What you need to know about preparation, surgery and recovery
SMILE stands for SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction, which is the world’s most advanced, precise and convenient laser eye surgery. It is the most significant advance in laser eye surgery technology in over 10 years. Since Auckland Eye started offering SMILE in March 2015, it has quickly become our most popular method of Laser Vision Correction due to its many advantages.
How Can You Benefit From SMILE?
- Minimally invasive
This keyhole technique provides a minimally invasive treatment for the correction of myopia and astigmatism. SMILE requires only a small incision of about 2–4 mm – the size of the tip of a pencil. This allows for potentially high biomechanical preservation and stability.
- Generally fast healing
SMILE requires no flap, which enables a fast recovery of corneal sensitivity and of a normal tear film. In addition, there is only a low risk of infection or transient eye syndrome.
- Quickly back to normal
With SMILE, full visual recovery can usually occur within just a few days following your surgery. Normally, you will be able to drive, work and participate in sports without glasses or contact lenses just a few days following treatment.
- Suited for many people
Patients with dry eyes or contact lens intolerance can benefit from the flapless SMILE procedure. SMILE is also suited for people with an active lifestyle, e.g. athletes, flight crews, and military and rescue personnel.
- One Step to better vision
SMILE is a one step, one laser, minimally invasive procedure that uses photo separation of tissue. Computer-guided, highly focused laser light is used to create a lenticule (precise lens-shaped disc within the cornea), which is then removed through a tiny keyhole incision.
- Comfort and ease
The laser portion of the procedure is quick – it’s all over in 25 seconds per eye. The technology is also designed to ensure it’s an extremely comfortable procedure. Although everyone is different, recovery is rapid – most people will be feeling great the next day.
Who is Eligible For SMILE?
SMILE is suited to short-sighted patients as well as short sight with astigmatism. Typically, it is recommended for people younger than 40 with myopia from -1.00D to -10.0D. As well as the degree of short-sightedness, there are a couple of other factors we consider when recommending SMILE.
As with all of our laser eye procedures, all clients will receive an initial assessment to determine the type of laser eye surgery best suited to them. You can find out more about what to expect in our free laser vision correction assessment by clicking this link.
SMILE is particularly suitable for...
- Athletes and people who play high-contact sports like netball, rugby and the martial arts. This is because there’s an increased chance of eye trauma when coming into contact with another player.
- Those in careers like frequent travels, extreme sports, Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, where recovery should be quick and safe.
- People at risk of dry eye syndrome symptoms. Dry eye is a condition caused by a low quantity or quality of tear film – the substance that naturally lubricates and protects our eyes. There are various causes of dry eye and we will assess the potential impacts of this condition at your laser suitability assessment.
- Correction of large amounts of short sight.
How Does SMILE Work?
The cornea is made up of 5 layers. To correct focusing problems, only the middle layer (the stroma) has to be reshaped. The SMILE laser applies a series of little bubbles to create the base of the lenticule (in the lower part of the stroma) and then the top of the lenticule (in the upper part of the stroma). Finally, the laser allows for keyhole access, so the surgeon can gently remove the targeted piece of tissue using a delicate pair of forceps through a small 2mm to 3mm keyhole incision.
And that’s it- in one step the cornea has been reshaped to provide optimal visual results.
How Do We Know SMILE is Safe?
SMILE uses femtosecond laser technology, which has been proven in the field of laser eye surgery a million times over. So while SMILE is the latest technique, the technology is proven, safe and effective.
SMILE surgery has undergone a very extensive research programme during the development by Carl Zeiss Meditec. A large number of papers have been published in medical journals documenting SMILE’S safety, predictability and stability. In addition, research has been performed and results published showing that SMILE has less effect on corneal strength, corneal sensation and dry eyes compared to previous generations of laser eye surgery (Lasik and PRK).
Additionally, SMILE has received CE approval (the European equivalent of FDA approval in the USA). SMILE is currently performed in Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
How Can I Find Out If I am a Suitable Candidate For SMILE?
If you are looking for a permanent solution to find freedom in your vision, SMILE laser vision correction might be the answer! To find out if you are a suitable candidate for SMILE laser vision correction, book your Free laser surgery assessments at our clinic in Remuera.
You can book an assessment online or by phoning us on 0800 25 53 93.