Can You Fly After Smile Surgery?

SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction) is a type of laser vision correction surgery that is becoming increasingly common in recent years. Many people wonder whether they will be able to fly after having SMILE surgery. So lets us dive deeper into this topic and provide information on flying after SMILE surgery.


An insight into SMILE Surgery

We all know the popularity of various surgical procedures for the treatment of refractive errors in the eyes as they are highly successful and provide fast recovery. One of these surgeries is the Smile eye surgery which has also become quite popular recently and for all good reasons.

Smile surgery is also referred to as the latest form of the already popular laser refractive surgery, performed with the help of a femtosecond laser that creates a very small lenticule in the corner of the eye. Then this lenticule is extracted from a small incision created with the laser’s help. As the lenticule gets extracted, it helps change the cornea’s shape, which helps achieve the refractive changes in the eye which the patient desires.

The whole procedure of smile surgery is still new to the market but helps treat the condition of refractive errors like astigmatism, myopia, and hyperopia. If any patient uses contact lenses, they are advised to use glasses before the surgery. This switch must be taken at least three months before the day the surgery is planned for. The vision metrics of the patient must be consistent for about a year before the surgery.

The most common conditions for which the Smile procedure is suggested are nearsightedness and astigmatism; with this surgery, both conditions get treated, resulting in improved patient vision. The procedure of the Smile surgery is relatively safe, and the healing that takes place after the surgery is quick as the whole procedure is less invasive.


Flying after a SMILE Surgery

First, it’s critical to understand that SMILE surgery entails making a small incision in the cornea and using a laser to remove a small lenticule of tissue, reshaping the cornea, and correcting vision issues like nearsightedness and astigmatism. Because the procedure is minimally invasive and only needs a small incision, most people can resume normal activities, including flying, reasonably soon after the surgery.

However, it is essential to note that there are some potential risks and considerations to bear in mind when flying following SMILE surgery. Changes in air pressure, for example, during a flight can cause temporary changes in the shape of the cornea, which may impact the healing process after SMILE surgery. Furthermore, dry air and low humidity on planes can aggravate dry eye symptoms, a frequent adverse effect of SMILE surgery.

As a result, before making any travel arrangements, consult with your eye doctor about the possible risks and limitations of flying after SMILE surgery. Sometimes, your doctor may advise you to wait a certain amount of time after surgery before traveling to ensure that your cornea has completely healed and to reduce the risk of complications.

If you decide to travel after SMILE surgery, there are some precautions you can take to reduce risks and ensure a quick recovery. For example, staying hydrated before and during your journey can help relieve dry eye symptoms. You may also want to use eye drops or lubricating ointments to keep your eyes moist and comfortable during the journey.

It’s also critical to follow any post-operative instructions your eye doctor gives you, such as not rubbing your eyes or engaging in strenuous activities for some time after the operation. By following these recommendations, you can help ensure that your cornea heals correctly and that you get the best results from your SMILE surgery.

While there are some potential risks and limitations to flying after SMILE surgery, most people can resume their regular activities, including flying on airplanes, reasonably soon after the procedure. You can help ensure a smooth and successful recovery from this minimally invasive form of laser vision correction surgery by discussing the potential risks and benefits of flying after SMILE surgery with your eye doctor and following any post-operative instructions given.


Additional things to take care of after getting a SMILE Surgery

When any patient undergoes the Smile surgery, the patient is provided an eye shield by their doctor. The patients need to use that eye shield as it helps by abiding the entry of water in the eyes. It is suggested that the patient wear that eye shield before going to bed to sleep or while napping to prevent any unconscious rubbing they must do in their eyes.

The patients also wear these shields to prevent contact with water from their eyes for about three days. Surely the patient can get a bath or shower if the water does not come in contact with their eyes. Also, the patients must take a break from any exercise for a minimum of 3 days so they dont sweat and it does not go near the eyes.

Also, the patient is prescribed to use some eye drops or artificial tear drops to be frequently used as they help in the healing process of the patients and also prevent the condition of dry eyes. 

The patient must use these drops to lubricate their eyes when flying after the surgery. Also, it suggested to all of the patients, especially the females out there, to avoid wearing makeup for at least a week. You can use facial makeup but try to avoid makeup around your eyes.



Finally, if you are contemplating SMILE surgery and plan to fly soon, discussing your travel plans with your eye doctor to ensure you can fly safely and reduce the risk of complications is critical. 

While there may be some temporary changes in the shape of the cornea and dry eye symptoms, most people can resume their normal activities, including flying, reasonably soon after SMILE surgery. You can help ensure a successful recovery and enjoy the benefits of better vision for years to come by working closely with your eye doctor and following any post-operative instructions given.


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