You might be considering to get in touch with LASIK surgeon in Orange County to correct your nearsightedness and have LASIK surgery on your mind. However, you are spoiled for choice, since besides LASIK, you may have the option of a new laser procedure called SMILE.  

SMILE gained FDA approval for use in the United States in September 2016, and here are the essentials about SMILE laser eye surgery from LASIK in Orange County.

What Is SMILE Laser Surgery? 

The word ‘SMILE’ is an acronym for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, which is a lot to say in one go and not so easy to retain in our lexicon. SMILE laser eye surgery is performed by the lasik surgeon in Orange County using a VisuMax femtosecond laser. 

During a Smile procedure, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a small, lens-shaped piece of tissue, referred to as the lenticule within the cornea. Afterward, with the same laser, a small arc-shaped incision is made on the surface of the cornea, and the surgeon extracts the lenticule through this incision and disposes of it. 

A lasik surgeon in Orange County explains that when the small lenticule is removed, the shape of the cornea changes, correcting nearsightedness. The incision created in the cornea heals within a few days without stitches, and sharper vision happens very rapidly.  

SMILE laser eye surgery can correct up to -10.00 diopters (D) of nearsightedness. To qualify for SMILE eye laser surgery, candidates must be at least 22 years old, have no more than -0.50 D of astigmatism, and their eyeglass prescription must be stable for at least 12 months.

When Is LASIK A Good Option?

For your eye surgeon to consider you as a good candidate for LASIK, a patient has to have enough corneal thickness. The reason for this is because a flap is created during the procedure. Therefore, a certain corneal thickness is needed and those with thin or irregular corneas cannot receive LASIK eye surgery. When an optometrist diagnoses a patient with thin or irregular corneas are usually better candidates for SMILE or PRK. 

If a patient is prone to chronic dry eye symptoms, SMILE may be a better option. LASIK is notorious for having a higher risk for postoperative dry eye symptoms and can increase a patient’s previously chronic dry eye condition. 

The Advantages Of SMILE

Studies have revealed that SMILE produces basically the same visual acuity as LASIK for the correction of nearsightedness, without the lasik surgeon Orange County having to create a LASIK style corneal flap. 

A study with 328 participants who went through the SMILE procedure, had uncorrected visual acuity  (UCVA) of 20/40 or better after surgery except one of them, and eighty-eight percent had UCVA of 20/20 or better.

Additionally, there is evidence of less risk of dry eye symptoms after SMILE, compared with LASIK. There may be a couple of reasons for this, such as SMILE takes place within the cornea without a large corneal flap, less corneal nerves are impacted by the procedure. 

The tiny SMILE incision may also help the cornea have more biomechanical stability after SMILE, in contrast to its ability to keep its shape, particularly following trauma after LASIK. 

Ultimately, if you have a high degree of nearsightedness, with LASIK there is a higher risk of requiring an enhancement procedure to obtain the clarity of vision a patient wants without glasses. There seems to be less risk of requiring another procedure after SMILE for correction of severe amounts of myopia, most likely since less dehydration of the cornea happens during the SMILE procedure. 

What To Expect From A SMILE Procedure?  

At the moment, SMILE laser eye surgery is the most advanced FDA approved laser vision correction procedure. Here is what to expect from a SMILE procedure. 

It Is A One-Step Laser Procedure

The key difference between SMILE and its predecessors is that it is a one laser procedure. PRK and LASIK utilize an excimer laser, but that is not the case in a SMILE procedure. Instead, your eye surgeon will use a femtosecond laser to cut a very small incision in the cornea and use it to remove a tiny piece of corneal tissue, the lenticule. 

It Is Less Invasive Surgery

SMILE is a far less invasive laser eye surgery procedure than LASIK. During a LASIK procedure, your eye surgeon creates a flap that is 20mm in circumference. A PRK procedure creates an 8mm diameter surface removal. Nevertheless, a SMILE procedure only creates a 3mm corneal key-hole incision. This provides a more corneal stability post-surgery and less disruption to the corneal nerves during surgery.  

It Is Quiet, Odorless, And Blade-Free

During a LASIK and PRK procedure, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea. While the eye surgeon is carrying on with the procedure, you will hear a clicking sound that creates an apparent odor. Because the excimer laser isn’t used in a SMILE procedure, it is quiet and odorless. 

There Are No Flap-Related Complications

As a result of the surgeon not having to create a flap in a SMILE procedure like LASIK, there is no risk of flap-related complications after surgery. 

There Is Safe, Accurate, And Fast Visual Recovery

Clinical trials that were carried out on SMILE revealed that it is just as safe and accurate as LASIK in Orange County. 

What Are The Disadvantages Of Smile? 

Although SMILE has a lot of benefits, there is one downside to this procedure. That disadvantage is that it is not yet available to treat farsightedness or astigmatism. Therefore, if you have nearsightedness, and your eye surgeon feels that it is the best option for you, then SMILE is for you!

Plus, visual recovery takes a little bit longer than LASIK. After a LASIK procedure, a patient can experience immediate visual recovery, whereas SMILE’s visual recovery can take about one to two days. 

If you want to learn more about a SMILE eye laser procedure and want a solution for your nearsightedness, contact Excel Laser Vision Institute a call at +1-866-923-9235 today.