How Does SMILE (LALEX) Eye Surgery Work?

January 1, 2024

Glasses and contact lenses can be a source of frustration, especially when they get in the way of your daily activities. SMILE (SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction) or LALEX ( LASER Assisted Lenticule EXtraction) laser eye surgery offers you a chance to decrease the need of your corrective lenses or even get rid of them. This procedure lets you see clearly to increase your sense of freedom and confidence. 

What is SMILE (LALEX) Laser Eye Surgery?

SMILE (LALEX) is a type of vision correction that uses the smallest incision of any laser eye surgery. It corrects refractive errors like nearsightedness and astigmatism by changing the shape of your cornea. A refractive error occurs when light does not focus on the retina at the back of the eye. SMILE changes the cornea shape to correct the angle of incoming light. 

SMILE Austin & Dripping Springs

How Does SMILE (LALEX) Eye Surgery Work?

You will feel no discomfort during SMILE, which only takes a few minutes per eye. Your eye surgeon uses a laser that passes through the outer layers of the cornea and creates a thin disc of tissue in the deeper layers to change their shape. They then use the laser to make a tiny 4-6mm incision in the surface of the cornea and remove the disc. This precise technique allows your Heart of Texas eye surgeon to provide crisp, clear vision. It also minimizes disruption of your corneal structure and nerves, decreasing the risk of side effects. 

Am I a Good Candidate for SMILE (LALEX)?

SMILE (LALEX) is a safe, effective option for most healthy adults who are 18 or older. Good candidates for this procedure have reasonable expectations and no issues with their eye health. People who have been told they are not good candidates for other procedures can often still have SMILE. This includes those with dry eye issues and people who play contact sports. Candidates will need to stop wearing contact lenses to screen for their procedure to get the most accurate measurements and best results. 

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What is Recovery Like After SMILE (LALEX) Eye Surgery?

One advantage of SMILE (LALEX) is its shorter recovery time compared to other options like LASIK. While LASIK makes a 100-120mm flap in the corneal surface, the tiny incision used for SMILE heals within a few days. Most people start to seem more clearly within a day or two and can return to all their usual activities after about three days. Avoid contact sports, eye makeup, and swimming during these few days. 

Should I Have SMILE (LALEX) or LASIK?

SMILE and LASIK differ in many ways, and these differences might make one better than the other for your needs. SMILE’s smaller incision makes it more suitable for those with dry eye issues, people who play contact sports, and those who have a prescription within the range SMILE can correct. Since SMILE does not currently treat farsightedness, people with this condition may be recommended for a different procedure. 

Amazing clinic with so nice doctors. Everyone in clinic extremely friendly, love it! I’ve done SMILE surgery and it was so fast and professional, no pain/stress at all. Dr Dudek is a passionated individual and perfectionist trying to make you happy and providing outstanding level of service! Thank you so much for my life changing event!

Take the Next Step

If you’d like to learn more about SMILE (LALEX) eye surgery, schedule a consultation with our Heart of Texas Eye Care team, serving Dripping Springs, Austin, Kyle, Wimberley, Bee Cave, Marble Falls, Johnson City, Blanco and other surrounding areas. Contact us at (512) 213-2220 today!

*Individual results may vary