Can SMILE Eye Surgery Treat short-sightedness?

Advice from years ago or treatments that are long past their heyday are simply not good enough. 

When it comes to our health, we’re better off with only the newest, shiniest, and most cutting-edge solutions.

At least that’s what all the marketing tells us.

The thing is, when it comes to correcting your vision, this statement is actually true — at least for some people.

What I’m talking about is Small Incision Lenticule Extraction surgery, commonly known as SMILE. This procedure, through a revolutionary, non-invasive laser, can treat patients with moderate and high short-sightedness, thinner corneas, and greater contact lens intolerance than ever before possible.

In this way, it opens up Laser Eye Surgery to a whole new group of people who previously were told to try ICLs or stick it out with glasses. 

What SMILE Can Do

The pioneer behind the procedure, Professor Dan Reinstein, helped to develop the latest generation of Laser Eye Surgery, SMILE, with emerging technology in order to eliminate a two laser system and create a quicker and less invasive treatment. The result is a key-hole procedure that, as it’s faster to perform than traditional LASIK, offers a much more comfortable experience for the patient. 

Using the only laser able to deliver the required accuracy, the Carl Zeiss Meditec VisuMax femtosecond laser, SMILE is performed within the stromal tissue (the inner portion of the cornea) via a microscopic incision. This innovative SMILE procedure only requires a tiny keyhole incision to be made into the surface of the cornea to remove the targeted corneal tissue. This is opposed to, as in LASIK, creating a larger circular flap in the cornea, extracting the tissue, and then folding it back into position. The difference is that the incision made in SMILE treatment is four times smaller and therefore allows the eye to start healing itself almost immediately after the surgery.

Without the flap incision, SMILE is also believed to carry a lower risk of post-surgical complications, as the epithelium (the surface skin of the cornea) has fewer cells to regrow. This is proving true over and over again as patients experience very little irritation and discomfort.

As much as 80 percent of patients that have had SMILE report seeing an immediate improvement in their vision. With 100 percent reaching perfect vision within a few short days.

Whereas SMILE is not currently suitable for patients with longsighted prescriptions, as mentioned, it can offer an option for candidates that have been told that they do not qualify for treatments such as PRK and LASIK. This also includes those that have higher myopic prescriptions that are not typically treated by high street or even many private clinics.

Despite its current shortfalls, as time passes and research deepens, great things are expected from this new development in Laser Eye Surgery. Currently, SMILE is the fastest growing eye surgery method and is receiving more and better reviews from both doctors and patients. There have been over 1.2 million procedures peformed to date since 2012.

Longsighted and unsure which treatments you could be eligible for? Contact one of our friendly clinic coordinators today and find out what Laser Eye Surgery could do for you.