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SMILE® Laser Vision Correction
Gimbel Eye Centre is committed to remaining at the forefront of laser vision correction, which is why we are now offering the revolutionary technique known as the SMILE® laser system. Vision correction with the ZEISS ReLEx® SMILE® laser technology offers many individuals a less invasive alternative to LASIK or PRK and a number of other additional benefits. With this innovative technology, our eye doctors can help many nearsighted patients significantly reduce their dependence on eyeglasses and contact lenses with a “flapless” laser procedure that can diminish recovery and healing times.
- What Is the SMILE® Laser Vision Correction System?
- SMILE® Laser Benefits
- SMILE® Laser Eye Surgery Candidates
- SMILE® Eye Surgery vs. LASIK
- SMILE® Laser Procedure
- SMILE® Laser Treatment Recovery
- SMILE® Eye Surgery Results
- SMILE® Eye Surgery Alternatives
- SMILE® Laser Vision Correction Cost
What Is the SMILE® Laser Vision Correction System?
The SMILE® laser vision correction system is a state-of-the-art option designed to help patients improve nearsightedness and dramatically minimize (or even eliminate) the need for corrective eyewear. SMILE®, or “Small Incision Lenticule Extraction,” allows our eye doctor to reshape the eye’s cornea and reduce refractive errors without creating a corneal flap of tissue, making this option a less invasive procedure when compared to other popular forms of laser vision correction.
What Are the Benefits of SMILE® Laser Vision Correction?
SMILE® laser vision correction offers a variety of benefits for ideal candidates, including:
- Correction of myopia (nearsightedness) and some cases of associated astigmatism
- The procedure is entirely performed with a laser (no surgical blades will come near the eye)
- The creation of a corneal flap to access deeper corneal tissues is not necessary
- Less risk of “dry eye syndrome” following the procedure
- Quick recovery time
- May be a good alternative for patients who are not LASIK candidates
Our experienced eye doctor can meet with you to determine whether the SMILE® technique is the best laser vision correction option for your needs. If so, we can develop a customized treatment plan designed to help you improve your vision and reduce your reliance on glasses and contacts.
Am I a Good Candidate for SMILE® Laser Eye Surgery
Good candidates for SMILE® laser eye surgery are typically individuals who:
- Suffer from nearsightedness
- Suffer from mild degrees of astigmatism associated with nearsightedness
- Are not suffering from other eye diseases or health conditions that may compromise the healing process
- Are at least 22 years of age
- Have an eye/vision care prescription that has not changed in the last 12 months
Patients who are primarily affected by hyperopia (farsightedness) are not the best candidates for SMILE® laser procedures; however, we can recommend a number of alternative vision correction treatments designed to correct that concern. During your consultation, our doctor will perform an evaluation and determine whether you are an ideal candidate for SMILE® laser eye surgery.
SMILE® Eye Surgery vs. LASIK
SMILE® eye surgery shares many similarities with LASIK, which is another state-of-the-art option for vision correction. However, there are several distinctions between these two treatments that can make one more ideal than the other for certain patients. For instance: SMILE® eye surgery does not create a flap of corneal tissue in order to reshape the cornea, whereas LASIK necessitates the creation of a corneal flap. Also, the incision required to perform the SMILE® treatment is much smaller than the one required for LASIK surgery. Additionally, the SMILE® procedure is known to have less of a risk of short-term dry eye syndrome when compared with LASIK, which can make the post-operative period more comfortable for many patients.
On the other hand, there are certain concerns that SMILE® cannot effectively address, but can be corrected with LASIK®. Hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), and astigmatism can all be treated with LASIK, while SMILE® is generally ideal only for nearsightedness and some cases of mild myopia-associated astigmatism. LASIK may also be a better option for patients who have higher-order aberrations that compromise night vision.
Ultimately, both the SMILE® procedure and LASIK offer patients numerous benefits, including the ability to reduce their reliance on corrective eyewear with long-term results. Our doctor can talk with you about your vision care needs and evaluate your candidacy for SMILE® eye surgery or other options that can help you achieve your goals.
