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SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

ReLEx® SMILE - Advanced State-Of-The-Art Laser Eye Surgery

What Is SMILE?

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

SMILE is a one-step, one laser procedure that is less invasive than LASIK.

The Procedure

SMILE Laser Eye Surgery– one step to better vision

SMILE is an acronym that stands for “Small Incision Lenticule Extraction” and is the latest advancement in laser vision correction.

LaserVue is proud to be the first laser vision correction center in Northern California to offer the Zeiss VisuMax laser for SMILE Laser Vision Correction. The SMILE procedure is the most cutting-edge laser eye surgery for the correction of myopia (near-sightedness) providing LASIK-like outcomes in a less invasive surgery.

SMILE is a one step, one laser, minimally invasive procedure. During a SMILE procedure, your surgeon will use computer guided, highly focused laser light to cut a tiny incision in the cornea and will use it to remove a small piece of corneal tissue (called a lenticule). This reshapes the cornea and corrects your vision.

The procedure combines the safety of traditional vision correction techniques with even greater comfort and potentially greater precision.

A precise procedure

The cornea composes 5 layers. To correct eyesight focusing problems, only the stroma (the middle layer) has to be reshaped. The SMILE laser works to apply a series of tiny bubbles to create the base of the lenticule (in the lower part of the stroma) and then the top of the lenticule (in the upper part of the stroma). The creation of a small keyhole incision allows your surgeon access to the stroma, so the surgeon can remove the targeted piece of tissue in order to correct your vision. That’s it! In a matter of seconds cornea has been reshaped and the patient is provided optimal visual results.

SMILE vision correction is a pain-free keyhole procedure using a single advanced Zeiss laser.

Comfort and ease

The actual laser portion of the procedure is quick – it’s completed in 25 seconds. SMILE is designed to ensure it’s a very comfortable procedure. Although everyone and their body are different, most people will be feeling great the very next day.

Clear Vision, Little Downtime

and Amazing Results

A One Step, One Laser, Minimally Invasive Procedure

The Benefits of SMILE

Less Invasive Surgery

SMILE is a one step, one laser, minimally invasive procedure. Compared to LASIK or PRK, SMILE is a less invasive laser eye surgery procedure.  During LASIK, your doctor creates a flap in order to correct your vision. This flap is 20mm in circumference. During a PRK procedure, an 8mm diameter surface removal is created to correct vision.  During a SMILE procedure, your surgeon only needs to create a 3mm key-hole incision in your cornea.

This small incision allows for less disturbance to corneal nerves and more corneal stability post-surgery.

No Flap Surgery

One of the only drawbacks to a LASIK procedure is the creation of a permanent flap of corneal tissue.  During LASIK, a small flap of corneal tissue is created using a femtosecond laser and then folded back.  The surgeon 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.

It is important to note that LASIK is an extremely safe and trusted procedure. However, rarely complications can arise. Many of these complications are called ‘flap-related complications’ and are due to the flap created during surgery.

Since no flap is created during a SMILE procedure, there is absolutely no risk for flap-related complications.

Safe, Accurate, And Fast Visual Recovery

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

Quiet, Odorless, and Blade-Free

Both LASIK and PRK procedures use a second laser, called an excimer laser, during the procedure.  This laser is known to create a loud ‘clicking’ noise when used, which can be disconcerting to some patients. The excimer laser also known to create a noticeable odor during a LASIK procedure, as it is used to ablate corneal cells. 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 only involves a small incision made in the cornea, there is potentially a smaller chance of dry eye post-surgery.

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.

Smile Combines the Safety of Traditional Vision Correction Techniques

with Even Greater Comfort and Potentially Greater Precision

The Difference Between SMILE and LASIK

A ReLEx® SMILE Laser Eye Surgery is a one-step, one laser only procedure. By comparison, LASIK is a two-step, two laser procedure.

During a LASIK procedure, a corneal flap is created using a femtosecond laser and then an excimer laser ablates the tissue to reshape the cornea. During a SMILE procedure, the femtosecond laser is used to cut a small corneal lenticule (precise lens-shaped disc within the cornea) and then it is removed via a small keyhole incision.

The biggest difference and advancement between the two is the fact that SMILE laser eye surgery is a flapless procedure.  Because there is no flap created like in LASIK, there is no chance of flap-related complications.

SMILE was recently featured on NBC Nightly News:


We are deeply devoted to your safety. Our experienced laser eye surgeon, Dr. Jay Bansal, and his staff work with you personally to ensure you are a candidate for SMILE eye surgery.  Read more about LaserVue Safety Standards.

Dr. Jay Bansal, Ophthalmologist with LASIK Technology and Patient
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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

Apply Now for SMILE financing


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.

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Cost vs. Risk

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

Our Patients Love

Their New Vision


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



San Francisco

LaserVue LASIK and Cataract Center San Francisco
711 Van Ness Ave #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

Mountain View

Laservue LASIK Center in Mountain View
1174 Castro St., #112,
Mountain View, CA 94040
Location & Map 1-800-527-3745 1-650-966-0900

Call 1-800-LASER-45 or Schedule a Consultation