You’ve likely heard of LASIK as the go-to procedure in order to correct your vision and reduce your dependence on glasses and contacts. However, there are always new procedures and options being developed to make the dream of clear sight easier and faster to achieve. That advancement is finally here, with SMILE!
Small Incision Lenticule Extraction or SMILE is the latest generation of laser vision correction surgery that corrects for nearsightedness and astigmatism. Approved in 2016 by the FDA and performed globally since 2007. SMILE uses a single femtosecond laser to excise a small piece of tissue from an inner layer of the cornea (called the lenticule). A small incision is made at the edge of the cornea through which the surgeon can remove the lenticule and modify the shape of the cornea, correcting for the visual error. Recovery time is extremely quick and visual results are on par with LASIK.
Of the big three laser refractive procedures, it the least invasive. While LASIK requires a 20mm incision in order to form a flap, SMILE requires a 3mm keyhole incision. In addition, because there is no flap, there are no associated complications that could arise with creating a flap, meaning you can return to more intensive physical activities sooner.