK is a two-step procedure. We use the first laser to create a small flap on the surface of the cornea, and another laser to reshape the area just beneath it. This gentle reshaping corrects the refractive errors causing your bad vision.
In contrast, SMILE is a one-step procedure. During SMILE, we use a single laser to create a tiny, lens-shaped disc in the cornea. The disc, called a lenticule, is removed through a tiny incision, reshaping the cornea to correct the refractive error. The laser correction takes less than 30 seconds per eye.
Advantages of SMILE
SMILE holds several advantages that our patients appreciate:
- The laser used for SMILE is capable of extremely precise corrections to the width and depth needed for optimal vision correction.
- The SMILE procedure minimizes the risk of damage to surrounding tissues of the eye.
- An extremely small incision of less than 6 mm (less than ¼ of an inch) to the surface of the eye means SMILE is considered to be minimally invasive.
- The small, precise surgical incisions mean little or no surgical pain and a short, relatively comfortable recovery.
How soon will I get results?
Most SMILE patients experience a vast improvement in visual acuity within just one or two days of surgery, and most can resume driving, work, hobbies, wearing eye makeup and sports only a few days after treatment—without prescription glasses and contact lenses!
The first step toward permanent vision correction with the SMILE procedure is to schedule a thorough consultation to determine if you’re a candidate. Your ophthalmologist will work with you to identify your best options for vision correction.
Lake Lazer Eye Center offers convenient and affordable payment plans for SoftTouch LASIK and the SMILE procedure, and Dr. Khambati has helped thousands of people from all over the world escape the restrictions of glasses and contacts. In the event that you’re not a candidate for vision correction, we’ll assist you with a contact lens evaluation or a selection of designer and specialty eyewear.