SMILE Eye Surgery
Since the introduction and broad availability of LASIK surgery, advancements have continually been made. In 2012, a procedure called Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, or SMILE, was first introduced. This procedure is a type of refractive surgery that utilizes Femtosecond Laser. Instead of cutting a thin flap in the cornea, SMILE instead uses a tiny incision ranging from 2 to 4 millimeters in a minimally invasive procedure (Blade-free Vision Correction).
All laser vision correction surgeries work by reshaping the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. LASIK is one of a number of different surgical techniques used to reshape the cornea.
What happens during a SMILE procedure?
During a SMILE eye surgery procedure, the doctor uses eye drops to anesthetize the eye. A speculum is then carefully positioned on the lids to keep the eye open and to prevent blinking. Using advanced femtosecond technology, the surgeon then creates a precise lenticule, which is a thin, circular piece of tissue. The surgeon then removes the lenticule through the tiny incision that was created in the eye. After using the laser, the patient will be allowed to recover for a few minutes before the eye doctor returns, checks the eye, and allows the patient to leave.
Recovery after SMILE eye surgery
The physical recovery of the tissue takes around 10 to 15 days. Patients may resume most normal activities within two to three weeks, including swimming and outdoor recreational activities. By comparison, people who undergo SMILE eye surgery are generally told to wait at least 10 to 15 days whereas the recovery time is immediate in case of LASIK and Contoura.
How safe is the SMILE procedure?
SMILE is an extraordinarily safe and USA FDA approved medical procedure.
The procedure is generally used for patients who range in age from 18 to 40. Patients will need to undergo a series of tests to determine if they are good candidates for the procedure. In general, people who are good candidates for LASIK will likely be good candidates for SMILE as well.
Because of the specialized laser that is required for SMILE surgery and the training and skill that doctors must have, many eye surgeons do not offer it.
What is the cost of SMILE surgery?
Some people wonder why SMILE eye surgery is expensive. The costs include the expense of the machine and the licensing fees that surgeons and eye hospitals must pay to the laser company. SMILE eye surgery in New Delhi costs an average of INR 1,00,000 (approx.)
The specialised machine that is used in the procedure contributes to the expense because the machine itself costs INR 4 crore. The surgery centre must also pay licensing fees for the use of the device, and these fees range from INR 10,000 to 15,000.
While some clinics may advertise laser eye surgery for as little as INR 7,000, these centres cut costs by reusing blades, a practice which can be dangerous to patients. It is best not to try to cut corners.
It is not wise for patients to risk their sight by trying to pay as little as possible for something like SMILE.
Best hospital and surgeons for Vision Correction Surgery in Delhi
- Eyemantra Eye Centres have been at the cutting edge of Ophthalmology for decades.
- We are proud to be one of the highest volume hospitals for vision correction in India. Because of the expertise of the hospital and its surgeons, patients travel from around the world to undergo laser vision correction and other eye surgery procedures at the Eyemantra Eye Centre in Delhi.
Benefits of SMILE
SMILE eye surgery was developed on a small incision and a small flat technology with the thinking that a small flat would not compromise the strength of cornea, provide more safety and reduce the chances of dry eyes. However, now the studies have clearly shown that a small flap has no relation with strength and dryness and it is similar to LASIK.
In the SMILE eye surgery procedure, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a small, lens-shaped bit of tissue (lenticule) within the cornea. Then, with the same laser, a small arc-shaped incision is made in the surface of the cornea, and the surgeon extracts the lenticule through this incision and discards it.
Research is showing SMILE eye surgery produces virtually the same visual acuity as LASIK for the correction of nearsightedness, without the need to create a LASIK-style corneal flap.In one study of 328 people who underwent the SMILE procedure, all but one had uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA) of 20/40 or better after surgery, and 88 percent had UCVA of 20/20 or better.
Research also has shown that fewer symptoms of dry eyes may occur after SMILE eye surgery, compared with LASIK surgery. This is likely because fewer corneal nerves are disrupted during the SMILE eye surgery procedure, since the corneal incision is significantly smaller than that required to create a LASIK flap. Also, because fewer nerves are cut, there may be less loss of corneal sensitivity following the SMILE eye surgery procedure, compared with LASIK.
Frequently Asked Questions
In advanced cases there is a complete loss of sight and lens becomes pearly white in colour.
If you experience any of the following issues, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Fading of colours
- Seeing halos around lights
- An increased sensitivity to glare
- A distortion of vision that makes objects appear as if you’re looking at them through a veil.
Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness, accounting for approximately 42 percent of all cases of blindness in all the countries, luckily its easily treatable in the present age through a simple surgery.
Some infants are also afflicted by cataract, which is caused as a result of infections during pregnancy. The disorder can also be a symptom of metabolic disease affecting the body’s processing of carbohydrates, amino acids, calcium or copper among infants and young kids. If left untreated, cataracts might also lead to blindness.
You may go home with an eye pad and shield, or just a shield. The pad can be removed after the first hour. The shield should be worn at night for the first week.
The eye may feel gritty, and sometimes you may experience some mild headache. These symptoms are common. The discomfort should rapidly improve over the next 24 hours. There should be no worsening of your symptoms. If your discomfort or a headache should deteriorate, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Your vision will normally be much better on Day 2. Sometimes there can be some blurring or misting in the eye, but this should improve over the course of the day. If you feel your vision is becoming more blurred, contact your hospital immediately.
If you take part in a sport that risks a poke in the eye, you should discuss returning to these activities with your surgeon before the operation. You should not go swimming for the first 2 to 4 weeks to minimize the risk of infection. When cycling in the first few weeks following surgery, keep your sunglasses on to reduce the impact of dust.
Jobs that are more physically demanding and involve exposure to liquids or dust might require a more graduated return to full activities, but are best discussed with your surgeon.
You may opt to choose for lenses which provide you vision for distance and near. In such cases, dependency on glasses is reduced.
Routine surgery can only correct the spherical component of the eye leaving behind the cylinder power which has to be later corrected by additional prescription glasses.
With advancements in surgical techniques and IOL (artificial lens) designs, today both spherical and cylinder components of the eye can easily be corrected with the highest precision.
The cylinder component in Cataract Surgery can be corrected by three ways
- LRI or Limbal Relaxing Incisions: In this technique, a Femto Laser is used to give highly precise incisions at the periphery of the cornea to induce cylinder correction. Since these incisions are given by a laser, it can only be coupled with a Femto Cataract Surgery.
- Toric Lenses with Verion Digital Axis Marking: Toric lenses are special lenses which have both cylinder, and spherical component build in one lens. Since cylinder axis varies in individual eyes, the lens has to be aligned to the specific axis of the individual. In such cases, even a minor deviation from the original axis can cause significant disturbance in final visual outcomes. Now with the introduction of Verion Digital Axis Marking system, these toric lenses can be aligned with outmost precision, up to 1 degree.
- Toric Lenses with Manual Marking: As discussed above, the final visual outcome in a toric lens depends on how precisely it is aligned to the original cylindrical axis of the eye. Since the manual markings cannot be as precise as digital markings, the manual system may give slightly inferior results compared to the digital system.
Dr. Shweta Jain
Dr. Rajiv Mohan
Dr. Sanjiv Mohan
MS from Dharwad university, Belgaum.
Trained for higher surgical training in Scotland U.K for 2 years.
Experience: Dr. Sanjiv Mohan has an experience of over 18 years as an Ophthalmologist”
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