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How Does SMILE Differ from LASIK?

Author: Dr. William Tullo
July 25, 2017

The technology used to perform laser eye surgery is constantly advancing, and there are quite a few procedures available to address the most common vision problems. SMILE laser eye surgery is one of those procedures, and it shares many similarities with LASIK, along with a few key differences. Both procedures are minimally invasive, and SMILE simply addresses vision problems with some slight changes in technique. Ahead, we'll review the basics of SMILE laser eye surgery, and how it compares to LASIK eye surgery.

What is SMILE laser eye surgery?

SMILE laser eye surgery is a medical procedure used to address common vision problems, and you will notice quite a few similarities between SMILE and LASIK eye surgery. Both procedures rely on a cool, gentle laser, combined with a computer-generated picture of the eye to deliver accurate results with minimal discomfort.

What is the day of SMILE surgery like?

Just like LASIK, SMILE laser eye surgery is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, which allows you to go home the same day of surgery. Anesthetic eye drops are applied to minimize discomfort during SMILE surgery, and the whole procedure takes between 15 and 20 minutes. It may be possible to have SMILE on both eyes in one sitting, and the estimated time is for both eyes rather than one.

It's important to arrange a ride home, and follow the surgeon's instructions for rest after SMILE surgery has been completed. The recovery period begins as soon as the procedure is complete, and after surgery patients receive protective eye-wear to help with healing.

What vision problems can SMILE address?

SMILE laser eye surgery is currently approved for the treatment of myopia. Other common vision problems, including presbyopia, hyperopia and astigmatism, may be addressed with other types of laser eye surgery.

Will I need to take time off from work after SMILE?

Every profession is different, so time taken off from work really depends on the profession in question. However, the minimal recovery of SMILE laser eye surgery may factor into how soon normal activities can be resumed, based on your surgeon's instructions.

What are the benefits of SMILE eye surgery?

The benefits of SMILE laser eye surgery start with the small incision required to perform the procedure. SMILE requires minimal changes to the cornea, which may also help to reduce recovery times. Due to the small incision required for SMILE, the risk of infection or healing complications may also be kept to a minimum.

SMILE laser eye surgery is an exciting addition to the world of laser eye surgery, and it shares many similarities with other proven procedures like LASIK eye surgery. Only your surgeon can recommend the right procedure for you, and arranging a free laser eye surgery evaluation at your local center is the best way to learn more about your laser eye surgery options.

The information on this site is meant to complement and not replace any advice or information from an eye care or health professional. This website is sponsored by Health Care Marketing Services, LLC, a marketing company under the common ownership of The LASIK Vision Institute, LLC and TLC Laser Eye Care Centers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.