SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

Are you interested in laser surgery to remedy your nearsightedness? In addition to LASIK, you now might have the alternative of a new laser procedure called SMILE.

Here are the essentials about SMILE laser eye surgery, which gained FDA approval for usage in the United States in September 2016.

What Is SMILE Laser Surgery?

SMILE is an acronym for SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction (which is a mouthful and not very simple to bear in mind).

SMILE laser eye surgery is carried out utilizing a VisuMax femtosecond laser, which is proprietary technology of Carl Zeiss Meditec.

SMILE is one action, one laser, minimally invasive treatment During a SMILE procedure, your surgeon will use computer system assisted, extremely focused laser light to cut a small cut in the cornea and will use it to get rid of a small piece of corneal tissue (called a lenticule). This improves the cornea and fixes your vision.

The procedure integrates the safety of conventional vision correction methods with even higher comfort and possibly higher accuracy.

Procedure Description

The cornea composes five layers. To remedy vision focusing issues, just the stroma (the middle layer) has to be improved. The SMILE laser works to use a series of small bubbles to produce the base of the lenticule (in the lower part of the stroma) and after that the top of the lenticule (in the upper part of the stroma). The creation of a little keyhole cut allows your surgeon access to the stroma, so the surgeon can get rid of the targeted piece of tissue to remedy your vision. That’s it! Immediately cornea has been improved, and the client is offered optimum visual results.

In the SMILE treatment, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a little, lens-shaped little tissue (lenticular) within the cornea. Then, with the same laser, a small arc-shaped incision is made in the surface of the cornea, and the surgeon draws out the lenticule through this cut and discards it.

With the small lenticule eliminated, the shape of the cornea is modified, remedying nearsightedness. The corneal cut heals within a few days without stitches, and sharper vision takes place very rapidly.

SMILE laser eye surgery can correct up to -10.00 diopters (D) of nearsightedness. Candidates must be at least 22 years old, run out than -0.50 D of astigmatism, and their eyeglass prescription must be steady for at least 12 months.

To date, more than 1 million SMILE treatments have been performed worldwide with few problems, according to Carl Zeiss Meditec.

Why Is SMILE Eye Surgery So Good?

Research is revealing SMILE produces virtually the very same visual skill as LASIK for the correction of nearsightedness, without the requirement to create a LASIK-style corneal flap.

In one research study of 328 people who underwent the SMILE procedure, all however one had uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA) of 20/40 or much better after surgery, and 88 percent had UCVA of 20/20 or better.

Likewise, it appears there might be less risk of dry eye symptoms after SMILE, compared to LASIK. There might be numerous factors for this, consisting of that since SMILE takes place within the cornea without a big corneal flap, the procedure impacts less corneal nerves.

The tiny SMILE cut may also allow the cornea to have more biomechanical stability after SMILE, compared with its ability to keep shape (especially the following trauma) after LASIK.

Finally, for correction of high quantities of nearsightedness, with LASIK, there’s a more significant threat of needing an enhancement procedure to obtain the clarity of vision preferred without glasses. It appears there is less danger of requiring an additional procedure after SMILE for correction of high amounts of myopia, possibly since less dehydration of the cornea takes place during the SMILE treatment.

Limitations Of SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

Are there any drawbacks to SMILE when compared with LASIK or PRK?

For starters, SMILE can fix nearsightedness, whereas LASIK and PRK can also fix substantial amounts of farsightedness and astigmatism.

The treatment variety for SMILE surgery carried out in the U.S. will likely be broadened in the future, however. For instance, SMILE can be used to deal with nearsightedness and up to -5.00 D of astigmatism in Europe.

Also, LASIK and PRK can treat higher-order aberrations (HOAs) that can impact night vision, whereas SMILE can not. SMILE might increase HOAs to some degree.

Moreover, if you have residual refractive mistake after a SMILE procedure and need extra vision correction, usually PRK would be the favored enhancement procedure for best outcomes.

Lastly, similar to any more recent vision correction surgery, it might be necessary for a surgeon to carry out a considerable variety of SMILE procedures before he or she masters the surgical methods needed for optimum outcomes and minimal risks. Keep this in mind when considering SMILE (versus LASIK or other vision correction treatments) and talking about the procedure with your refractive surgeon.

SMILE Eye Surgery Cost

A lot of U.S. refractive eye surgeons charge around the same cost for SMILE laser vision correction as they provide for all-laser custom-made LASIK surgery — somewhere in the variety of $2,000 to $3,000 per eye.

Many factors add to the overall charge each surgeon charges, including the surgeon’s experience, the practice area, and whether follow-up exams and further treatments (if required) are included.


Here are a few distinctive features of the SMILE laser surgery from LASIK.

