Does SMILE Laser Eye Surgery hurt?

It might be surprising to hear that, in our experience, the worst part of Laser Eye Surgery always comes before the actual treatment.

After all, Laser Eye Surgery involves lasers… and our eyes. Pretty scary, right? But it is important to remember that Laser Eye Surgery is the most commonly performed elective surgery in the world. If your surgeon is qualified and experienced, there really is very little to worry about.

Yet, as with most big events in our lives – it is the anticipation of the event which can cause the most stress. The anxiety of sitting and waiting to speak in front of a crowd; the sleepless nights worrying about the first day at a new job. These feelings are similar to those that patients often experience in the run-up to surgery.

It might be comforting to hear, then, that thanks to the latest technology and innovations, Laser Eye Surgery is usually painless.

Laser Eye Surgery is never as bad as you are expecting

It’s ironic, really. We preoccupy ourselves with the negatives of an event so much that it develops into something much worse than expected.

Instead of just a fifteen-minute talk or a ten-minute surgery, it is easy to build Laser Eye Surgery up into a monster that follows you around for days or weeks on end, teasing and tormenting you until the day finally comes and your imagination is put to rest.

While it might seem strange to get a lecture on anxiety and anticipation from a Laser Eye Surgery clinic, we are pretty much experts at this point. From our clinic on Harley Street, London Vision Clinic has given countless people the joy of clear vision.

We are very used to seeing patients that have been scared to death by misinformation and anticipation – many of whom will end up not having the procedure out of fear. And yet, after just a few minutes of talking to an expert, arming themselves with the facts on Laser Eye Surgery, and recognising that a little bit of fear is okay, patients can go on to happily experience a pain-free and life-changing treatment.

A Speedy, Painless Procedure

We are right to be concerned about any procedures that involve our eyes – after all, they are an incredibly important part of our bodies and lives.

While some of this anxiety is rational and useful — a few nerves are necessary to keep us on our toes — most is unnecessary.  In some cases, it can even mean not going through with the procedure – sacrificing improved vision!

One of the most common fears around Laser Eye Surgery is of experiencing pain during the procedure. This is understandable, given the use of the word “laser” and the thought of any invasion of the eyes.

First and foremost, contrary to what you may have seen in the movies, not all lasers are hot and used for Jedi space battles. The laser used in Laser Eye Surgery is actually “cold”, meaning it works by electrically stimulating gases such as fluorine, chlorine, and argon, to create a pseudo molecule which, when ‘lasered’, produces light in the ultraviolet range.

Confusing, we know. But, as Laser Eye Surgery uses ‘cold’ lasers, this means you won’t see the laser, never mind feel it, smell it, hear it, or anything else.

The vast majority of our patients describe the sensation experienced during surgery as nothing more than a slight pressure on the eye. In many cases, even this feeling is largely omitted, thanks to the use of numbing eye drops.


Furthermore, patients undergoing the innovative ReLEx SMILE procedure typically report feeling nothing during the whole thing!

The fact is, at swifter than the time it takes to make a cup of tea, and with the surgeon speaking to you the whole way through, SMILE will be over before you know it.

Laser Eye Surgery is a big decision but shouldn’t be a scary prospect. Arm yourself with the facts, get your information from the experts, and allow yourself to revel in the freedom of clear and frameless vision.

If you would like to find out more about Laser Eye Surgery and see if you are suitable for treatment, Book a Consultation today. Alternatively, give us a call on  020 7224 1005.

Laser Eye Treatment Fees start from £5,900 for both eyes. Very complex treatments may cost more.

Interest-FREE finance available over THREE years, from £82 per month for both eyes, makes the best more flexible. Find out more.