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SMILE eye surgery is a cost-effective laser-based surgery that corrects lens issues such as myopia or nearsightedness. The SMILE Relex eye surgery is similar in purpose to LASIK surgery, however, there are key differences that separate the two procedures. 

What Is SMILE Eye Surgery? 

SMILE or Small Incision Lenticule Extraction eye surgery is an alternative to LASIK eye surgery to permanently correct nearsightedness and other lens issues. The SMILE eye surgery reshapes the cornea through small incisions made with the laser while also removing a part of the lens. 

SMILE eye surgery's pros and cons list is quite long and varied as the procedure has strict eligibility criteria, meaning that not everyone is able to undergo this procedure. The eligibility criteria are also to reduce the risk of SMILE eye surgery side effects. 

Who Can Have Relex SMILE Eye Surgery? 

SMILE Relex eye surgery is a great treatment choice for those suffering from myopia and astigmatism. The ideal candidate for the SMILE eye surgery is someone who:

  • Is over the age of 18 and has stable power for the eye for at least a year
  • Has a diopter reading between 0.50 to -10.00 for myopia
  • Has a diopter reading between +/- 0.50 to +/-6.00

The procedure can be performed earlier in cases where the eye power is stable for a year and the reason for the procedure is a career in police, navy, or army. 

Laser SMILE Eye Surgery Treatment Duration  

SMILE eye surgery is a laser-assisted procedure, and as such, is performed quite quickly. The procedure takes roughly 20 to 30 minutes. 

SMILE Eye Surgery Side Effects & Risks 

SMILE eye surgery is a quick and effective method of treating myopia and astigmatism. However, it has certain side effects associated with it such as:

  • Inflammation around the incisions
  • Infection
  • Debris around the incision and corneal removal site
  • Glare and Halos which are especially prominent at night
  • Blurry or hazy vision
  • Double vision
  • Dry eyes

Taking certain precautions after SMILE eye surgery such as not wearing makeup, avoiding dusty areas, and reducing screen time can help reduce the risk of these side effects.

SMILE Eye Surgery Recovery Time

Recovery time after SMILE eye surgery is way less than other surface laser procedures such as LASIK. In fact, when deciding between SMILE eye surgery vs LASIK, the SMLE eye surgery’s recovery time is one of the major pros in favor of the procedure. 

The low SMILE eye surgery cost is another factor in favor of the procedure. Also, a few days after the SMILE eye surgery, you can resume your daily life activities and even go back to work. The recovery is just that quick.

Laser Eye Surgery Success Rate

The SMILE eye surgery reviews are mostly positive and the procedure has a success rate of 99%. The high success rate of the procedure is mostly due to the fast recovery, reduced side effects, and overall, higher corneal stability after the procedure. 

SMILE Eye Procedure Alternative Treatments

The alternative to the SMILE eye procedure is:

  • LASIK 
  • LASer Epithelial Keratomileusis procedure.
  • LASEK works on treating astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. The procedure involves a 360-degree circular flap incision. 

The epithelium is detached, washed with diluted alcohol, and then folded during the LASEK procedure. Moreover, the incision is made into the anterior cornea, which happens to be the strongest part of the cornea. This is one of the reasons why LASEK-operated corneas are much less stable than SMILE-operated corneas. 

How Is The Procedure Performed?

The SMILE eye surgery procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure and takes about 20 to 30 minutes, in total. It is a laser-assisted procedure that focuses on reshaping the cornea to correct myopia and astigmatism. 

What Does SMILE Eye Surgery Involve?

The SMILE eye surgery involves four small 60-degree incisions made with a femtosecond laser. These incisions are through which a small part of the lens or lenticule is extracted. The extraction of the lens is what reshapes the cornea and hence, corrects the focusing or refractive errors. 

Once the procedure is complete, you will be able to go home the same day and resume your daily life the day after. 

What Should I Expect After SMILE Eye Treatment?

SMILE eye surgery has a very high patient satisfaction and success rate, 97 % and 99%, respectively. You will be able to notice the results of the procedure almost immediately. Your refractive errors of vision will be corrected and within a couple of days, you will be back to work. 

Things You Should Avoid Before SMILE Eye Surgery

  • Avoid wearing makeup or perfume on the day of the procedure. The chemicals can react with the medications and increase your risk of side effects. 
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses as that will allow your cornea to return to its natural shape. It's best to stop wearing lenses after the consultation phase, till the surgery. 

FAQ

How long does a SMILE eye last?

The results from SMILE eye surgery are permanent, and there have been almost no cases of patients requiring retreatment after a SMILE reLEx eye surgery.

Is smile eye surgery permanent?

Yes, SMILE eye surgery is a permanent solution to nearsightedness.

How is SMILE different from LASIK?

The key difference between SMILE and LASIK is the size of the incision made. While SMILE makes four different small, 60-degree incisions, LASIK creates a 360-degree circular flap-type incision. The purpose of the surgery is the same. 

Is SMILE more effective than LASIK?

When considering SMILE eye surgery vs LASIK, SMILE is believed to be more effective simply because it provides more biomechanical stability than the latter procedure. However, SMILE is a relatively new procedure and its long-term effects are not yet understood. 

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