SMILE Eye Surgery

About SMILE Eye Surgery

SMILE eye surgery, which is the short form of Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, is the last generation of eye refractive error correction surgeries. The procedure is used to to correct nearsightedness and astigmatism. It is a combination of both LASIK and PRK that can correct up to 10 diopters of nearsightedness with 5 diopters of astigmatism.


In SMILE eye surgery, the latest generation of the femtosecond laser is used, which is a proprietary technology of Carl Zeiss Meditec called VisuMax femtosecond laser.


The surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a small disk-shaped tissue within the cornea. Then, with the same laser, a small incision (normally 2 to 4 millimeters) is made in the surface of the cornea through which the disk tissue will be extracted. The differences between SMILE procedure to other refractive error procedures are:


  • The corneal incision in SMAILE is 2 to 4 millimeters compare to Femto-Lasik which is 28 millimeters.
  • Unlike Femto-Lasik that uses two type of lasers (femtosecond and excimer lasers), all lasers used in SMILE are femtosecond laser.
  • The recovery time in SMILE is very much faster compare to PRK and LASEK.
  • SMILE eye surgery is a minimally invasive flapless procedure in which fewer corneal nerves are damaged and less dehydration of the cornea occurs.



Please note that SMILE eye surgery cannot correct significant amount of farsightedness and astigmatism.  If you want to correct these types of refractive errors please check Femto-Lasik, LASIK, LASEK and PRK.

time requirements

Minimum stay

3 days

Hospital stay

Not required

Operation duration

10 minutes

Anesthesia type


Back to work

3 days

Post visit

1 trip

Before SMILE Eye Surgery

First of all, the ophthalmologist examines the eyes to determine if the patient is a good candidate for SMILE eye surgery. Here are the tests:


  • The overall health of the eyes should be checked
  • The cornea and nearsightedness will be measured
  • Size of the pupil will be checked


We recommend you the following steps before the procedure:


  • Wash your eyes and eyelashes before the procedure
  • Don’t wear any makeup at least 48 hours before the surgery
  • Don’t use any perfume on the day of the operation
  • Don’t use any contact lenses at least 48 hours before the surgery

How is SMILE Eye Surgery performed?

At first, to prevent the patient from feeling any pain during the surgery, the nurse makes eyes numb by dropping anesthesia eye-drop into patient’s eye. A device will be used then to keep eyes open and not let the patient blink. It will let the surgeon perform the surgery more easily.


The surgeon uses VisuMax femtosecond laser to make two incisions in the depth of 120 microns or lower on the cornea surface. These two incisions make a small, disk-shaped tissue within the cornea. By using the same laser again, the surgeon creates a small arc-shaped incision in the surface of the cornea and extracts the disk tissue (lenticule) through it.


The procedure changes the shape of the cornea and corrects the nearsightedness very quickly. No stitches are needed and the corneal incisions will recover in a few days.


The patient is ready to get back home and rest for a few days.

Anesthesia type

SMILE Eye Surgery

The corneal incision in SMAILE is 2 to 4 millimeters compare to Lasik which is 20 millimeters.

Recovery procedure

Possible discomfort

Pain, mild irritation or itching are normal after the any type of eye surgery. However, SMILE eye surgery has less recovery time and less pain compare to Lasik. You will not feel any discomfort after 3 to 5 days.

Post procedure care

  • Rest in a dark room
  • Don’t rub your eyes
  • Don’t wash your face for at least 2 days after the procedure
  • Don’t do anything that might hurt your eyes at least few weeks after the surgery
  • Don’t drive unless you gain perfect eyesight (might take 2 or 3 days)
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Use the eye-drops that have been prescribed for you

Don’t use cosmetic contact lenses till 3 months after the surgery

Need help finding the right doctor?

Medirip care team are here to help! Please let us know your question, we will get back to you as soon as possible.

What you need to know

Not recommended for

  • People under 22 years
  • The patient who have other eye problems such as cataract or glaucoma
  • cornea abrasions or disease
  • People with skin or other disease which can affect healing
  • People who have unstable vision
  • Pregnant women

People with a history of eye disease or eye surgery

Potential risk

  • blurred vision
  • Black spots
  • Incisional tear, cap perforation and false plane creation
  • epithelial abrasions
  • undercorrection and overcorrection

Cost parameters

  • Technology used
  • One eye/both eyes
  • follow-up exams and additional treatments
  • Patient’s health condition i.e diabetic
  • Qualification/expertise of the surgeon


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