SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

Advanced State-Of-The-Art Laser Eye Surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area

What Is SMILE?

The Most Significant Advancement in Laser Eye Surgery Technology in Over 10 Years

LaserVue is proud to be the first laser vision correction center in the San Francisco Bay Area to offer the Zeiss VisuMax laser for SMILE Laser Vision Correction. SMILE eye surgery is the most cutting-edge laser eye surgery for correcting nearsightedness and astigmatism, providing LASIK-like outcomes with a less invasive procedure. This laser eye surgical procedure has been available in the U.S. since 2016 and in other countries for over ten years; 5 million procedures have been performed worldwide.

What is SMILE Laser Eye Surgery and how does it work?

SMILE stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. SMILE eye surgery is a three-step, one-lay, minimally invasive procedure. During surgery, your surgeon uses a computer-guided, highly focused-laser light to cut a tiny incision in the cornea and remove a small piece of corneal tissue (called a lenticule). In seconds, it reshapes the cornea to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. The actual laser portion of the procedure is quick and completed in 25 seconds, designed to ensure a very comfortable process. Although everyone is different, most people feel excellent the very next day.

Step 1

Smile Eye Surgery Step 1

A highly precise femtosecond laser is used to create a thin contact lens-shaped layer of tissue just beneath the surface of the eye.

Step 2

Smile Eye Surgery Step 2

The lenticule in the eye is removed through a small opening created by the laser, with minimal disruption to the cornea.

Step 3

Smile Eye Surgery Step 3

By removing the lenticule, the shape of the cornea is adjusted and the refractive error is corrected.

Clear Vision, Little Downtime and Amazing Results


  • The world’s most cutting-edge laser eye surgery
  • One laser (femtosecond) only and 100% blade-free
  • Minimally invasive with minimal discomfort
  • Fast recovery time
  • Reduced incidence of dry eyes
  • Safely treats -1.00 to -10.00 diopters of myopia and up to -3 diopters of astigmatism

A One Step, One Laser, Minimally Invasive Procedure

SMILE is a one step, one laser, minimally invasive procedure. Compared to PRK and LASIK, SMILE is less invasive. During a PRK procedure, an 8mm diameter area of the corneal surface cells are removed; with LASIK, your doctor creates a 20mm flap in order to correct your vision. With SMILE eye surgery, your surgeon creates only a 3mm key-hole incision in your cornea which allows for less disturbance to corneal nerves and more corneal stability post-surgery.

No Flap Surgery

Unlike SMILE eye surgery, one of the only drawbacks to a LASIK procedure is the creation of a permanent flap of corneal tissue. With LASIK, the surgeon creates a small flap of corneal tissue using a femtosecond laser which is then folded back into place. They then uses a second laser, called an excimer laser, to reshape the underlying corneal tissue and correct vision. Because of this, it is a more complex procedure than its successor, SMILE. In SMILE eye surgery, your surgeon does not need to create a flap and therefore there are no risks of flap-related complications.

Safe, Accurate, And Fast Visual Recovery

SMILE is just as safe and accurate as LASIK. SMILE also has the added benefit of a quick visual recovery. It only takes one to two days to experience amazing results.

Quiet, Odorless, and Blade-Free

Both LASIK and PRK procedures use a second laser, called an excimer laser, during the procedure which makes a loud ‘clicking’ noise and noticeable odor which can be disconcerting to some patients. Because SMILE does not use an excimer laser, the procedure is both quiet and odorless.

Reduced Chance of Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye is a relatively common side effect of laser eye surgeries. One benefit of SMILE is that it may reduce the chance for dry eye to occur. Because SMILE eye surgery only involves a small incision made in the cornea, there is a smaller chance of dry eye post-surgery.

Combines the Safety of Traditional Vision Correction
with Greater Comfort and Greater Precision


We are committed to your safety. Our dedicated SMILE surgeon and specialized staff work will work with you personally to ensure you are a good candidate for SMILE eye surgery. When it comes to your eyes, we don’t make compromises.

Read more about LaserVue Safety Standards.

SMILE Safety Information

Dr. Jay Bansal, Ophthalmologist providing LASIK in Sonoma County, Santa Rosa Laser Eye Surgery
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    Advanced Technology

    We use the most advanced SMILE Technology, the Zeiss VisuMax Laser, to ensure your best possible vision.

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    Experienced Surgeon

    Our board-certified ophthalmologists have performed tens of thousands of surgeries.