What Does the SMILE® Laser Procedure Involve?
Before the laser vision correction component of the SMILE® procedure begins, your eyes will be numbed with a topical anesthetic to minimize the potential for discomfort. Our eye surgeon will utilize the advanced ZEISS VisuMax® laser to perform the SMILE® laser technique. The laser will carefully remove a small “lenticule” (a bit of lens-shaped tissue) from the cornea. This lenticule is delicately extracted through a tiny incision made by the same laser, resulting in corneal reshaping that should correct the refractive error. No corneal flaps are necessary with this procedure.
The SMILE® laser procedure can be performed here at our practice and usually takes just a few minutes per eye to complete.
What Can I Expect During Recovery from SMILE® Laser Treatment?
The small incision made by the laser should heal on its own without the need for stitches, and our doctor will prescribe eye drops to aid the healing process. Most patients are able to resume normal daily routines (including driving) just one day after the SMILE® laser vision correction procedure. Many individuals are already seeing much more clearly within a day of the procedure, and the full results are typically apparent within the following two weeks.
How Long Do the Results of SMILE® Eye Surgery Last?
The longevity of results from SMILE® eye surgery depends on a variety of factors that are unique to each patient. Generally, many patients experience the positive effects of this procedure for several years (even decades) after the treatment; however, it is important to note that, while SMILE® eye surgery is designed to create permanent adjustments to the way the cornea refracts light, vision will still be susceptible to changes due to the natural aging process or other factors. These changes may necessitate a vision enhancement or the use of reading glasses later in life. With that in mind, one of the biggest advantages of vision correction options such as SMILE® eye surgery is that, by their very nature, they reshape the eye’s cornea to produce improved focus. For most patients, the results can last long into the future.
What Are Some Alternatives to SMILE® Eye Surgery?
While SMILE® eye surgery can be an effective vision correction option for many patients, it is not always the best treatment for everyone. Patients who have farsightedness or other conditions that may affect their candidacy for SMILE® eye surgery may need to explore alternative options that are more suited to their needs. Fortunately, Gimbel Eye Centre offers an extensive selection of advanced treatments that can often serve as effective remedies to patients’ concerns. These include LASIK and PRK laser vision correction, which utilize different methodologies for correction of a range of common vision problems, including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Alternative options such as ICL or RLE with intraocular lens implants, which do not rely on laser technology to correct refractive errors, can help many patients achieve their goals by implanting lenses designed to modify focusing power and improve vision. The implanted lens becomes the eye’s third lens (the cornea and the natural lens being the other two lenses) or in cases when the natural lens is clouded, replaces the eye’s natural lens with a manufactured one. Like SMILE® eye surgery, these alternatives are also designed to reduce or even eliminate an individual’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
If you are not an ideal candidate for SMILE® laser eye surgery, or if you would simply like to consider other vision correction options, our eye doctor can talk with you about the alternatives and help you decide which treatment will be best for your needs.
How Much Does SMILE® Laser Vision Correction Cost?
The cost of SMILE® laser vision correction generally starts at CA$2650 per eye at Gimbel Eye Centre. Please note that this procedure is customized based on each patient’s specific needs and goals; therefore, the price can vary due to a number of factors unique to the individual treatment plan. Laser vision correction is typically classified as an elective procedure and is usually not covered by insurance policies; however, our office is sensitive to the financial situations of our patients and we strive to make paying for treatment as convenient as possible. For this reason, we accept an array of payment methods, as well as financing through Medicard. A friendly member of our team will calculate a total cost estimate of your SMILE® laser vision correction procedure once your treatment plan is developed and will be happy to talk with you about our payment options.
If you have questions about SMILE® laser vision correction, we encourage you to contact Gimbel Eye Centre today. We can provide you with more information, or we can assist you with scheduling your initial consultation.