What is SMILE?

Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE), commonly known as keyhole LASIK, is a proven vision correction procedure designed to treat the most common refractive error: nearsightedness (myopia).

SMILE was introduced as a vision correction option in 2007, and in 2011 the procedure was established in various locations throughout Europe, China, and India. The United States SMILE vision correction clinical trial began in June 2012 and was approved by the FDA.

Discover Your Options

Kugler Vision in Omaha, Nebraska, was the first vision center in Nebraska or Iowa to perform SMILE. Today, SMILE has helped thousands of people achieve freedom from glasses and contacts. Lance Kugler, MD is among more than 1,000 surgeons who have performed over 7 million SMILE procedures worldwide. We are proud to offer this proven, gentle, and effective vision correction solution at Kugler Vision. 

How Does SMILE Compare to LASIK?

LASIK is an excellent option for many people, and remains the most common vision correction procedure. For some patients, LASIK is the best option, and for others, SMILE may have some advantages. We will make a recommendation at the time of your consultation, based on your specific vision needs and the results of the diagnostic tests you’ll undergo. At Kugler Vision, our goal is to use every available technology to help our patients achieve their best possible vision, and SMILE is one excellent method we have available.

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The SMILE Procedure

The SMILE procedure involves using a Zeiss VisuMax femtosecond laser to create a corneal lenticule, which is extracted through a small keyhole. If you undergo a SMILE procedure, both eyes are typically done at the same time. You will be awake during the procedure, but you will be given anesthetic eye drops so you won’t feel anything or feel the need to blink during the procedure. SMILE only takes a few minutes from start to finish, and the part of the procedure that uses a laser to reshape your cornea lasts only about 30 seconds. SMILE patients achieve results similar to those of LASIK, with excellent reported outcomes.

SMILE Recovery

SMILE is gentle and precise, with an extremely high patient satisfaction rate. Although the procedure is different from LASIK vision correction, the outcome is the same – improved vision for a life without visual barriers.

The small keyhole where the lenticule was removed heals within 24 hours, so most SMILE patients can resume normal activities the following day. We recommend that patients avoid wearing makeup for one day and wait a week before going swimming.

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Can I Have SMILE If I Have Dry Eyes?

You can have SMILE if you have dry eyes or are suffering from contact lens intolerance (CLI). At Kugler Vision, our patients undergo a series of comprehensive tests to determine the best way to improve their dry eye symptoms before laser vision correction. After CLI is treated, you can move forward with the SMILE procedure.

Additional Questions?

If you are considering laser vision correction, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our vision correction experts. If you have any further questions about SMILE, please call us at 402.558.2211.