Not a Candidate for LASIK? Then SMILE!
- Posted on: Sep 15 2019
LASIK has been one of the most well-known vision-correcting procedures in recent history. When people get tired of wearing prescription lenses, they often say “I think I’m ready for LASIK.” Imagine reaching this point only to find out that you are not a great candidate for this laser vision correction technique! This can feel like bad news. That is until you learn there is an alternative. At Roholt Vision Institute, that alternative may be SMILE.
SMILE Vision Correction
SMILE is an acronym for Small-Incision Lenticular Extraction. This short office procedure is similar to LASIK in that it is performed with a femtosecond laser device (one that delivers ultra-short pulses of laser light). During SMILE, the femtosecond laser creates a disc-shaped piece out of corneal tissue. This is called a lenticule. The lenticule is then removed through a small incision. The removal of the lenticule alters the shape of the cornea.
In LASIK, the cornea is reshaped using the laser after a flap has been created and lifted out of the way. By comparison, SMILE may take fewer steps to achieve a similarly advantageous outcome. Looking at SMILE, we see that:
- Fewer nerves near the surface of the eye are disrupted, which can reduce the chances of post-procedural problems like dry eye.
- There is no flap so there can be no flap-related complications.
- Some studies suggest that corneal strength may be better preserved with SMILE than LASIK.
The SMILE Procedure
Small-Incision Lenticular Extraction is performed under local anesthesia that numbs the eye. A special contact lens may be applied to maintain the alignment of the eye, preventing movement during the procedure. The laser treatment is then applied to the eye for less than a minute before the contact is removed and the lenticule is extracted through its small incision. Each eye takes only about 5 minutes to treat. After the procedure, vision gradually improves over a few days. Most patients return to work and most normal activities within one week.
With a safe and effective alternative to LASIK, more people have good reason to smile. Learn more about this vision correcting procedure in a consultation visit at our Canfield, Alliance, or North Canton office.
Posted in: Smile Vision Correction