The 3rd Generation of Laser Vision Correction - ZEISS SMILE is LASIK without a flap and PRK without pain

What is ZEISS SMILE Laser Surgery

ZEISS SMILE stands for small incision lenticule extraction. It is a laser-based operation that helps correct specific vision problems. There are several components to the technique that make it special. For starters, it is designed to be minimally invasive and creates a gentle and comfortable procedure, both during, and after, the procedure. ZEISS SMILE® Correction uses the latest in laser technology to gently create a thin- contact lens shaped piece of material, just beneath the surface of the eye, which is then removed through a tiny opening. While it does involve moving tissue and making an incision, it does so on a smaller scale than most alternative methods

The procedure is accomplished in one step by using a femtosecond laser. The precision of the laser allows the doctor to reshape your cornea, thus reducing your dependency on glasses and contact lenses and in less time than by other means. Because of this, the average procedure time for a ZEISS SMILE procedure is only 24 seconds. Because the procedure is flapless, your doctor is able to reduce any risks for a number of complications. It also allows a single technique to be applied to different sources of visual problems, to include the correction of myopia and astigmatism.

schedule Your FREE Consultation

Former Miss New Mexico Gets SMILE Laser Surgery

The Difference Between ZEISS SMILE and LASIK

One of the easiest ways to understand ZEISS SMILE laser vision correction is to compare it to LASIK. The latter has been a popular surgical method for decades, and many people have at least some familiarity with it. In essence, the two procedures take a very different approach to optical treatments. Modern LASIK uses an all-laser approach while creating a corneal flap. The flap is then lifted like a window, allowing your doctor to reshape the cornea with a second laser called and excimer, and finally once the laser has reshaped the cornea, they are able to lay the flap back down. It recognizes its original place, and starts to heal within just minutes. With a ZEISS SMILE procedure, that flap is never created. Instead, the rapidly pulsing light is applied beneath the first layer of the cornea, allowing your doctor to protect the bio-mechanics of the eye. The same stimulated light amplification is then used to make a small incision (approximately 4mm) in order to remove the piece of material from a small pocket. The end result is a reshaped cornea without a hinging flap, with a much smaller incision, and with less invasion overall.

No Corneal Flap

The lack of a flap is a pretty big deal. The substantially larger incision for LASIK (approximately 20mm) can be a source of inflammation, irritation, and poses the potential for complications that can occur after LASIK. By removing that step from the procedure, all of the negative side-effects attached to the methodology disappear. This doesn’t mean that this method is complete without side-effects, but the range of things that can go wrong is reduced by the simplified procedure.


The lack of a corneal flap also changes the nature of incision lenticule extraction as an option for vision problems. Ultimately, it forces this refractive surgery to be more specialized than LASIK. ZEISS SMILE is FDA approved to treat Myopia and Astigmatism and it treats problems within a range to a higher degree than LASIK can. This difference is ultimately what helps doctors and patients determine which method is the right one for each case. Rest assured your doctor will take all considerations into thought (lifestyle needs, occupational needs, and more) while recommending the best procedure for your individual outcome.

Choosing the Right procedure for You

Full Name Small Incision Lenticule Extraction Laser-Assisted
Refractive Lens
Ideal Age 18-42 18-42 21-42 21-42 43-60
Immediate Results Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Recovery Times Quick Quick Quick Up to 4 weeks Quick
No No Yes No No
Contraindications Farsightedness Active Lifestyle Shallow Anterior
- -
Treats Myopia (Nearsightedness) Yes Mild to Moderate Moderate to Severe Mild to Moderate Mild to Severe
Treats Hyperopia (Farsightedness) No Mild to Moderate No Mild to Moderate Mild to Severe
Treats Astigmatism Mild Mild to Moderate Mild to Moderate Mild to Moderate Mild to Severe
Option for Patients
with Keratoconus
No No Yes No Yes
More Information - - Protect Against UV
- Protect Against UV

*Please understand your eyes can take up to 4 weeks to completely heal.

Dr. Melendez operating on Lobo Louie

Zeiss SMILE Requires One Laser

Zeiss Logo

Zeiss Technology

Lenticule extraction uses advanced optical technology. The tools in question perform extremely fast pulses. This increases precision and control in the operation.

To put this in context, a femto-second is a quadrillionth of a second. That’s difficult to put in perspective, but here are a few attempts. Light is the fastest thing in the universe, yet it can only go about 30 centimeters between the pulses of this tool. In a full second, light can circle the globe 7 times. These exceedingly fast pulses allow the doctor to make incredibly minute adjustments to the operation. That’s a big part of how lenticule extraction is able to treat more advanced nearsightedness than other optical techniques.


Some corrective techniques can only treat a small range of underlying conditions. With lenticule extraction, doctors can treat a larger range of root issues, provided that nearsightedness is the ultimate problem. It is not limited to just myopia or astigmatism. It can treat combination issues and resolve them just as effectively. ZEISS SMILE surgery is just as effective at astigmatism or myopia treatments. Within the scope of nearsightedness, ZEISS SMILE can treat a larger range of eligible candidates than many alternative methods.

Learn more

Patient Financing

If you are looking for Premium Cataract or LASIK or ZEISS SMILE financing, Dr. Robert Melendez and the Juliette Eye Institute are thrilled to offer Alphaeon Credit! With Alphaeon Credit, you’ll find a wide array of monthly payment options to help you afford excellent vision.

The Alphaeon credit card allows you to move forward with scheduling your procedure without delay. Plus, with special financing options not available with other credit cards, you may find the Alphaeon Credit card is a better way to pay. There is no application or annual fee.

With the Aphaeon Credit Card, you can receive the care that Dr. Robert Melendez recommends with flexible payment options that for your lifestyle.

Apply today so you can enjoy the benefits of excellent vision!
CareCredit can be used for multiple vision applications, including LASIK!

Apply today so you can enjoy the benefits of excellent vision!

Care Credit can be used for multiple vision applications, including LASIK!

Vision Correction for All Ages


There’s now an option for people who are not candidates for LASIK but want clearer vision. RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange) replaces the natural lens of the eye with an intraocular lens, providing clear vision. By replacing the natural lens, you will never get cataracts!

learn more

Refractive Lens Exchange

There are a variety of refractive surgeries that can improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need for corrective eyewear. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is a vision correction procedure that is intended for people aged 40 or older. The purpose of the procedure is to reduce the need for glasses and contact lenses.

learn more


As we age the natural lens of the eye can become clouded and reduce the quality of your vision. Cataract surgery replaces the natural lens with an intraocular lens restoring clear vision. With many lens options now available, you can not only have clearer vision, but eliminate your need for glasses all together.

learn more

Accepted Insurances

Take the LASIK Self-Test

lasik self-test

Take the Cataract Self-Test

cataract self-test
Translate »
WARNING: Internet Explorer does not support modern web standards. This site may not function correctly on this browser and is best viewed on Chrome, Firefox or Edge browsers. Learn More.