6 REASONS TO CHOOSE SMILE LASER SURGERY
If you're nearsighted, one of the latest developments in laser eye surgery may give you reason to smile. SMILE is a new form of laser surgery approved for use in the U.S. in September 2016. Truly cutting edge, it is even less minimally invasive than the well-known LASIK laser surgery. And with a memorable (and even cute) acronym, SMILE — SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction — is a procedure that's sure to catch on quickly once it becomes more widely-available in the U.S.
Like LASIK, SMILE uses a computer-guided, highly focused laser beam — no metal blades or needles are involved. And similar to LASIK, patients who undergo SMILE need only numbing eye drops prior to the procedure.
At Hodges Eyecare and Surgical Center, SMILE laser surgery is an option for those who want vision correction for myopia (nearsightedness) and who meet the criteria for eligibility. While extreme nearsightedness, astigmatism, irregularly-shaped corneas and/or rapid changes in your vision (requiring a new eyeglass prescription every year) may make you ineligible, your Hodges Eyecare professional can advise you as to whether or not you'd be a good candidate for SMILE.
Here are 6 reasons why SMILE laser surgery may be the right option for you.
VISION CORRECTED BY RESHAPING THE CORNEA
Using a VisuMax femtosecond laser (which produces laser pulses at one-quadrillionth of a second), the surgeon removes a tiny piece of lens-shaped tissue (a lenticule) inside the cornea and then makes an equally small incision through the surface of the cornea in order to extract the tissue. The newly reshaped cornea thus provides the patient with near perfect vision.
INCISION IS 1/5TH THE SIZE OF A LASIK PROCEDURE
LASIK surgery cuts a flap through which the cornea is reshaped, and that opening is typically around 20 millimeters. With SMILE, only a small incision is needed to remove the lenticule of the reshaped cornea, and that incision often measures less than 4 millimeters.
A smaller SMILE incision means the area of the eye that's affected by surgery is far less than LASIK. Less affected tissue results in faster healing time.
LASIK cuts a flap in the cornea, while SMILE involves a small incision and the removal of a tiny bit of tissue.
SAME LEVEL OF VISUAL ACUITY AS LASIK
Research indicates that patients who have SMILE laser surgery have similar outcomes as LASIK patients, with 88% enjoying vision that's 20/20 or better.
LESS RISK OF DRY EYE SYMPTOMS THAN LASIK
While the reasons for this are still being investigated, it's believed that fewer corneal nerves are affected by SMILE laser surgery.
OVER 1 MILLION SUCCESSFUL PROCEDURES WORLDWIDE
SMILE laser surgery is still new to the U.S., however in Europe, SMILE has been performed for more than a decade by over 1300 vision correction surgeons.
While you may be unsure about this new form of laser surgery for vision correction, at Hodges Eyecare you're in exceptional hands. Dr. Timothy Hodges, founder of Hodges Eyecare and Surgical Center, has a special interest in laser vision correction and no-stitch cataract surgery. Dr. Hodges attends a number of ophthalmology conferences each year to stay on top of current and new surgical procedures. By introducing SMILE laser surgery to the Tucson area, he offers patients the opportunity to benefit from cutting-edge, low-impact treatment options provided by a leading expert in the ophthalmologic field.