MLC is the only laser center in the Northeast to offer the SMILE procedure and the 1st to have performed the procedure on the entire East Coast!
What is SMILE?
SMILE, also known as Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, is a vision correction procedure to improve nearsightedness. This procedure can also be called ReLEx, Refractive Lenticule Extraction. Only performed at a few laser eye surgery clinics across the United States, this is one of the newest and most recent vision correction procedures. Only one laser is required to perform this procedure and that is called the Zeiss VisuMax femtosecond laser. The laser will create a lenticle, which is a disc shaped tissue, inside the cornea. The lenticle will be extracted through a minuscule incision of less than 4 mm.
The procedure takes about 10 minutes per eye. Taking only 35 seconds to create the lenticule, it provides more convenience for the patient and surgeon. Anesthetic eye drops are given to the patient to provide comfort. The patient will follow directions of the surgeon and focus on the light. The lenticle will then be removed from one small incision. Removing the lenticle will change the way light comes into the eye, allowing you to see clearly again. The incision heels on its own. With only a fraction of the time under the laser, you will receive a post check up by your surgeon, and often free to go.
Advantages of this procedure include a quick recovery due to the fact that it is not being performed with the flap. Since there is no flap being used the procedure minimizes the risk of any flap related complications such as flap dislodging or moving. Most patients will need three days of recovery before operating a car or using a computer.
- Step 1: Creation of the Lenticule – a miniscule lenticule, which is a disc of disuse, is created inside the cornea
- Step 2: Lenticule removal – The lenticule is removed through a small opening
- Step 3: Vision correction – By removing the lenticule, the corneas shape is changed, therefore correcting the vision
Who is a candidate?
- Aged 22 or older
- No change in your prescription within the last 12 months
- Myopia ranging from -1.50D to -10.00D with no more than -0.50D of astigmatism
- No previous eye surgery
- Not pregnant
- General health is good and no history of eye diseases
1. Who should consider SMILE?
Patients that are 22 year old and above with moderate to high level nearsightedness.
2. What are the benefits of not having a “flap”?
The structural integrity of the cornea is maintained making it superior against traumatic injury. The risk of flap dislocation are eliminated. SMILE is performed with the VisuMax femtosecond laser, which is one of the most accurate lasers in the industry.
3. What is the recovery period like for SMILE?
Shorter recovery period than LASIK. No need for goggles at night during the healing process
and less limitations as far as activities go compared to LASIK.
4. Is SMILE painful?
No SMILE is not painful. During the procedure there may minimal discomfort, such as light pressure on the eyes.
5. What are the risks of SMILE?
A. SMILE is a safe procedure, therefore complications have been rare. Yet some risks include epithelial abrasions and small tears in the incision.