Eye Drops After Smile Surgery

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) eye surgery is a modern and minimally invasive laser vision correction technique that has gained popularity in recent years. This procedure utilizes a femtosecond laser to create a small lens-shaped piece of tissue within the cornea, which is then extracted through a tiny incision. By reshaping the cornea, it effectively corrects refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness) with or without astigmatism.

Just like any surgical procedure, proper post-operative care is crucial for a smooth recovery after SMILE eye surgery. Among the essential aspects of aftercare, the use of eye drops holds paramount importance.

In this article, we will delve into the significance of eye drops following SMILE eye surgery and provide guidance on their correct usage.


Why are Eye Drops Important after SMILE Eye Surgery?

After undergoing SMILE eye surgery, it is important to give your eyes the necessary time to heal and adjust to their new shape. During this process, your eyes may produce tears more frequently while also experiencing a temporary decrease in tear production. Additionally, the laser used in the procedure may cause some inflammation and dryness in the eyes. As a result, the use of eye drops becomes crucial in promoting proper healing.

Eye drops play a vital role in the recovery process by facilitating healing, preventing infection, and maintaining overall eye health. They help keep the eyes clean and free from bacteria or any debris that may hinder healing.

Furthermore, they alleviate discomfort and dryness, providing essential lubrication for optimal comfort. Eye drops also aid in reducing swelling and inflammation, which can significantly improve vision and expedite the healing process.


Types of Eye Drops Used After SMILE Eye Surgery

After SMILE eye surgery, your ophthalmologist may prescribe various types of eye drops. These include:

  • Antibiotic Eye Drops:
    These are administered to prevent infection and are typically initiated on the day of surgery. They should be applied multiple times a day for approximately one week. These drops contain medication that eliminates or hinders the growth of bacteria.
  • Steroid Eye Drops or Anti-Inflammatory Eye Drops:
    These are used to reduce inflammation and swelling in the eyes following surgery. They may be prescribed for a few weeks and gradually tapered off as the eyes heal.
  • Artificial Tears/ Lubricating Eye Drops:
    These aid in keeping the eyes lubricated, maintaining moisture, and alleviating dryness, grittiness, and irritation, which are common after SMILE eye surgery. They can be utilized as needed for comfort. These drops are formulated with a combination of ingredients, including glycerin and carboxymethyl cellulose, to replicate the natural tears in your eyes. Additionally, they can effectively flush out any debris or irritants that might have entered your eyes during the surgery.
  • NSAID eye drops:
    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be prescribed to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation after surgery. They are typically used for a few days or weeks post-surgery.

It is crucial to adhere to your doctor’s instructions regarding the timing, frequency, and proper dosage of these eye drops. Avoid skipping doses or discontinuing use without consulting your ophthalmologist.


How to Use Eye Drops After SMILE Eye Surgery?

After SMILE eye surgery, the use of eye drops may appear simple. However, it’s important to follow these crucial steps to ensure proper usage and effectiveness:

  • Before handling the eye drops, thoroughly wash your hands to prevent any contamination.
  • Tilt your head back and gently pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket.
  • Hold the eye drop bottle with the tip facing downwards, keeping it close to your eye but not touching it.
  • Gently squeeze the bottle to release a single drop into the pocket formed by your lower eyelid. Avoid excessive squeezing, as it may cause more than one drop to come out.
  • Close your eyes gently and keep them shut for a minute or two, allowing the eye drops to spread evenly over your eyes.
  • If you need to use multiple types of eye drops, wait at least 5 minutes between each type to ensure proper absorption by your eyes.
  • Use a clean tissue to gently wipe away any excess eye drops from your eyelids or cheeks.
  • Replace the cap on the eye drop bottle and store it as instructed.
  • Remember to wash your hands again after using the eye drops.


Other Important Tips for Using Eye Drops

  • When using multiple types of eye drops, ensure a minimum 5-minute interval between each application. This ensures proper absorption by the eyes.
  • If holding your eyelids open or having a tremor poses a challenge, don’t hesitate to seek assistance when administering the eye drops.
  • Prior to using any other eye drops, consult your ophthalmologist to avoid potential interference with the prescribed medication.
  • Never share your prescribed eye drops with others, as this can lead to infections or complications.
  • If you miss a dose, use the eye drops as soon as you remember. However, if it’s nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed one and continue with your regular schedule. Avoid doubling up on doses.


When to Stop Using Eye Drops?

The duration of eye drop usage following SMILE eye surgery can vary from person to person, depending on individual healing.
Your doctor will provide guidance on when and how to discontinue each type of eye drop. Typically, antibiotic eye drops are used for approximately one week, while steroid and NSAID eye drops may be needed for a few weeks.

Once your ophthalmologist determines that your eyes have adequately healed, you will be instructed to cease using all eye drops. However, if you experience any discomfort or dryness in your eyes after discontinuing the drops, it is important to consult with your doctor.



Proper post-operative care is absolutely essential for a successful SMILE eye surgery and a smooth recovery. Following your ophthalmologist’s prescribed eye drop regimen is crucial as it promotes healing, reduces discomfort, and helps prevent infection during the recovery period.

Remember to adhere to your doctor’s instructions carefully, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have regarding the use of eye drops after your SMILE eye surgery.

By providing the proper care and diligently following instructions, you can greatly enhance the success of your procedure. Stay patient, continue using those eye drops, and enjoy clear vision for years to come!


Book an Appointment

Contact Us For A Free Lasik Consultation

We promise to only answer your queries and to not bother you with any sales calls or texts.
Open chat
💬 Need Help ?
Hello 🙂 🙏 ,
Can we help you?