No Flap Surgery

One of the only drawbacks to a LASIK procedure is the development of a long-term flap of corneal tissue. During LASIK, a small flap of corneal tissue is produced utilizing a femtosecond laser and after that folded back. The surgeon then uses a second laser, called an excimer laser, to reshape the underlying corneal tissue and appropriate vision. Since of this, it is a more intricate procedure than its successor, SMILE.

It is important to note that LASIK is an incredibly safe and trusted procedure. However, seldom, complications can occur. Many of these problems are called ‘flap-related issues’ and are due to the flap produced during surgery.

Since no flap is created throughout a SMILE treatment, there is no danger for flap-related problems.

Safe, Accurate, And Fast Visual Recovery

SMILE has been discovered to be just as safe and accurate as LASIK. SMILE also has the included benefit of fast visual healing- It only takes about one to 2 days to experience the fantastic outcomes.

Safe, Odorless, and Blade-Free

Both LASIK and PRK procedures use the 2nd laser, called an excimer laser, during the treatment. This laser is known to produce a loud ‘clicking’ noise when used, which can be disconcerting to some patients. The excimer laser likewise understood to produce a noticeable odor during a LASIK treatment, as it is used to ablate corneal cells. Since SMILE does not utilize an excimer laser, the procedure is both peaceful and odorless.

Does SMILE Laser Eye Surgery Painful?

As it deals with such a vital part of the body, it’s not unexpected that some Laser Eye Surgery patients experience a great deal of fear and stress and anxiety in the days leading up to the treatment.

While some of this is reasonable and useful– a couple of nerves are necessary to keep you alert– most is unneeded and can even be detrimental if you ought to succumb to the little voice in your head and choose not to go ahead with the treatment.

One of the most common unreasonable Laser Eye Surgery fears is of experiencing pain during the treatment, more than likely derived from the existence of ‘laser’ in its name. Contrary to what you might have seen in the films, not all lasers are hot and used for Jedi space battles. The laser utilized in Laser Eye Surgery is, in fact, cold, working by electrically stimulating gases such as fluorine, chlorine, and argon to create a pseudo molecule which, when ‘lasered,’ produces light in the ultraviolet range.

This implies you will not even see the laser, never mind feel it, smell it, hear it, or anything else.

Most patients report feeling during Laser Eye Surgery is a minor sensation of pressure on the eye, but even that is mostly left out by the numbing eye drops.

Moreover, in SMILE, patients typically report feeling nothing during the entire procedure.

The truth is, at swifter than the time it requires to make a cup of tea, and with the surgeon speaking to you the entire way through, the treatment will be over before you understood it even began.

Is SMILE Right For You?

If you are nearsighted and satisfy the other requirements mentioned above, you might be a right candidate for SMILE laser vision correction. The next action is to have a detailed eye exam with your optometrist and an assessment with a refractive surgeon.

Reyus Mammadli (Eyexan Team Leader) / author of the article
Bachelor in biomedical and electrical apparatus and systems. For more than 20 years he has been studying methods to improve health using affordable and safe methods. Collaborates with eye care charity organization of the CCP. Specialization is a vision correction by laser surgery, including LASIK.
Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Ophthalmology: Health of Your Eyes
Comments: 3
  1. Emmy

    I have Myopia since my childhood. I wear glasses since 4 years. Now I’m 26 and I’m seriously thinking about a vision correction surgery. At first I thought Lasik might be the best solution. Then I met Professor John Fishburn, who persuaded me.
    John explained that he, as an eye surgeon, does not recommend LASIK, because he does not get a good result. But SMILE – it’s quite a promising technology, for which, as he wrote to me in SMS, the future.
    Now I’m almost 99% sure I’m ready to lie under the SMILE laser to get 20/20 vision. And if this Professor messes with my eyes, I’ll rip his hands off and what’s between his legs.
    But I don’t think it will come to that, I’m sure SMILE will help me. Emmy

  2. Rahaja Amil

    SMILE surgery is the latest procedure and 3rd generation and even much safer than Lasik/Contoura treatment.

    The advantages of SMILE surgical treatments:

    1. FLAP LESS (No need to cut and lift the corneal flap).

    2. BLADE LESS (No mikrokeratome blade is used).

    3. Very Less dry eyes syndrome.

    4. Post surgery better bio mechanical stability of the cornea, thus sports individual can opt for this procedure.

    5. Patients can resume their work from the next day.

  3. Dr. Berry

    If your medical professional is ethical, he would show you what is going on. example … Sometimes the eye surgeon is forced to switch from SMILE technology to LASIK.ю Dynamic changes in the operating space when doctor has to change from doing SMILE to doing LASIK rather does not suggest something went wrong … however trust in surgeon ought to exist that he can handle any circumstance that may arise. If the SMILE laser stops because patient moves, then in some cases we switch to LASIK.

Leave a Reply