People often associate the term smile with the field of orthodontia and not with the field of ophthalmology. But, if you have myopia or mild astigmatism, this term could mean something entirely different for you. SMILE, also referred to as Small-Incision Lenticule Extraction, is a surgical procedure that could reduce or eliminate your need for prescription glasses or contact lenses. Alternatively, SMILE is also known as Refractive Lenticule Extraction/RELEX.
How does SMILE eye surgery work?
SMILE is refractive eye surgery that helps reshape the eyes and makes it possible for the light to pass through eyeballs and focus on the retina. Unlike a LASIK surgery, it involves no flaps, and the eye specialists take the help of lasers to reshape the corneal layers while leaving the surface completely untouched. Excess tissue is suctioned away in case of SMILE surgeries.SMILE eye surgery also has an array of benefits for patients as it eliminates the need to move from one laser platform to another. It also poses no risks for traumatic flap displacement besides offering better biomechanical corneal stability. SMILE eye surgery also reduces postoperative dry eye symptoms as fewer corneal nerves are interrupted in this procedure.
Depending on a case to case basis, doctors advice any one of the following surgeries-
Open surgery -
In which doctors make significant cuts to see the field and make revisions
Laparoscopic surgery -
In which the cuts are smaller, but the surgical outcome is similar
SMILE recovered patients often opine that the recovery time is quick in case of SMILE eye surgery with a low rate of postoperative eye injuries. Thus, it won't be wrong to say that SMILE eye surgery is very effective and often delivers a perfect or 20/20 vision to people.
Is SMILE eye surgery right for you?
People with an active lifestyle or job are the ideal candidates for a SMILE eye surgery as per eye specialists. This is because a SMILE eye surgery doesn't require cutting the corneal flaps as needed in a LASIK surgery.
To have a SMILE eye surgery, you need to meet specific requirements. Here are some of them:
- It would be best if you were 22 years or older than that.
- It would be good to have a stable eye prescription that hasn't changed within the last year.
- You must have an eye prescription between -1 and -8 diopters.
- Your corneas need to be healthy.
- And lastly, you need to have realistic expectations about what SMILE can and cannot do for you.
Some people are not the ideal candidates for SMILE. They include people with:
- Unstable or changing refractive errors
- Excessive scarring
- Corneal abrasions or disease
- Advanced glaucoma
- A history of eye diseases or eye surgeries
- A history of eye infections
Your ophthalmologist can have a discussion with you about other conditions that may keep you from having a SMILE surgery.
Preparing for a SMILE eye Surgery
SMILE eye surgery is a precise procedure, and doctors like to ensure their patients are a good fit for undergoing this surgery. Hence, people who want to go under the knife must expect to go through a thorough eye examination. Before starting the SMILE eye surgery, an eye doctor undertakes a thorough investigation to check the vision and measure the size of the pupil and assess the thickness of the corneas. Eye specialists also suggest people discuss the available options with their doctors to make an informed choice about SMILE or another refractive surgery. It is also advisable to address the recovery procedure to be better prepared to care for their eyes while they are healing.
Recovering after SMILE eye surgery
SMILE eye surgery is usually over in minutes, and patients don't feel a thing. As the eyes are numb during the procedure, eye specialists often prescribe certain medications to soothe the eye nerves. People are also advised to take several precautionary measures after the surgery to protect their vision.
People who have undergone SMILE eye surgery are often advised to use eye drops to comb infections, reduce swelling, and ease the pain. People should also wear goggles while sleeping or while going in the shower.
Are you looking for expert SMILE eye surgeons?
Contact the eye experts at Centre for Sight today. We have one of the best teams of SMILE surgery experts on board with us, and we take pride in the fact that we are the first in India to perform a SMILE eye surgery. We have also performed the maximum number of SMILE eye surgeries in India, and our doctors use FDA approved technology while ensuring safe practices for testing and treatments. We leverage the best in class technology for a range of ocular diseases because we believe that every eye deserves the best.
Article: A brief discussion on SMILE eye surgery
Author: CFS Editorial Team | Sept 02 2020 | UPDATED 06:10 IST
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.