SMILE laser eye surgery

Smile laser eye surgery

Table of Contents

What is SMILE?

SMILE laser eye surgery is the most recently developed type of laser eye surgery. It’s a minimally invasive and flapless procedure that can correct various vision impairments such as nearsightedness (myopia) and astigmatism.

Millions of eyes with myopia and/or astigmatism have been corrected with SMILE in over 80 countries.

With SMILE, patients can expect shorter treatment times, faster recovery, less side effects and excellent outcomes with high predictability.

Performing SMILE laser eye surgery
Performing a SMILE laser eye surgery Copyright Retina Center
Meet Dr. Ned Davila Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Lasik, Smile, ICL lens, Corneal transplant

How does SMILE work?

SMILE is running on a femtosecond laser. We could say that the laser gently reshapes the cornea to adjust its shape and thus correct vision problems. This adjustment allows light to be correctly focused on the retina, improving visual acuity and reducing dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

The femtosecond laser produces a thin layer (lenticule) just beneath the surface of the eye, and at the same time creates a small opening (2mm), it takes less than 30 seconds. It’s an almost silent, noiseless, odourless procedure and the patient can remain in the same position from start to finish. The surgeon then removes the lenticule (thin layer with your precription) through a small incision outer part of the eye. This reshapes the cornea and corrects the refractive error.

Así se realiza la cirugía SMILE

What is the difference between LASIK and SMILE?

SMILE and LASIK are both types of laser eye surgery used to correct vision problems, but they differ in how the laser is applied to the eye.

SMILE uses a femtosecond laser to create a small, precise incision in the cornea and then removes a tiny piece of tissue, reshaping the cornea to correct the vision.

LASIK uses two lasers to create a flap in the cornea, which is then lifted to access the inner layers of the cornea. The second laser is then used to reshape the cornea to correct the vision.

In summary, SMILE involves making a small incision and removing a section of tissue, while LASIK involves creating a flap in the cornea and reshaping the tissue underneath. Both can be effective options for correcting vision problems, but the specific procedure recommended will depend on a patient’s individual needs and preferences.

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre LASIK y SMILE? Entrevista Televisa

Why is SMILE laser eye surgery the best option for myopia?

SMILE laser eye surgery offers several benefits over other laser eye surgeries, such as LASIK. Some potential benefits of SMILE surgery include:

  1. Minimally invasive: SMILE requires only a small incision in the cornea, which can reduce the risk of complications and promote faster healing.
  2. Preserves corneal strength: SMILE removes a smaller amount of tissue than LASIK to correct the same vision problem, which can help maintain corneal strength and stability.
  3. Less dry eye discomfort: SMILE may cause less dryness and discomfort after surgery, as the procedure preserves more of the corneal nerves responsible for tear production.
  4. Better for certain candidates: SMILE may be a better option for individuals with thin corneas or high prescription levels, as it does not require a corneal flap like LASIK does.
  5. Comparable vision outcome: While SMILE is a newer procedure than LASIK, studies have shown that it can provide similar vision correction outcomes with good safety and efficacy profiles.

Overall, the benefits of SMILE surgery make it a promising option for many patients with refractive errors, but it is important to discuss the procedure’s suitability and risks with an ophthalmologist.

SMILE Laser eye surgery
Just before starting SMILE surgery

Before surgery (preparing)

Before and on the day of surgery

Stop wearing hard contact lenses for at least four weeks and soft lenses for two weeks before surgery, because they may interfere with preoperative diagnostic tests.

The doctor will perform a corneal topography and check your eyes in detail, including applying a few drops to dilate the pupil and carefully check your retina to see if you are a good candidate for this surgery.

Don’t make-up, perfume or lotion the day before and on the day of the procedure. These products may leave debris around the eye and eyelashes, which increases the chance of infection.

Ask someone to drive you on the day of the check-up before surgery and on the day of surgery.

Corneal topography before smile laser eye surgery
Corneal topography is an essential study before performing this surgery

After surgery

After surgery, it is recommended not to rub the eyes, to rest and not to overexert yourself.

Since SMILE supports a minimally invasive application, the discomfort felt during the healing process is minor as well.

Within a few days after the treatment, patients are normally able to drive, work, wear make-up and participate in sports. This is the big difference with LASIK.

SMILE laser eye surgery testimonial
Paciente feliz operado de SMILE

Potential side effects and complications

Like any surgical procedure, SMILE surgery does carry some potential risks and complications. These include:

  1. Dry eye: Although SMILE preserves more of the corneal nerves responsible for tear production than LASIK, some patients may still experience dryness or discomfort after surgery.
  2. Visual problems: In rare cases, SMILE can cause visual disturbances like halos, glare, or double vision. These effects are typically mild and resolve over time.
  3. Overcorrection or undercorrection: Like LASIK, SMILE can occasionally result in overcorrection or undercorrection of refractive errors, which may require additional surgery or other corrective measures.
  4. Corneal haze: In rare cases, the cornea may develop a hazy or cloudy appearance after SMILE surgery. This is typically temporary and can be treated with medication.
  5. Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection following SMILE surgery. Patients should follow proper care instructions to minimize this risk.

It is important to remember that the risks and potential complications of SMILE surgery are relatively rare, and most patients achieve excellent visual outcomes with fast recovery times. As with any medical procedure, the best way to minimize risks is to carefully follow your surgeon’s instructions and attend all follow-up appointments as instructed.

Additional information: Zeiss

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