FAQ for SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction)

1After SMILE, will I obtain zero degree of myopia or astigmatism?

Many people think that zero vision or astigmatism will be achieved after vision correction, or even clearer vision than wearing glasses or contact lenses before surgery, but this is a wrong concept.

Successful criteria for vision correction: If the target set before treatment that vision range within +/- 75 degrees means successful, less than +/- 75 degrees would be a normal vision range.

According to reliable statistics, the success rate within 3 months after correction close to 100%; if over +/- 100 degree is noted after correction, enhancement treatment would be an option.

2Any fluctuation after SMILE?

Ophthalmologists suggest that it’s better to get SMILE done with at least 6 months of stable eyesight. Generally, a smaller incision is made during SMILE, the structure of cornea remains and with lower chances of getting fluctuation. Please consult your ophthalmologist as early as possible if you have a sudden visual change which might be caused by other issues.

3If I am a good candidate for SMILE, can I get the correction done immediately?

Our clinic suggests that since we need at least 2 days to conduct comprehensive eye examinations so that we can obtain correct data and design a customized vision correction plan for you, please make your appointment early.

  • Please stop wearing contact lens before eye checkup:
  • Soft contact lenses (excluding astigmatism): Stop wearing for at least one week
  • Soft contact lenses (including astigmatism): Stop wearing for at least two weeks
  • Rigid contact lenses: Stop wearing for at least one month
  • Corrective contact lenses: Stop wearing for at least three months
  • *after first eye check-up, pre-operation examination and visual correction could be conducted in the same following day.

4What are the differences between SMILE and LASIK?

SMILE is an advanced laser correction technology that improves the limitations of LASIK laser correction. For example, LASIK laser correction requires a corneal flap to correct vision, so the incision is larger than SMILE. There is only a small incision of 2-4mm needed to be made, without removing the corneal flap, and the incision area is reduced by nearly 80% than LASIK; therefore, lower the chances of getting dry eye, infection and corneal flap displacement. At the same time, recovery time is shortened

5Will it be painful during the process of SMILE?

Anesthetic eye drops are placed into your eye to numb the eyeball, so there is usually no pain experienced during the procedure. The surgery usually takes within 5 minutes for both eyes.

6How long does SMILE take?

Usually the procedure itself only takes about 3 minutes for each eye. However, we suggest that you to stay for 2-3 hours for pre-operative preparations and examinations.

7Compared to LASIK, SMILE is a relatively new technology. If the surgeons have adequate clinical experiences on SMILE?

SMILE has accumulated more than 2 million successful cases worldwide. It is an advanced technology from Zeiss in Germany. It was approved by the European Union in 2011 and approved by the US FDA in 2016. The clinical results of the FDA shown that SMILE is safe, stable and highly effective. Meanwhile, 88% of guests had naked eyesight above 1.0 at 6 months after surgery.

8Will I have an early presbyopia if I receive SMILE treatment?

Presbyopia happens when the crystalline lens become hardens and lack of elasticity at the age around 40-50. It is an unavoidable age-related condition and has nothing to do with SMILE.

9Who is not suitable for SMILE?

People who:

  • have Incomplete eyeball development or unstable eyesight
  • have thin Cornea, or severely nearsighted / farsighted
  • are suffered from dry eye
  • have history of glaucoma or retinal problems
  • have Infection on cornea, such as inflammation or previous trauma
  • have history of immune system disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • are pregnant
  • are in the needs of long-term steroid intake

10Is it a better idea to receive SMILE treatment in a hospital?

SMILE is a minimally invasive technology, which does not require general anesthesia. Only anesthetic eye drops are placed into your eye and you don’t need to stay after surgery. Our clinic is equipped with international level aseptic operation rooms with surgical instruments and advanced examination machines. The whole process is safe and reliable.

11Any risks do SMILE cause?

Risks come with all surgeries and they are relatively low with vision correction surgeries. The common risks are under-correction or over-correction, night vision worsens, dry eyes, etc. Complications come after vision correction surgeries are not common. Under rare circumstances, complications like corneal infection or bacterial infection might be happened.

12Why are there still many ophthalmologists wear glasses given that advanced and mature vision correction skills are developed nowadays?

According to a survey from Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in 2016, ophthalmologists were nearly 5 times more likely to receive vision correction than the general public. Many ophthalmologists chose to get rid of glasses by getting vision correction done.

13Can I still have other eye surgeries after SMILE if necessary?

Yes. SMILE only changes the curvature of your cornea and other parts of the eyes are not involved and will not be affected.

14What types of patients are needed to have SMILE Xtra or Cross-linking surgery?

SMILE Xtra is a type of corneal cross-linking surgery. It is suitable for patients: whose cornea is too thin, who has severe myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism or who is suspected of being at risk of keratoconus. Your surgeon will evaluate your conditions and decide if you need xtra cross-linking surgery before vision correction or not. Usually, riboflavin eye drops will be placed into your eyes and your eyes will be exposed to UVA light to strengthen your cornea. Cross-linking surgery can be simultaneously completed with SMILE.

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