Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) is a revolutionary laser vision correction surgery that can help significantly decrease your reliance on prescription eyewear. This LASIK alternative offers similar results to other forms of laser vision correction, but may come with fewer risks for issues such as dry eyes and, because it does not require the creation of a flap, eliminates the risk of flap complications.
Seeta Eye Center is pleased to offer this exciting laser vision correction option at our advanced refractive surgery center in Poughkeepsie. To learn more, please call us at 845-454-1025 and schedule your initial consultation today.
What Is SMILE?
SMILE is a minimally invasive, completely bladeless laser vision correction treatment. Developed more than a decade ago, SMILE has been available in the United States since 2017. Seeta Eye Center began offering the service in 2021 with the opening of our refractive surgery center.
SMILE is performed with the proprietary VisuMax femtosecond laser, allowing for a single-step procedure that does not rely on corneal ablation, as required for PRK, or the creation of a flap, as required for LASIK. This can help to improve comfort, reduce the risk of complications, and allow for a shorter recovery period in comparison to other laser vision correction options.
SMILE is suitable for the treatment of nearsightedness (myopia) and astigmatism and produces results very similar to those achieved through LASIK.
Who Is a Candidate for SMILE Lasik?
The best candidates for SMILE are people over the age of 21 with astigmatism or myopia who have grown tired of heavy reliance on prescription eyewear. Good candidates must be free of major eye diseases and disorders, and should be in generally good health without a compromised immune response.
To be a candidate for SMILE, you must have had stable vision for at least 12 months.
The best way to determine if SMILE is a good fit for your needs is through a one-on-one consultation at the Yorktown or Poughkeepsie office of Seeta Eye Center. Our board-certified ophthalmologists can thoroughly evaluate your candidacy and discuss all of your vision correction options to help ensure you are making the best decision for your needs.
What Is the Difference Between SMILE and Traditional Lasik?
SMILE and LASIK are both laser vision correction procedures that can help reduce your reliance on prescription eyewear. However, while they produce similar results, the procedures are very different.
During SMILE surgery, a femtosecond laser is used to create a small, lens-shaped incision in the cornea (lenticule). Through a small arc-shaped incision, the lenticule is removed, adjusting the shape of the cornea and allowing for clearer vision. The entire procedure is completed with the same laser.
During LASIK, a flap is created in the cornea through which an excimer laser can be used to reshape corneal tissue. The LASIK flap may be created with a laser or with a small hand-held instrument called a microkeratome.
SMILE surgery is gentler than LASIK and impacts fewer corneal nerves. Due to this, risks for dry eye syndrome are reduced. SMILE may also help to preserve corneal strength, reducing the risk of traumatic injury following surgery.
It is important to remember that SMILE can only be used to correct myopia and astigmatism. LASIK and PRK can also treat hyperopia (farsightedness) along with higher-order aberrations, enabling these two procedures to address issues such as diminished nighttime vision, which SMILE may make worse.
All of the laser vision correction options offered at our office can provide pleasing results, but none is suitable for every need. The best way to learn which is right for your needs is through a meeting with one of our experienced Hudson River Valley ophthalmologists.
How Is the Procedure Performed?
During SMILE, a proprietary femtosecond laser is used to create a small, lens-shaped disc of tissue called a lenticule on the surface of the cornea. The lenticule, once removed through a micro-incision, will alter the shape of the cornea permanently, allowing for better refraction of light and providing a near-instant correction of myopia and astigmatism.
The small incision required for SMILE will heal naturally, without stitches, and often in a little as one day. SMILE takes around 20 minutes to complete and is offered as an outpatient procedure at our Poughkeepsie eye surgery center.
Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn if it might be the right fit for your visual needs.
How Can I Prepare for the Procedure?
Preparing for SMILE requires almost nothing on your part. Wear comfortable clothing and arrange for a ride to and from our refractive surgery center on the day of your procedure. There is no need to fast in preparation, but we may suggest you stop using certain medications and supplements in the days leading up to surgery. We will help you plan accordingly to ensure your optimal comfort.
What Is Recovery from SMILE Like?
SMILE requires very little downtime. Most people can resume normal activities within just a few short days. You will need to avoid driving for 24 hours following SMILE vision correction and it is advisable to avoid things that can cause eye strain such as reading, watching TV, or using a computer or smartphone during the initial recovery phase as well. Allow yourself this time to unplug and relax, so your eyes can heal without interference.
Many patients report better vision within the first 24 hours, but it is important to continue to avoid strenuous exercise and to keep the eyes dry for a few days longer. We will monitor your progress and help you determine when it is safe to resume normal activities during your follow-up visits.
You will need to avoid wearing makeup for at least one week following surgery and we strongly advise avoiding areas with high concentrations of dust or smoke – including tobacco smoke – while you recover. We will provide you with specific instructions along with all necessary medications during your time in our care to help ensure the most pleasing and least invasive recovery possible.
Are You Ready to Learn More?
To learn more about SMILE, please call Seeta Eye Center at 845-454-1025 today. We serve patients living in the Hudson River Valley area, including Milton, Wappingers Falls, and Lagrangeville from our offices in Poughkeepsie and Yorktown.