What Is SMILE Laser Eye Surgery?

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Nearly everyone has heard of laser eye surgery. But did you know that there are refractive procedures other than LASIK? One technique is called small incision lenticule extraction, or SMILE eye surgery. The goal is to help patients reduce their dependency on visual aids, like contact lenses and glasses, by correcting common issues like myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism.

So what is SMILE laser eye surgery, and does SMILE laser eye surgery hurt? Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center is proud to offer the latest advances in vision correction. Not only that, but Dr. Young H. Choi is the only board-certified ophthalmologist to offer this procedure in the state of Alabama. When you visit our office, we can offer resources and education about this minimally invasive procedure.

What is SMILE laser eye surgery?

A refractive error occurs when light does not hit the retina of the eye at the right angle. This is what leads to blurry vision, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. Based on the degree of error, your eye doctor may recommend one of several kinds of laser surgeries to restore your vision. So what is SMILE laser eye surgery, and what does it do?

SMILE is a specialized procedure that uses Zeiss VisuMax® femtosecond technology. With high-precision lasers, SMILE improves refractive errors by reshaping the cornea. While LASIK creates a flap in the cornea to complete surgery, SMILE does not require a flap. This reduces some of the most common risks associated with laser vision correction.

Ideal candidates for SMILE laser eye surgery

Understanding the benefits and limitations of SMILE laser eye surgery helps patients prepare for their upcoming procedures. During your initial meeting, make sure that Dr. Choi is aware of any eye-related problems. This is the first step in determining whether you are a candidate for SMILE. Ideal candidates should not have experienced any changes in their prescription or visual acuity in the last year. SMILE may not be viable if you have certain eye conditions, such as severe astigmatism.

Does SMILE laser eye surgery hurt?

Many people feel anxious before an eye procedure. This is why many of our patients in Birmingham, AL, ask – does SMILE laser eye surgery hurt? The great news is that SMILE offers optimal precision and allows for shorter treatment time when compared with LASIK. The professionals at Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center will numb your eye and make sure it remains stable with special tools. Patients will not feel any pain, while the VisuMax laser is used to complete the procedure.

What to expect after SMILE laser eye surgery

Dr. Choi or a member of our team will let you know what to expect after SMILE laser eye surgery. While recovery may involve some discomfort, the eye should heal in just a few days. Patients should arrange for a close friend or relative to drive them home since their vision will be blurry for about 24 hours. We recommend taking a long nap, so your eyes can relax and adjust. Our office may schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress.

Correct your vision with SMILE

Although SMILE is not well-known among patients, it is quickly becoming a popular option for people with certain eye conditions. Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center is excited to offer the Zeiss VisuMax femtosecond laser to our local patients. If you hope to correct refractive errors and vastly improve your vision, ask about this minimally-invasive option in the Birmingham, AL area. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Young H. Choi can let you know whether this state-of-the-art procedure is right for you.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.