Smile Surgery

It is a minimally invasive procedure performed to correct the quality of a person’s vision. The objective of this procedure is to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. To achieve this, the transparent surface of the eye(cornea) is regularized with a laser beam. This procedure can be performed to correct problems such as myopia and astigmatism (hyperopia cannot currently be corrected). Although there is a mechanism to help correct eyestrain (presbyopia), it does not apply to everyone. Smile stands for “Small Incision Leticule Extraction”.

Unlike the surgery better known as “LASIK”, SMILE does not require a cut on the surface of the eye, since the reduction of your prescription is done directly with the laser, without the need to use a metal cutting instrument. Visual recovery from SMILE is usually faster, and discomfort is usually less.

¿Cuáles son los riesgos?

In general, it is a quick, painless procedure with a high degree of safety. However, minor incidents may occur, for example (in order of consequence):

  • Intolerance to light.
  • Inflammation greater than expected.
  • Dry eye.
  • Allergic reactions to medications.
  • Problems with night vision.
  • Decrease in contrast sensitivity, sharpness or visual acuity.
¿Qué ocurre antes del procedimiento?
  • We perform a thorough eye examination and a study called Corneal Topography to make sure the eyes are healthy. With this information, the procedure is planned.
  • We will ask that if you wear contact lenses, you stop wearing them at least 3 days before being evaluated in consultation and 3 days before your surgery. Ideally one week.
  • You should come to the hospital without makeup, lotions and perfume, or deodorant spray.
  • The specialist will give specific indications for your case in consultation, prior to your surgery. There may be variations among the instructions for each patient.
¿Qué ocurre durante el procedimiento?
  • The procedure takes, on average, 5 minutes per eye (may vary by physician and hospital).
  • It is performed in an outpatient operating room.
  • The patient remains lying down and face up while the specialist performs the procedure.
  • The surgeon will place anesthetic and antibiotic drops on the surface of the eye.
  • The surgeon will use intense light and instruments that come very close to the eyes. Your vision may become blurry while you are undergoing surgery.
  • The staff will place a computer-controlled laser beam in front of your eye. The laser beam will be programmed according to the eye exam you had and will use pulses of light to rid your cornea of whatever was detracting from your vision. The surgeon will remove this material in a few seconds. Usually, by the time the surgery is completed, the patient’s vision is slightly blurred.
  • At the conclusion of the procedure in one eye, it may be performed in the other eye.
  • The specialist may place a transparent shield over the eye to protect it while it heals.

The procedure may vary by physician and hospital.

¿Qué ocurre después del procedimiento?
  • Blurred vision, burning, tearing, itching or discomfort from light is to be expected during the first few hours. It is expected that these discomforts will diminish as this first day of recovery passes.
  • You should avoid touching or rubbing your eyes, or squeezing your eyelids tightly.
  • Red spots on the white surface of the eye (effusions) are normal. They take up to three weeks to disappear.
  • You will need to return to see the surgeon for a follow-up 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
  • Consider that you should go at least one week without intense exercise or swimming pool.
  • Have someone drive you home and accompany you preferably for 24 hours after your procedure as your vision will be blurred after the procedure.

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