– What is SMILE?
What is LASIK Surgery?
LASIK is the most commonly performed laser eye surgery to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. Like other types of refractive surgery, the LASIK procedure reshapes the cornea to enable light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina for clearer vision.
The word “LASIK” is an acronym for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis.”
LASIK surgery is essentially pain-free and takes only about 15 minutes for both eyes. The results — improved vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses — begin immediately after the procedure and vision usually continues to improve and stabilize over a few days.
NEED AN EYE EXAM? Make an appointment with our optometrist, who will be able to tell you if you’re a good candidate for laser surgery before you seek out a LASIK specialist.
How is LASIK surgery performed?
Excimer lasers create a cool ultraviolet light beam to remove (“ablate”) microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea to reshape it so light entering the eye focuses more accurately on the retina for improved vision.
For nearsighted people, the goal is to flatten the cornea; with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. Excimer lasers also can correct astigmatism by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.
After the laser ablation reshapes the cornea, the flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed. The flap seals to the underlying cornea during the healing period following surgery.
LASIK laser eye surgery requires only topical anesthetic drops, and no bandages or stitches are required.
What is SMILE eye surgery?
SMILE laser eye surgery is an alternative to LASIK surgery for the correction of nearsightedness. In some ways, SMILE eye surgery is similar to LASIK and it may offer advantages over LASIK for some patients. SMILE is an acronym for small incision lenticule extraction.
SMILE eye surgery is performed using a VisuMax femtosecond laser. This is proprietary technology of Carl Zeiss Meditec.
In the SMILE procedure, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a small, lens-shaped bit of tissue (lenticule) within the cornea. Then, with the same laser, a small arc-shaped incision is made in the surface of the cornea. The surgeon extracts the lenticule through this incision and discards it.
With the tiny lenticule removed, the shape of the cornea is altered, correcting nearsightedness. The corneal incision heals within a few days without stitches, and sharper vision occurs very quickly.
SMILE laser eye surgery can correct up to -10.00 diopters (D) of nearsightedness.
The best candidates for LASIK:
What is PRK?
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a laser eye surgery that corrects refractive vision errors by changing the shape of the cornea. The cornea is responsible for refracting (or bending) light toward the center of the retina, and refractive errors happen when the shape of the cornea causes the refraction to be off-center.
PRK was the original laser refractive surgery, approved by the FDA in 1995. LASIK was approved a few years later, and today there are many types of laser vision surgeries available. PRK can be a safe and effective option for people who aren’t ideal candidates for LASIK.
How is PRK performed?
First, our eye surgeon or another eye care professional will put numbing drops in your eyes. They may also ask you if you’d like to take a mild sedative if you feel nervous.
Our surgeon will then place a speculum over your eyes to keep you from blinking. Some PRK surgeons also use a suction ring to keep the eye still. You’ll feel slight pressure from the suction ring, but the numbing drops will block all other sensations in the eye.
Next, our surgeon will remove the very top layer of corneal cells (the epithelium) to access the next corneal layer. Depending on the surgeon, it will be removed with a surgical instrument, an alcohol solution or a “buffing” device.
After the epithelium is removed, you’ll focus on a target light. While you are focused, the surgeon will use an extremely precise, computer-controlled excimer laser to reshape the cornea. This laser removes microscopic amounts of tissue to create the exact corneal contours needed to sharpen vision. The whole process usually takes under 10 minutes per eye.
Finally, our surgeon will place a soft contact lens over the cornea as a kind of bandage. You’ll rest your eyes for a few minutes, and then you’ll be released. You won’t be able or allowed to drive, so you’ll need someone to take you home to recover.
What is ICL Eye Surgery?
An implantable collamer lens (ICL) is an artificial lens that’s permanently implanted in the eye. The lens is used to treat:
Implanting an ICL requires surgery. A surgeon places the lens between the eye’s natural lens and colored iris. The lens works the eye’s existing lens to bend (refract) light on the retina, which produces clearer vision.
The ICL is made of plastic and a collagen called collamer. It’s a type of phakic introcular lens. “Phakic” refers to how the lens is placed in the eye without taking out the natural lens.
Though ICL surgery isn’t necessary to correct vision problems, it can eliminate or reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses.
It’s also a possible alternative for people who can’t get laser eye surgery. But like most procedures, ICL surgery isn’t for everyone.
Benefits of having an implantable collamer lens
In addition to improved vision, there are numerous benefits of an ICL:
- It can fix severe nearsightedness that can’t be corrected with other surgeries.
- The lens is less likely to cause dry eyes, which is ideal if your eyes are chronically dry.
- It’s meant to be permanent but can be removed.
- The lens provides great night vision.
- Recovery is usually quick because tissue isn’t removed.
- People who can’t get laser eye surgery might be good candidates for ICL.