There’s no doubt you’ve heard of LASIK, the laser eye surgery that can make glasses and contact lenses a thing of the past. For certain patients, SMILE is the new and improved alternative to this popular procedure. SMILE, which Dr. Wu calls “LASIK 2.0,” can achieve comparable visual results as LASIK with less post-surgery dryness and no risk for flap dislocation. This innovative procedure might be just what you need to start each day with clear vision and a smile.

What is SMILE Eye Surgery?

SMILE stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction and is an eye surgery that corrects nearsightedness and astigmatism. Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when either the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved. As a result, light doesn’t focus correctly on the retina, and the patient struggles to see faraway objects clearly.

Myopia is the most common vision impairment in people under 40. It forces countless people to rely on glasses or contact lenses to navigate everyday life, which may limit some of their activities. SMILE eye surgery frees many patients from the inconvenience of depending on corrective lenses, allowing them to live fully and see clearly.

Learn More


SMILE is a newer, less invasive procedure than LASIK and PRK, requiring a smaller corneal incision and no corneal flap. This may make it more suitable for athletes and active patients at risk of dislodging a LASIK flap. SMILE eye surgery may also be better for patients with dry eyes as the procedure carries less risk of causing dry eye.

Ideal candidates for SMILE are over 22, have healthy eyes, and have stable vision with up to -10.00 diopeters of nearsightedness. SMILE corrects myopia and myopic astigmatism, so it is only intended for nearsighted patients. Since SMILE cannot treat hyperopia (farsightedness), those patients would be better suited for LASIK and/or PRK. The best way to determine your candidacy for any vision correction procedure is to consult an eye surgeon like Dr. Jennifer Wu. In addition to assessing your eyes, she will personally discuss your lifestyle, goals, and medical history to evaluate which procedure best meets your needs.

In many ways, SMILE is an even simpler and quicker procedure than LASIK, using only one laser instead of two. While LASIK involves a femtosecond laser to cut a small flap in the cornea and then a separate excimer laser to reshape the exposed corneal tissue, SMILE is a one-laser procedure requiring no corneal flap.

First, we will apply numbing eye drops so you won’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. Dr. Wu will then use a femtosecond laser to cut a small disc of corneal tissue (lenticule) to reshape the cornea. This procedure takes just a few minutes per eye.

A friend or family member can drive you home after the procedure, and you should plan to rest on the day of surgery. Patients typically resume work and regular activities the next day after SMILE eye surgery. Since it’s less invasive and causes less corneal nerve damage, SMILE generally has a faster, easier recovery than alternative laser vision correction options. There is less risk of dry eye after SMILE than LASIK.

Many patients notice improvement in their vision immediately after SMILE, but it may take a few days or weeks to see optimal results. There is minimal discomfort and side effects from SMILE surgery, but be sure to follow Dr. Wu’s aftercare instructions. You’ll need to use eye drops, avoid eye makeup, and avoid getting water in your eyes for at least a few days.

Most people enjoy 20/20 vision or better after SMILE eye surgery and no longer need glasses or contact lenses. You may find it easier to participate in recreational activities without the hassle of corrective lenses.

The results are long-lasting since SMILE permanently reshapes the cornea to correct myopia. You can expect to enjoy clearer vision for several years. However, laser vision correction procedures like SMILE cannot stop the eyes from aging, and this natural deterioration eventually leads to presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), requiring patients to use reading glasses for up-close tasks. Patients may opt for a lens replacement surgery (refractive lens exchange or RLE) later in life to correct presbyopia and maintain their clear, youthful vision.

Our Advanced Technology for SMILE

When considering vision correction, finding the right procedure is only part of the decision–the other part is finding the right eye surgeon. Dr. Wu at One EyeCare uses only the latest technology and techniques to ensure the best outcomes for her patients. By using advanced technology and prioritizing detailed assessments of each patient’s eyes, she can offer effective vision correction for even the most complex cases.

Dr. Wu believes in finding a suitable plan for every patient. She often takes on challenging cases that other eye surgeons have declined, helping these patients achieve lasting vision correction even after they’d been told they were ineligible for laser eye surgery. Additionally, she helps many people reach an optimal outcome if a previous procedure elsewhere did not yield satisfactory results.

Take the Next Step

Hello, Clear Vision!

Ready to learn more about SMILE and how you can achieve clearer vision with Dr. Wu? Fill out the form below or call us at (949) 208-9090 to schedule an eye exam and consultation at One EyeCare. Dr. Jennifer Wu is dedicated to providing you with personalized care and the most advanced treatment options. She proudly serves Orange County in Costa Mesa, CA.