SMILE method: Minimally invasive. Safe. Gentle.
The new laser eye surgery method known as SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is both gentle and innovative. Using the Zeiss VisuMax® Femtosecond laser, there is only a minimal effect on the cornea tissue and a precise correction is possible. The SMILE method is therefore something special, as only a minimal incision (2.5 millimeters) is made in the eye, which is different from the older laser treatments. This minimally invasive procedure has already been used successfully 550,000 times around the world and so has become established as modern laser technique.
- Laser eye surgery using the very latest technology
- The cornea and the tear duct in the eyes are barely affected
- Minimally invasive
- A gentle laser eye procedure with shorter treatment time
- Suitable for patients with dry eyes and large defects in vision
- Innovative technology using the VisuMax® Femtosecond laser from Carl Zeiss Meditec
How does the SMILE technology work?
The laser eye treatment using the SMILE method is carried out as an outpatient procedure in only a few minutes. The eye which requires the operation is anaesthetized using eye drops. To keep the effect on the cornea tissue as small as possible, whilst at the same time ensuring that the correction goes exactly as planned, the Zeiss VisuMax® Femtosecond laser first of all cuts a thin corneal lens into the intact cornea (the so-called lenticule). Next the laser makes a small incision, which is described as a minimally invasive tunnel. The doctor can then carefully remove the lenticule through this tunnel. The small tunnel incision seals itself quickly. The operation is over in just 20 minutes and you will have regained some vision, although it will be blurry at first.
The unique advantage of the SMILE method is that the procedure allows the cornea to keep its natural structure. This helps ensure a considerably quicker recovery of the patient’s visual acuity. After just two hours your eye won’t feel a thing.
In comparison with Femto-LASIK and LASIK, the SMILE method is a gentler laser eye treatment. Eye tissue is no longer vaporized at specific points, as with a LASIK operation using an Excimer laser. This can give you a feeling of having something in your eye for five to seven hours after the operation.
SMILE method: Possible risks
There are certain risks with any operation, but a responsible approach and our quality management system can help keep these down to a minimum, although they can never be ruled out completely. There are treatment options for every complication, which we will identify together with you and the practice team. The risk of potential complications is minimized through continuous ongoing training , the latest technology and the experience of our surgeons.
Complications may arise in one of four areas:
Infections may occur with any operation. However, with the SMILE method the risk is very low, as the procedure is minimally invasive.
2. Loss of vacuum
Sudden head movements or sharp pinching can cause loss of vacuum. However, you don’t need to worry too much if this happens, as the procedure can be carried on straight away or if necessary it can be repeated at a later time.
The aim is to correct the defective vision fully. This can be achieved in approx. 95 % of cases with a single laser operation. A second procedure may be necessary, if individual tissue reactions result in an over-correction or an under-correction.
In very rare cases a congenital weakness in tissue can become apparent after a procedure or even years later, which becomes obvious with a protrusion of the cornea. The eyesight can suffer because of this. To date there has not been any case reported in the medical literature of keratectasia following a SMILE operation on a healthy eye.
- Comprehensive preliminary examination and consultation only with experienced eye surgeons
- Highly-qualified surgeons with many years of experience
- Outpatient operation with local anesthetic and sedation with no need for
“syringes in the eye“
- An anesthetist will be present to monitor your heart and circulation
- Modern artificial lenses made of collapsible material
- Modern rooms in the clinic meeting the latest hygiene standards