Laser eye surgery is a popular procedure to correct vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The most common type of laser eye surgery is called LASIK.
However, LASIK isn’t the best choice for everyone. SMILE is another type of refractive surgery that can allow you to experience greater visual freedom.
Keep reading to learn what happens during SMILE!
What is SMILE Eye Surgery?
SMILE is an FDA-approved procedure that restores vision for people with nearsightedness. It works similarly to LASIK. as it can restore sight by reshaping the cornea.
The cornea is the window to the eye and helps to focus light as it enters the eye. As the light passes through the lens, which further adjusts the focus, it should fall directly onto the retina.
However, people with refractive errors have corneas that are too steep or too flat or eyes that are too short or too long, causing the light to land in front of or behind the retina. Refractive surgery can alter the shape of the cornea to help the light land directly on the retina and provide clear vision.
What Happens During the SMILE procedure?
Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, often called SMILE, is a procedure that changes the shape of your cornea to allow you to experience greater visual freedom. The SMILE procedure is a laser eye surgery that corrects vision problems without making a flap in the cornea as LASIK does.
First, numbing eye drops are applied to the eye to prevent discomfort. Next, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a thin disc-shaped lenticule within the cornea.
The lenticule contains the corneal tissue that needs to be removed to correct vision. Using precision instruments, your SMILE surgeon then makes a small incision and removes the lenticule through this keyhole opening.
The cornea then heals naturally over time. SMILE is less invasive than LASIK and provides good visual outcomes.
What Is Recovery Like After the SMILE Procedure?
Recovery from SMILE is typically fast and easy. Immediately following the procedure, you will need to get some rest at home.
Make sure you set up a ride after your surgery because you won’t be able to drive yourself home. You should be able to do light activities such as reading, using the computer, and watching TV within a day or two.
Just be sure to take breaks from screens regularly, as too much screen time can dry out your eyes. After a week, most people can return to many of their normal activities once cleared by their eye doctor.
It is normal for your eyesight to be a little blurry for a few weeks after surgery as your eyes adjust.
Who Is a Good Candidate for SMILE?
The only way to know for sure if SMILE is right for you is to set up a screening. Good SMILE candidates have healthy eyes without irregular corneas.
Patients with thin corneas are often better candidates for SMILE than LASIK. Your ophthalmologist will determine if you meet the criteria during a comprehensive eye exam and evaluation.
Are you ready to learn if you might be a good candidate for SMILE? Schedule an appointment at Frantz Eye Care in Fort Myers, FL, today!