SMILE laser surgery info

After SMILE surgery procedure

Laser surgery procedure is a solution to vision problems for many people. Still it’s important to remember that the eye like any other tissue or organ needs time to recover from the operation. It would be good to come to the surgery procedure with a companion. There could be inconvenience or sense of rubbing or foreign body in the eye right after the operation. The eyes can be sensitive to light and watery, and reddening of the eye whites might occur. Vision is hazy at first and pain in the eyes can be present. Keeping the eyes shut as much as possible, frequent use of artificial tears and wearing sunglasses usually helps to alleviate these complaints.

The complaints usually disappear within a few days after a SMILE surgery procedure. It would be practical to plan to stay away from work or school for a couple of days; we recommend planning a working-free period of up to 3-5 days after a SMILE procedure, depending upon the profession.

Try to rest on the day of surgery procedure! Caution should be exercised in case of activities where something can get into your eyes. Also those activities that can worsen the dryness of the eyes should be avoided, including working with computer or watching TV. Anti-inflammatory eye drops and artificial tears should be used at home as prescribed by the doctor. Painkillers may be taken, if necessary. Protective contact lenses will be inserted sometimes on the cornea after SMILE surgery procedure and will then be removed by the medical staff in the next day. 

24 hours after the SMILE surgery it is allowed to take a bath and a shower. Avoid soap and water getting into the eyes. It is recommended to apply anti-inflammatory eye drops after taking a shower. Sauna is not allowed during the first week after the operation, later it is recommended to use moisturising eye drops right before and after the sauna. It is allowed to read and watch TV, but it should not be forgotten to moisten the eyes with artificial tears. In dry and air-conditioned rooms (including on a plane) artificial tears should be applied at least every 30 minutes. Driving a car is allowed when it has been confirmed at the follow-up visit that the vision has recovered sufficiently. 

3 days after the operation exercise may be started. Playing golf and lifting weights is also allowed. Moderate alcohol consumption is allowed. Applying makeup to the eyes is also allowed. It is very important to moisten the eyes regularly when working with a computer.

1 month after the operation it is allowed to lie in the sun with sunglasses that protect the eyes effectively. However, sunlight can promote the formation of scar tissue; therefore it is not recommended to plan holidays in countries with intense sunlight during first months after the operation. 

It usually takes three to six months until vision is completely stabilised. Problems with night vision might still persist that can pose risks when driving the car at night. Be careful when assessing your capabilities!

Please contact your doctor immediately if the eye starts to ache, or if you develop reddening or a strong sense of rubbing in the eye, or in case of vision impairment!

How to instill medications after SMILE procedure

To instill the drops pull down your lower eyelid. Squeeze the bottle to place 1 drop in the pocket between the eyeball and the lower eyelid. Wait at least 5 minutes between each type of medication.

Systane / Optive – lubricant eye drops

  • First day after the surgery - every 15 minutes
  • 2 -7 days after surgery - every 30 minutes
  • 8-14 days - once every hour
  • Starting from 15 days - 4-5 times a day and also every time when feeling a burning sensation or itching in your eyes.
  • Over the first 6 months it is recommended that you use the eye drops in the mornings and also every time when feeling a burning sensation or itching in your eyes.

Tobradex – anti-imflammatory and antibiotic eye drops

  • On the first day every 1-1,5 hours
  • From then on 5 times a day one week
  • Thereafter 3 times a day one week