Facts About Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE)

The eyes are among the most important parts of the body. Obviously, they are the ones responsible for helping people see things. However, not every person is born with a 20/20 vision. Likewise, some people will eventually have vision problems in due time. The good thing is that there are already plenty of solutions for each type of vision problem. As an overview, eye vision problems have been initially resolved with the use of eyeglasses followed by contact lenses. As time went by, experts have started performing surgical procedures to resolve vision problems. At the present moment, a new addition to the sophisticated and modern procedures for eye problems is the Small Incision Lenticule Extraction or SMILE.


It is a surgical procedure that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat mild myopia or near sightedness. The goal of the procedure is to reduce or remove the patient’s usage of eyeglasses and/or contact lenses. As for the procedure, as a differentiation from other eye surgeries, the certified ophthalmologist will not create any flaps in the eye. That is due to the fact that the doctor will just modify the eye cornea’s shape using a laser. According to some ophthalmologists who are certified to perform SMILE in Westcoast, there are certain guidelines to follow in order to qualify a patient for the procedure. Generally speaking, in order to qualify, patients should be at least 22 years old. They should also be diagnosed with minimal astigmatism and near sightedness ranging between -1 and -8 diopters. Likewise, their eye conditions or diagnoses should have no changes from the previous year. Meaning, their refractive error readings should have been stable for a year.

In addition, qualified candidates are the ones who have healthy eye corneas. Thus, there should be no abrasions present. Likewise, they should have no history of any types of eye infections and surgeries, as well as cataract and glaucoma. Similarly, they should also be generally healthy. Women who are pregnant, as well as those nursing their babies are also deferred from undergoing the SMILE procedure. Nevertheless, people who are qualified to undergo the above-mentioned procedure should also make sure that they understand that there are certain things that the procedure can and cannot do for them. In general, people who will undergo the procedure can perform daily tasks without using any eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, most of them will still need to wear such when reading and driving at night. Likewise, they should also know what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.

Before the SMILE procedure, qualified patients should expect that they will undergo certain initial examinations. The doctor will recheck their eyes, as well as measure their corneal surface. During the procedure, they should expect that the whole procedure will take about at least 15 minutes. They should also be aware that they will feel numbness once the eye drops are placed. On the other hand, after the procedure, patients should not drive, as well as strain and wet their eyes. Likewise, they should also make sure that they take some rest after the procedure.

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