Is SMILE Permanent? - Frantz EyeCare

Is SMILE Permanent?

If you’ve been considering having a vision correction procedure to enhance your eyesight, SMILE may be an excellent option for you. SMILE can provide results just as impressive as LASIK with even less recovery time! 

Keep reading to learn more about SMILE and if it is permanent!

What Is SMILE?

SMILE is a clever acronym for small incision lens extraction. This describes precisely what happens during the surgery. 

The goal of the procedure is to change the shape of your cornea. Changing your cornea’s shape will alter how light interacts with your eye, allowing you to experience clear vision.

Using an incredibly precise, computer-guided laser, your SMILE surgeon creates an opening in the cornea. This opening is tiny. 

Using the same laser, your SMILE surgeon will create a flat disk in the corneal tissue the size of a contact lens. This piece of tissue is gently removed, altering the shape of your cornea. 

Once your eye has a chance to heal, your vision will be improved. 

How Does SMILE Compare To LASIK?

SMILE and LASIK share a lot of similarities. Both surgeries correct vision by changing your corneal shape. 

Both surgeries are short and have fast recovery times. They both use similar technology that makes them safe. 

However, there are some critical differences. While both SMILE and LASIK are easy to recover from, the SMILE procedure is even less invasive than LASIK. 

The opening created in your cornea during SMILE is significantly smaller than the one needed during LASIK. Not only does this make your recovery faster and easier, but you will also likely experience fewer symptoms. 

Since there is more alteration of the cornea during LASIK, those who choose LASIK may experience dry eye symptoms after the procedure. The SMILE procedure requires less corneal alteration.

Due to this, there is a greater chance that you will avoid dry eye symptoms. SMILE only treats nearsightedness, with or without astigmatism. 

So your eye doctor may recommend an alternative permanent vision correction procedure, like LASIK, if you are farsighted. 

What Happens During SMILE Recovery?

You will need to rest after SMILE surgery. Your eye surgeon will want you to have someone drive you home after the procedure. 

You will need to wait to drive until your eye doctor clears you. A few days after the procedure, you will be able to start doing light activities. 

It’s best to plan some entertainment ahead of time, like reading, watching TV, and using your computer. After a week, you should be mostly back to normal. 

Eventually, your eye doctor will clear you to more active tasks like playing sports and swimming, but only once your eyes completely heal. Within two weeks, you’ll likely notice the full potential of your new vision!

Will SMILE Last A Lifetime?

Refractive procedures like SMILE can correct your vision permanently. Although you will be able to experience the life-changing vision benefits of SMILE for a lifetime, the procedure will not prevent other eye conditions that may alter your vision.

For this reason, it’s best to keep up with your eye doctor by scheduling annual routine eye exams. At these visits, your eye doctor can ensure you are still seeing your best.

Do you want to learn more about SMILE? Schedule an appointment at Frantz EyeCare in Fort Myers, FL, today!


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9617 Gulf Research Lane,
Fort Myers, FL 33912
PH: (239) 418-0999
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Cape Coral, FL 33904
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2500 Goodlette-Frank Rd
Naples, FL 34103
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Lehigh Acres, FL 33971
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Punta Gorda, FL 33950
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1201 Piper Blvd., #22
Naples FL 34110
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7075 Radio Rd
Naples FL 34104
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