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. 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 (consider replacement this statement with the preceeding as patients often become fearful of medical terms like tissue, lenticule, cut, burn, etc.
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 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
One of the easiest ways to understand 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 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.
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 . 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.
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. SMILE surgery is just as effective at astigmatism or myopia treatments. Within the scope of nearsightedness, SMILE can treat a larger range of eligible candidates than many alternative methods.Learn more
If you are looking for Premium Cataract or LASIK or 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.
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Care Credit can be used for multiple vision applications, including LASIK!