Smile Eye Surgery Process

Imagine waking up each morning and seeing the world clearly without needing glasses or contact lenses. For many individuals struggling with nearsightedness (myopia) or astigmatism, this once-imagined scenario can become a reality thanks to SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction).

This innovative laser eye surgery holds the potential to reshape the way you see, offering faster healing, potentially reduced dry eye, and a minimally invasive approach compared to traditional procedures like LASIK.

But before you schedule your consultation, let’s delve deeper into the world of SMILE, understanding its principles, procedure nuances, and recovery journey.


Unveiling the Vision Blueprint

Our ability to see relies on a delicate dance of light rays. Ideally, these rays enter the eye and are perfectly focused onto the retina at the back by the combined efforts of the cornea and lens. However, imperfections in the cornea’s curvature can disrupt this harmony, causing light to scatter and blur our vision.

This is where SMILE steps in, meticulously reshaping the cornea to correct the refractive error and restore clear sight precisely.


The SMILE Advantage: Reshaping, Not Lifting

Unlike LASIK, which creates a flap in the cornea, SMILE employs a highly sophisticated femtosecond laser, wielding ultrashort pulses (within a few femtoseconds of time) with remarkable precision. This laser carves a tiny disc-shaped piece of tissue within the cornea, aptly named a lenticule. The lenticule’s size and shape are tailored to your refractive error.

Imagine it like sculpting a precise lens from within the existing corneal structure. With unparalleled accuracy, the surgeon extracts this meticulously crafted lenticule through a minuscule incision, subtly altering the cornea’s shape and effectively correcting your vision.

This unique approach boasts several potential advantages:

  • Faster Healing Prowess:
    By eliminating the need for a corneal flap, SMILE promotes natural and quicker healing, often within 3-4 days, compared to LASIK’s longer recovery window. This allows you to embrace your newfound visual freedom sooner.
  • Minimising Dry Eye Discomfort:
    The minimal disruption to the corneal nerves during SMILE contributes to a lower risk of post-operative dry eye, a common concern with LASIK. This ensures lasting comfort and enjoyment of your improved vision.
  • Enhanced Corneal Strength:
    Preserving more of the corneal tissue naturally translates to potentially increased structural stability, which may benefit certain individuals, particularly those with active lifestyles.


Preparing for Your SMILE Transformation

The journey to clear vision begins with a comprehensive pre-operative assessment. Your ophthalmologist, your trusted guide on this path, will meticulously evaluate your candidacy for SMILE, taking into account various factors:

  • Eye Examination:
    Precise measurements of your cornea’s thickness, curvature, tear film, and pupil size are taken to develop a customised treatment strategy. This guarantees the best possible outcomes specifically suited to your individual eyes. Additionally, vision tests are conducted to ensure no changes over the past year and errors fall within the correctable range by SMILE surgery.
  • Medical History Review:
    Discussing any existing eye or other conditions, medications and over-the-counter supplements you take, and overall health is crucial to ensure suitability for the procedure and identify any potential risks or considerations.
  • Managing Expectations:
    Understanding the potential risks and benefits of SMILE compared to other options like LASIK allows you to make informed decisions about your vision correction journey. This empowers you to choose the path that best aligns with your needs and expectations.


Instructions by Your Ophthalmologist

  • Stop contacts:
    Avoid hard lenses for 4 weeks and soft lenses for 2 weeks before surgery.
  • Ditch the medications:
    Stopping specific medications before the surgery will also be instructed.
  • Skip makeup, perfumes, and lotions:
    On surgery day, ditch these to minimise infection risk.
  • Transportation Arrangement:
    Organising alternative transportation immediately after the surgery and potentially for the subsequent days post-surgery.


The Big Day: Your SMILE Experience

Unlike invasive surgeries requiring overnight stays, SMILE is an outpatient procedure, allowing you to return home comfortably after the surgery.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Numbing Comfort:
    Anaesthetic drops are administered to numb your eyes, ensuring a painless experience during the procedure. This allows you to relax and focus on the exciting transformation about to unfold.
  • Positioning for Precision:
    You’ll comfortably recline in a chair while a suction device gently stabilises your eye for optimal laser treatment. You may feel slight pressure. This ensures accurate laser targeting and optimal outcomes.
  • Laser Magic in Action:
    The ZEISS VisuMax 500 femtosecond laser performs its intricate task, creating the lenticule within the stroma and a minute 2-4 mm incision with unparalleled precision. This marvel of technology takes less than 30 seconds per eye! Witnessing this technological marvel can be an exciting highlight of your journey.
  • Lenticule Extraction:
    Your surgeon meticulously removes the lenticule. Removing the lenticule is what changes the shape of your cornea and correcting your vision. This marks the culmination of the laser’s intricate work and the beginning of your journey to clearer vision. It is a nearly silent, soundless, and odourless procedure, allowing the patient to stay in the same position throughout.
  • Rest and Recuperation:
    After the brief procedure, you’ll take a moment to relax before comfortably returning home. It’s advisable to avoid strenuous activities on that day. Rest would likely be your preference.


Embracing the New You: Recovery and Beyond

Following your SMILE procedure, adhering to your doctor’s instructions is crucial for optimal healing and achieving the best possible results.

Here are some key points to remember

  • Protective Measures:
    Wearing protective eyewear while sleeping for a few days shields your eyes from accidental rubbing and promotes healing. This simple measure ensures your eyes have the optimal environment to recover and adjust to their new shape.
  • Vision Improvement:
    Be patient – your vision will gradually improve over the course of days or weeks. Many patients experience significant improvement immediately after the surgery and clear vision within 3-4 days and can easily resume their normal activities. Observe the subtle changes and appreciate the gradual return of crisp, clear vision.
  • Resuming Post-Surgery:
    Your doctor will guide you on when to safely resume activities. Avoid risky ones like contact sports or dusty environments until cleared. After treatment, most patients quickly resume driving, work, makeup, and sports.
  • Regular Check-Ups:
    Regular follow-up appointments with your ophthalmologist allow them to monitor your progress, address any concerns, and ensure optimal outcomes. These appointments allow you to ask questions, share your experiences, and receive expert guidance throughout your healing journey.


Is SMILE Your Perfect Match?

SMILE undoubtedly offers a promising avenue for individuals seeking freedom from glasses or contact lenses. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. While generally suitable for individuals with mild to moderate nearsightedness and astigmatism, factors like your age, corneal thickness, overall health, and lifestyle play a role.

Consulting with a qualified ophthalmologist experienced in SMILE is the best way to determine if this innovative procedure aligns with your needs and expectations. During your consultation, you can discuss your vision goals, ask questions about the procedure and its suitability for you, and receive personalised advice to make an informed decision.

Remember, this article serves as an informative guide, not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your ophthalmologist to discuss your individual situation and receive personalised recommendations for achieving the best vision possible.

Embrace the opportunity to explore SMILE and take the first step towards a brighter future – a future where you can see the world anew, unburdened by corrective lenses.


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?