Small Incision Lenticule Extraction is the second generation ReLEx Femtosecond lenticule extraction technology developed by Carl Zeiss. It is a laser refractive surgery procedure which treats astigmatism and correct myopia. In short, it is popularly termed SMILE. 

Millions of people around the world have issues with refractive errors. However, new technologies, beginning with LASIK, have been able to help these people live a higher quality of life. SMILE is an advanced version of laser procedures that became popular towards the end of the 90s. SMILE has more advantages than its minor discomforts. 

Advantages of small incision lenticule extraction

If you plan to undergo a SMILE procedure, you’ll get the following benefits.

  • The surgeon doesn’t create a Corneal flap, hence, there’s no worry of moving, shifting, dislocating or folding the flap.
  • Issues with dry eyes would be a bare minimum.
  • It is done in a sterile environment, without any hand touch, and has high precision.
  • It ensures the long-term stability of the cornea as the superficial layers of the cornea remain safe.
  • The whole process takes place in a single step, thereby reducing the complications.
  • The procedure takes less than 30 minutes.
  • The visual recovery time is also quick, with most patients getting 20/20 vision a day or two after the procedure.
  • Bladeless and painless procedure

SMILE places no restrictions on activities following the procedure. This could be going out, wearing makeup, playing sports, engaging in other physical activities, etc. 

Are you eligible for small incision lenticule extraction?

You need to meet certain conditions to undergo the SMILE surgery. 

  • Minimum age of 22 years old
  • Stable eyesight in the past one year
  • Healthy corneas and overall healthy eyes
  • Myopia should only be between – 1 & – 10, and astigmatism should be only till 3 Diopters.
  • Realistic expectations about the outcomes

SMILE isn’t suitable for you if

  • Your refractive error is unstable
  • Skin diseases or other diseases affect the healing
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Uncontrollable diabetes
  • History of eye diseases or surgeries
  • Advanced Glaucoma
  • Excessive scarring or keloid formation
  • Specific eye infections
  • Pregnant or nursing woman
Small incision lenticule extraction surgery procedure

The SMILE procedure uses a state-of-the-art VisuMax laser system that gives great visual acuity. The steps involved include

  1. Firstly, your surgeon will numb your eyes using anaesthetic eye drops for a painless experience.
  2. Secondly, the SMILE laser system focuses pulses on your cornea’s centre.
  3. The laser pulses create tiny bubbles, less than 1/100th the width of human hair. So, they create the outline for tissues that need to go.
  4. Finally, the laser creates a small connecting tunnel through which the surgeon pulls out the tissue. Hence, this causes a change in the cornea shape and helps in improving vision. 

The entire procedure is over in less than 30 minutes. Thus, SMILE has many advantages over other laser procedures in treating myopia and astigmatism.

If you’re seeking a higher quality of life free from myopia and astigmatism, kindly book your consultation or drop into our best eye hospital in Hyderabad. Our highly skilled team at Hyderabad’s best eye hospital is ready for you.