What you need to know about preparation, surgery and recovery
"How Does SMILE Laser Vision Correction Work?"
To correct the patient’s vision, instead of creating a corneal flap, SMILE laser eye surgery requires only a small incision to reshape the cornea. The cornea is made up of 5 layers and to correct focusing problems, only the middle layer has to be reshaped. The SMILE laser applies a plane of little air bubbles to create the base of the lenticule (in the lower part of the stroma/middle layer) 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. And that’s it – in one step the cornea has been reshaped to provide optimal visual results!
Most of our patients can’t believe how quick the whole procedure is, as the laser proportion of the procedure is all over in 25 seconds!
"Does the Procedure Hurt?"
One of the most common concerns patients’ have prior to the surgery is their fear of experiencing any pain during the treatment, most likely derived from the presence of ‘laser’ in the name (which doesn’t help). However, since the procedure is performed using a topical anaesthetic, the surgery is completely painless.
After the numbing eye drops have been applied, the anaesthetic will be in full effect, making the surface of the eye numb. During the procedure patients report that they do not experience any pain, although it is often described as a “weird” experience. The actual time the laser is treating the eyes is usually over before you know it. Therefore, any feeling of discomfort will be minimal and very brief. To treat both eyes the entire procedure from putting the drops to leaving the laser suite is 15-25 minutes.
In summary, during the SMILE laser vision correction procedure, the patient will not see, feel, smell or hear the SMILE laser.
"How Long Until I Can Return to Normal Activities After SMILE?"
Since the incision on the cornea is 2.3mm – the size of the tip of a pencil, the cornea heals completely within 24 hours. This means you can return to most normal activities, including driving the next day and be back to work 48 hours after SMILE laser surgery. We recommend that you wait a week before swimming or playing any sports after the surgery. Although everyone is different, recovery for SMILE is rapid and most people will be feeling great the very next day.
"Does Recovery Hurt?"
It is normal to expect some degree of discomfort after the surgery. For 3 or 4 hours after the surgery, most people’s eyes will feel a bit scratchy, dry or uncomfortable.
Shortly after the surgery, don’t be alarmed if you experience some haziness or blurry vision, as this is often a common occurrence with patients immediately after the surgery for a few hours. To ease this slight discomfort and help the cornea heal, your surgeon will give you some medicated drops and lubricants.
Not only does this SMILE technology produce excellent visual results with minimal pain during the recovery period, but also the keyhole technique means there is minimal interference with corneal nerves, so recovery is rapid.
"Since SMILE is the latest generation of laser eye surgery technology, is it just as safe and proven as Lasik and PRK?"
SMILE surgery uses a Femtosecond laser to correct vision. This laser is cold and works by electrically stimulating fluorine, chlorine, and argon gases to create a pseudo molecule, which when ‘layered’, produces light in the ultraviolet range.
Although SMILE is the latest technique, this femtosecond laser technology has been proven in the field of laser eye surgery a million times over and is proven, safe and effective. Femtosecond lasers have been used to perform LASIK eye surgery since 2001 and complications are incredibly rare. Furthermore, surgeons around the world have embraced SMILE as an effective laser eye surgery procedure.
Book Your Free Initial Assessment
Living with poor vision should not be a viable option. If you are ready to correct your vision, but you still have reservations about SMILE laser vision correction and want to find out more, we highly recommend you come in and have a chat with our laser specialist team.
To find if you are a suitable candidate for SMILE and to discuss any other concerns you may have, book your FREE initial consultation (worth $500) by calling 0800 63 93 93.