What Is SMILE?

As the latest innovation in eye surgery, SMILE blends the benefits of PRK and LASIK. It only requires one small incision, and it does not require a flap. The recovery is comparable to LASIK, but there are no physical activity restrictions after surgery. 

During the SMILE procedure, Dr. Liu will change the shape of your cornea to improve astigmatism and nearsightedness. It’s called SMILE because of how the procedure is performed. First, the laser creates a lenticule (a disc-shaped carving) in your eye. Then, an incision is made to remove the lenticule, changing the shape of your cornea to treat your refractive error.

The Benefits

Improved Vision

After SMILE laser eye surgery at our Long Beach office, your vision will be sharper and clearer than before. Many of our patients have 20/20 vision after surgery and no longer rely on corrective lenses when they’re reading, driving, and playing sports. 

Ideal for Athletes and Active Patients

You can return to your exercise routine the day after SMILE. This is because the approach does not require a corneal flap, so there is no risk of disruption.  

Quick and Painless Procedure

SMILE takes mere minutes to complete. Your eyes will be numb the entire time, so you can expect a comfortable and pain-free experience. 

High Satisfaction Rate

SMILE is a long-term solution that can correct even severe nearsightedness. Our patients routinely report a higher quality of life and high levels of satisfaction after this procedure.

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The SMILE Surgery

Just before SMILE laser eye surgery at our Torrance office, Dr. Liu will numb your eyes with special drops to keep you comfortable. From there, she’ll use a laser to create a small disc (the lenticule) in your eye. This disc will resemble a soft contact lens. She’ll then make a tiny cut in the area to remove the lenticule. This is what changes your corneal shape and improves your eye’s ability to focus. 

From start to finish, SMILE takes just minutes for each eye. After the procedure, someone will need to drive you home. You can return to your normal activities within a day or two, but you’ll need to avoid getting water in your eyes for a few days. 

SMILE or LASIK: Which Is Right for You?

SMILE and LASIK are both safe laser eye surgeries that can reduce your need for glasses and contact lenses. They both provide predictable, hassle-free vision, and they both have very low rates of complications. 

In general, SMILE eye surgery is a better option for people who:

  • Suffer from dry eye syndrome
  • Have a higher prescription
  • Are very active

Is SMILE Eye Surgery Right for You? 

Dr. Liu will need to evaluate your eyes, measure your corneas and pupils, and evaluate your refractive error before she can determine if you’re a candidate for SMILE. However, in general, this surgery is an option if you:

  • Are 22+ years of age
  • Have a stable prescription of at least one year
  • Have a prescription range between -1 and -10 for nearsightedness
  • Have an astigmatism up to 3 diopters
  • Have healthy corneas

In addition, you will need to be in good general health and without serious eye problems such as cataracts, severe glaucoma, corneal scarring, and more. 

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Is SMILE painful?

How long is the recovery?

Is SMILE painful?

No. As with all of our eye surgeries, SMILE is completely comfortable. We use special drops to numb your eyes prior to surgery, so you shouldn’t feel any discomfort during the procedure.

How long is the recovery?

SMILE recovery is similar to the recovery associated with LASIK but without the physical activity restrictions. Most of our patients can return to work within just one day. Dr. Liu will provide you with eye drops to use immediately after surgery to promote healing. Within a few weeks, the full results of your eye surgery will be apparent.

Schedule an Appointment

If you’d like to see if SMILE can help you say goodbye to corrective lenses, please call our Long Beach office today and schedule an appointment with leading eye surgeon Dr. Erica Liu. 

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