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    Proven Results

    Our results speak for themselves. Thousands of satisfied patients have trusted their vision with LaserVue.

Affordable Financing Options Available


One of the first questions asked is always “What does it cost?” Which is why we provide you with all the information needed to make an informed financial decision.  You can save thousands of dollars by ditching your glasses and contacts.


2 Year Financing

SMILE should be affordable for everyone. With 24-month financing, you can make payments that work for you.

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Flex Spending

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, you can save hundreds on SMILE.

Cost vs. Risk

As with every surgery, the cost and the risks of SMILE should be carefully considered beforehand.


We want you to have the best experience possible and we work with our patients individually to make sure SMILE is the right choice. But we also think it is in both our best interest if you are a good candidate for SMILE eye surgery. General candidacy guidelines include:

Are you over 18 years of age?

You must be an adult aged 18 or older to be a candidate for SMILE eye surgery.

No history of eye disease?

As eye disease can cause serious complications, speak with one of our experienced surgeons to be sure SMILE is right for you.

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Do you have a stable prescription?

Some volatile prescriptions can prevent you from being a candidate. Speak with one of our experienced doctors to be sure SMILE eye surgery is right for you.

Are you in overall good health?

Your overall general health is important. Your safety is our primary concern.

Not a Good LASIK Candidate? SMILE Could be for You

There are three common things that can cause a patient to not be eligible for LASIK:

  •  Irregularly shaped or thin corneas
  • Predisposition to dry-eye or chronic dry eye syndrome
  • Patients who perform sports or jobs with a lot of direct contact to the eyes (ex: boxers, fighters, etc)

SMILE can possibly be an appropriate procedure for those who have been disqualified from LASIK candidacy due to these factors.

Our Patients Love Their New Vision


Our patients love LaserVue. But don’t take our word for it. Hear what they have to say:


SMILE Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out if I am a candidate for SMILE?

In order to know if you are a candidate for SMILE vision correction, it is necessary that you have a thorough vision correction consultation. If in the past you were told you were not eligible for LASIK, it is important to get a second opinion. LASERVUE is a SMILE specialist allowing for vision correction on many patients who were not previously good vision correction candidates.

Is SMILE eye surgery a safe procedure?

Yes, SMILE eye surgery has been proven safe and effective and is FDA approved. Over 3.5 million SMILE procedures have been performed globally across over 70 countries. It is effective and not as invasive as surgeries like LASIK.

How long do results from SMILE last?

The SMILE results are permanent, but since people experience changes to their vision over time, you may experience changes in your vision not related to SMILE. This is due to the effects of the aging process on the crystalline lens of the eye. These near vision changes are treatable and can be further corrected down the line.

Can I have SMILE done in both eyes in the same surgery?

Yes, absolutely! It is possible and typically recommended. This allows for one session and one recovery time. Make sure you have a friend or loved one take you home after the surgery.

Is the SMILE procedure painful?

No, the procedure is not painful. Before the procedure, your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic drops, and while you may feel slight pressure during the procedure, there will not be actual pain except in very rare cases. Your LaserVue surgeon will talk you through the procedure and with it being a very quick operation, the procedure is very comfortable overall. After the surgery there may be some uncomfortable dryness, but as your eye heals this will subside.

How long does the SMILE procedure take to complete?

SMILE is a very fast and virtually painless procedure. Typical time in the vision correction room is only about 10-15 minutes, and the actual laser time is roughly 30 seconds per eye. Most patients are shocked at how quick and easy the procedure is for them.

Can I drive after SMILE surgery?

Directly after the surgery you will need a friend, family member, or loved one to take you home. However, most people can resume driving the day following the SMILE procedure. Many patients drive themselves to their 24 hour post-op appointment.

Can I go swimming after SMILE surgery?

It is recommended that you wait at least one week before you go swimming after your procedure. This is recommended to reduce risk of infection from water-borne viruses and bacteria.

San Francisco

LaserVue LASIK and Laser Eye Surgery Center San Francisco
711 Van Ness Ave Suite 320,
San Francisco, CA 94102
Location & Map 1-800-527-3745 1-415-346-5500

Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa Business Location
3540 Mendocino Ave. #200,
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Location & Map 1-800-527-3745 1-707-522-6200

Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa Business Location
3540 Mendocino Ave. #200,
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Location & Map 1-800-527-3745 1-707-522-6200

Free Consultation

Helping you to achieve your personal best vision is our mission at LaserVue Eye Center. Wondering where to start? Please complete the fields below to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options with our eye doctors!

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