Posted by: Manhattan LASIK Center

If you want the potential for 20/20 vision or better, ZEISS SMILE surgery is a great choice! This vision correction procedure is less invasive than LASIK and corrects nearsightedness and astigmatism.

The procedure and recovery are quick and easy, allowing you to return to your life immediately and enjoy your incredible new vision! SMILE is a safe, low-risk outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home after it’s over with minimal recovery time.

Undergoing SMILE is quick and painless, from your first consultation to the short recovery period! To enhance vision safety, keep reading to learn what to expect before, during, and after ZEISS SMILE surgery.

Before SMILE

What to Expect During Your Consultation

Before having SMILE surgery, you’ll have to schedule a consultation at Manhattan LASIK Center. Your consultation will allow you to be evaluated as a candidate.

SMILE is best suited for nearsighted patients between -1.50 diopters to -10.00 diopters with mild astigmatism that doesn’t exceed -3.00 diopters. You must be at least 18 with a stable prescription that’s remained unchanged for a year or more and in good health.

You also need to have healthy eyes without a history of eye diseases and not be currently pregnant or nursing. You may be a good candidate for SMILE if you meet these qualifications. You can schedule your SMILE procedure date once you’re evaluated and cleared for the vision correction procedure.

Contact Lens Use

Before having SMILE surgery, you need to stop using your contact lenses. Contact lenses can subtly change the shape of your eye and interfere with the results of your procedure.

You’ll need to stop wearing contact lenses three days before having SMILE. If you wear soft toric contact lenses, you’ll need to stop wearing them two weeks before having SMILE.

You should stop wearing gas-permeable or hard contact lenses a month before SMILE unless your surgeon instructs you differently.


Take any medications as usual before having SMILE unless you’re instructed otherwise. You may also be prescribed medication to take to prepare before having SMILE and medication after the procedure. Make sure you take all medication as directed.

The Day of Your SMILE Procedure

On the day of your SMILE procedure, wear comfortable clothes and eat a filling meal. Don’t use any makeup, lotions, or perfumes.

You should also arrange a ride to and from Manhattan LASIK Center, where your SMILE procedure will occur, and to and from your first follow-up appointment the day after your procedure. After this first follow-up, most patients are cleared to drive.

During SMILE

Numbing Eye Drops

Once you’re in the surgery room and prepped for the procedure, the surgeon will first numb your eyes with eye drops. You’ll be awake during SMILE, but your surgeon may give you a sedative to help you relax.

The SMILE Procedure

Your surgeon will begin the procedure once the numbing eye drops take effect. A pre-programmed femtosecond laser will create a lenticule in the cornea just under the surface of your eye.

A lenticule is a disc-like shape sized according to your exact refractive error. Your surgeon will then make a small incision in your eye and pull the lenticule out through the incision. Removal of the lenticule will correct your refractive error. The amount of corneal tissue is minimal and precise.

Once the lenticule is removed, the SMILE procedure is complete. There is no need for stitches as the incision is tiny and heals on its own.

SMILE only takes a few minutes per eye, and you can go home shortly after it’s over!


Going Home

After staying for observation and being cleared, you can go home. You won’t be able to drive and will need a friend or family member to bring you home. However, one of the great things about SMILE is you can recover in the comfort of your own home.


If you haven’t yet had your prescriptions filled for the medication you need after SMILE, be sure to do so and have your ride pick them up as soon as possible. These medications will include antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops.

You need to take these as directed to heal as needed after the procedure. Most patients take them for about a week. Your ophthalmologist will tell you when you no longer have to take them.

Resting Your Eyes

Discomfort after the vision correction procedure is only temporary. However, you may experience minor irritation once the numbing eye drops wear off.

One of the best things you can do is rest your eyes for a few hours when you get home from surgery. A nap is a great way to do this, but relax with your eyes closed if you can’t sleep.

Keeping Your Eyes Clean

After the first day following SMILE, you should be able to do most tasks as usual. But you must take extra precautions to keep your eyes clean.

You’ll receive eye shields to protect your eyes at night that you should wear for as long as your eye doctor instructs. Avoid getting water in your eyes, so be careful showering.

You should also avoid makeup, pools, and hot tubs. You can exercise after a few days but should avoid contact sports for several weeks.

After about a month, you’ll be able to do everything you want to do. The best part is that you’ll do it all with improved vision!

Enjoy Your Results!

You’ll be able to see immediate visual improvement following SMILE surgery. As your eyes heal, your vision will only continue to improve.

Once your eyes finish healing after about three months, you’ll reach your peak vision and the final results of SMILE! You’ll be able to see better than ever and enjoy better vision for years to come.

Are you ready for better vision? Find out if you could be a good SMILE candidate by requesting your consultation today at Manhattan LASIK Center in Westchester, NY!