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Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) is a newer procedure that may be better for some patients, including those with dry eyes. SMILE is a completely different approach from LASIK: no flap, no excimer laser, and a much smaller opening in the cornea. We have a long experience with SMILE and led the trials for FDA approval.

The procedure uses only a femtosecond laser to create a very precise, lens-shaped portion of tissue within the cornea and a small-incision opening.

Next, the lens-shaped portion of tissue is removed through the micro-incision. The cornea then settles into the shape needed to accurately focus light onto the retina.

“I don’t know why I didn’t get this done earlier. The surgery went great. I see better than ever. Overall a great experience.”

– Anonymous

Dr. Slade’s First Hand Experience with SMILE Eye Surgery

Dr. Slade has many years of experience with the SMILE Eye Surgery procedure. In fact, he was one of three eye surgeons on the team to put SMILE through FDA trials and proceeded to teach courses to other ophthalmologist in order to train them on the procedure as well.


  • People who are 18 and older with a history of stable vision
  • People who are nearsighted
  • No evidence of corneal disease or certain autoimmune conditions

When patients have SMILE to depend less on glasses or contacts, the goal is to improve vision without glasses. Safety data examines the worst-case scenario: what are the chances that vision is worse with glasses than before?

Good news! Once patients were measured at 6 months post-op in the FDA trial for SMILE, there were no patients who lost 2 or more lines of best-corrected vision in the eye that had SMILE. And, the complication rate was less than 1%. Less than 1% sounds like a pretty good number to us! (

Currently, nearsightedness with minimal astigmatism can be corrected with SMILE. So basically…if you can’t see far away, call us to come to see if you are a candidate for SMILE!

We expect SMILE to be approved for nearsighted with more astigmatism in the future, so feel free to call and ask for any updates.

SMILE takes about 5-10 minutes per eye. Most patients say it’s painless since we use very effective numbing drops.

Yes, and we offer some relaxation medication to patients who would like it – most do. Being awake helps us achieve optimal centration in order to achieve your best visual outcome possible. There’s a blinking green light to help you focus while Dr. Slade performs the procedure.

Yes. The thin, lens-shaped portion of corneal tissue – called a lenticule is permanently removed. It is minimally invasive, as the incision size is very small. As for any corneal refractive procedure for myopia, including SMILE, LASIK, or PRK, effects generally do not “wear off”. While living tissue can change subtly over time, the main reason people notice visual changes over long periods of time – and this is often age-dependent – is due to changes inside the eye.

Around age 40, the natural lens on the inside of the eye becomes stiffer, causing difficulty focusing on near items or tasks. This is called presbyopia.

Also, the natural lens can eventually become cloudy which is called a cataract. These natural changes of the eye still occur as the eye matures, even after SMILE or other corneal procedures.

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The doctors at Slade and Baker Vision have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.

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3900 Essex Lane – Suite 101
Houston, TX 77027

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