SMILE is an acronym standing for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. It is a minimally invasive and innovative refractive surgery procedure and is a recent breakthrough in ophthalmology. SMILE utilizes the Carl Zeiss VisuMax femtosecond laser system to correct myopia and astigmatism. There are already over 1 million SMILE cases performed worldwide. Studies have reported very high patient satisfaction rate, and is a very high predictability and safety profile when compared with LASIK.
Advantages of SMILE
Femtosecond is 1,000 times faster than the Excimer laser. The entire procedure takes only about 5 minutes
No need to create corneal flap, inducing less eye trauma
No need to worry about displacement of corneal flap after surgery, even when doing strenuous exercise
Minimally invasive procedure with only a small incision (2-4mm)
The small incision minimizes surgical trauma to the corneal nerves, thus reduces postoperative dry eyes and minimizes the risk of infection
No vaporization of corneal tissue during the procedure
Very stable refractive outcome with high patient satisfaction
Process of SMILE
During SMILE, the femtosecond laser platform cuts a refractive lenticule within the cornea. The cut lenticule is then removed through a small incision at the corneal periphery. This changes the overall corneal curvature and thus achieves the refractive correction effect. SMILE is a ‘flapless’ procedure. When compared with LASIK where a corneal flap is created, the wound area in SMILE can be significantly reduced by more than 80%, resulting in a more desirable wound healing effect. SMILE is an odorless procedure when compared with LASIK since it does not involve vaporization of corneal tissue. Therefore, patients would have a more pleasant experience during SMILE.
Smart Tips of SMILE surgery
SMILE surgery is not suitable for correction of hyperopia, myopia more than 10 diopters, or astigmatism more than 4 diopters. In these cases, other treatment options such as LASIK could be considered. During your pre-operative assessment, our doctor will discuss with you the most suitable option based on your ocular condition, life style, budget and other factors