Can SMILE Surgery Be Done Twice?

When you carry your glasses or lenses around all day, and they are easily dirty, wearing them can be annoying. Is there a way to get rid of them for good? The development of technology has made it possible to solve any problem. There are now many surgeries available that can permanently correct your vision. The SMILE eye surgery is one such surgery that we will discuss today.

But before getting the surgery, you can have numerous questions. In this article, we will answer one such question regarding SMILE eye surgery – can it be done twice? Let’s find out!


Introduction: What is SMILE?

Before getting on to the actual question, we must first know what SMILE eye surgery is and how it is performed.

Myopia (nearsightedness), hypermetropia (farsightedness), astigmatism (blurred vision at all distances), and presbyopia (the inability to focus your eyes up close) are the four main types of eye defects that people today have. 

Small incision lenticule extraction, or SMILE, is a relatively new refractive procedure designed to treat all eye vision defects. Its process is similar to LASIK because it is carried out with a femtosecond laser. SMILE is known for producing outcomes comparable to those of LASIK while also providing potential benefits, such as speedier recovery from postoperative dry eye, reinnervation of corneal nerves, and a potential biomechanical advantage. 

Since this procedure is more sophisticated and affordable than its predecessor, LASIK surgery, many young people prefer to have it. The other reason someone might choose SMILE is that they meet the requirements for LASIK or Femto Lasik, which are invasive procedures because significant flaps are made on the cornea.

The entire procedure is done for both eyes together and takes only about 20 minutes to complete for both eyes. It is an outpatient surgery, as the patient does not need to stay overnight. You will notice that your eyes are becoming more stable after surgery within a few days, and they will fully recover within a few weeks.

To undergo surgery or consultation for it, you should meet some of the criteria set for it: 

  • A minimum age of 22 is required.
  • You should have healthy corneas and eyes.
  • Your eye prescription shouldn’t have changed the previous year, and your vision should have been stable.


How is SMILE performed?

Like any other surgery, SMILE has three stages – preoperative test and consultation, the actual surgery, and the postoperative care to ensure the best result. 

Pre-surgery tests: You must undergo a thorough eye examination before the surgery to ensure you don’t have any eye issues, particularly those involving the cornea. Some eye conditions may worsen after SMILE surgery or interfere with it.

The surgeon will also take precise measurements and examine the thickness of your cornea. These measurements will then be entered into the SMILE laser computer.

Surgery: During the procedure, the patient is raised to the contact glass of the femtosecond laser, and suction ports are turned on to keep the patient’s eye fixation in the appropriate position while the lenticule is created. First, the upper, or cap, interface of the intrastromal lenticule is formed. Next, a 2-3 mm tunnel incision connects the cap interface to the corneal surface. The patient’s lenticule separation and extraction phase are performed under the surgical microscope. The process is entirely computer guided and takes about 20 minutes for both eyes.

Post-surgery instructions: After the surgery, it is vital for you to rest at the centre for some time, after which you can leave. You will see the result right away. If you have any side effects, inform your surgeon immediately.

Some of the instructions that your surgeon will give you are listed below. If you want a complete recovery, you must adhere to them strictly. 

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes for at least three months after your surgery. 
  • Wear the supplied eye protection before bed or while lying down for a week.
  • Avoid wearing eye makeup (mascara, eyeliner) for five days. 
  • Use the medication and eye drops your surgeon prescribes daily.
  • Make routine follow-up appointments with your surgeon.


Can SMILE eye surgery be done twice?

How long it has been since your initial surgery and how well your eyes are doing will determine the answer. SMILE eye surgery is a permanent solution to your problem, so the need to get it done again should not arise. Because of its efficacy and durable outcomes, the procedure has been regarded as the most effective. Choosing to have SMILE surgery is a decision that alters your life forever.

If there were any issues during or following the procedure, you should have the procedure repeated in some circumstances. However, it must have been five to ten years since your initial operation. Other details regarding the second surgery must be discussed with your surgeon. 

If the second surgery is necessary, but you are facing issues due to eye or cornea complications, you can always consider other eye surgeries.



In most cases, the need for a second surgery arises because of poor postoperative care. It is very important to follow them to ensure complete eye recovery and that you will never need glasses or lenses again and get your money’s worth.


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