What to Expect After Having SMILE Eye Surgery

At LaserVue Eye Center, your comfort and safety during your recovery from SMILE laser eye surgery are just as important to us as the procedure itself. To ensure your journey to better vision is as successful as possible, our team will be here for you every step of the way.

One of the many benefits of receiving SMILE eye surgery is the speedier recovery time, but a healthy recovery requires responsible aftercare. Learn more about what to expect after having SMILE surgery and follow the tips below for optimal results.

Immediately After SMILE Eye Surgery

For the first 24 hours following your SMILE eye surgery procedure, you will not be permitted to drive. You will need to arrange to have a friend or family member drive you home after your surgery. Everyone’s healing time will be unique, but most patients are able to resume driving the very next day.

Plan on spending the remainder of your day resting and avoid activities like reading, watching television, or using the computer while you rest. We recommend taking a long nap after the surgery. Your eyes will begin healing immediately after your SMILE surgery is completed. It is not uncommon to experience periods of vision fluctuations as you recover.

Our patients at LaserVue Eye center report up to 80% better vision within hours following their SMILE procedure. Your vision will continue to improve in the following weeks as you continue to follow your surgeon’s instructions through recovery.

Days After SMILE Eye Surgery

Although SMILE eye surgery requires little downtime, you should plan on taking the next few days slowly as your cornea heals. Avoid any water activities like swimming in pools or soaking in hot tubs for the first few days after your procedure. Make sure to keep any water out of your eyes – even while showering – until you are fully healed. Keep your exercise light and low-impact for at least two to three days. You should be able to return to normal daily exercise with clearance from your eye doctor.

The day after your procedure, you will have a follow-up appointment with your eye surgeon. Make sure to inform them of side effects or vision developments during these appointments.

Side effects of SMILE laser eye surgery are temporary, typically lasting no more than 3-6 months and can be easily managed. Patients most commonly report experiencing the following:

Initial Side Effects of SMILE Eye Surgery

  • Fluctuating vision
  • Halos or glares around lights
  • Dryness
  • Light sensitivity

Unlike other laser eye procedures, there is a lower risk of developing chronic dry eye or corneal flap displacement following your SMILE eye surgery. There is also a faster recovery in terms of inflammation and dryness compared to LASIK, one of the many advantages to SMILE. To ensure you are on track to fast and comfortable recovery, regular follow-up appointments, as well as using the medicated and lubricating eye drops as instructed is very important.

Weeks Following SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

To ensure your SMILE eye surgery recovery is quick and easy, follow these tips in the weeks following your refractive surgery:

Don’t Wear Make-Up

Make-up applicators and brushes can be teaming with micro-bacteria that can lead to severe eye infections. To avoid any interruption to a healthy recovery, refrain from wearing make-up for at least one week after your SMILE eye surgery.

Continue to Use all Medications and Eye Drops as Prescribed

In the following weeks of SMILE eye surgery, you will need to continue to use all your prescribed eye drops and medications until advised otherwise by your eye surgeon. Even as the side effects begin to subside, you should always continue to follow all aftercare instructions. Do not use any drops, pain relievers, or non-approved medications while recovering from SMILE eye surgery.

Wear Protective Eyewear

Make sure to wear your provided eye shield while sleeping for at least the first three nights after SMILE eye surgery. Whenever you go outside, you will need to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays with polarized sunglasses. Avoid any possible trauma to your eyes by wearing protective eyewear when participating in any contact sports or other such activities.

Avoid Areas with Smoke or Dust in The Air

In the weeks after your SMILE surgery, you will want to avoid areas with airborne particles like sand, smoke, or dust. Small irritants like this can cause damage to your eyes, or cause great discomfort as you heal.

Get a Free SMILE Eye Surgery Consultation at LaserVue Eye Center

Click here to schedule a free consultation at LaserVue Eye Center

Is ReLex SMILE eye surgery right for you? Schedule a consultation with the refractive surgeons at LaserVue Eye Center today to see if you are a candidate for SMILE laser vision correction.

We will help determine the best treatment for your refractive issue and craft a plan for safe and effective visual recovery. Give us a call at 1-800-527-3745, or schedule online today!