What to Expect After SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

Are you scheduled to have SMILE eye surgery in the near future? Congratulations! SMILE is one of the safest and most advanced elective eye surgeries available for those suffering from myopia or astigmatism. After the short laser procedure, it is likely you will be free of glasses or contact lenses, for good. SMILE works similarly to LASIK eye surgery, in that it reshapes your cornea to correct your refractive vision error.

Unlike LASIK, this procedure does not require the creation of a corneal flap to reshape your cornea. Since no flap is created during a SMILE refractive surgery, there is absolutely no risk of flap-related complications. Not only is this one-step, one-laser process less invasive, it is less likely to result in dry eyes — a symptom many LASIK patients experience after surgery.

Although SMILE is generally safe, quick, and effective, it is important to take proper post-operative care of your eyes to ensure successful healing. Follow our tips below and you will be on your way to better, healthier vision in no time at all.

Excessive UV Exposure

After SMILE surgery, it is likely your eye doctor will instruct you to wear sunglasses for about one week. You might feel particularly sensitive to light, and excessive exposure can be uncomfortable and slow the healing process. High quality sunglasses with 100% UV protection are highly recommended for regular use, and they are especially important after SMILE eye surgery.

Smoky and Dusty Areas

Post-SMILE is not the time to head to local barbecue joint! Avoid smoky and dusty areas, including campfires, dirt roads, or other places where smoke and dust is present and could get into your eyes. Foreign debris in your healing eye can cause an infection or other complications during the recovery process.


You should avoid driving for one day immediately following your procedure, and stay in the area to attend follow up appointments in the days and weeks following SMILE surgery. Plan on having a friend or family member take you to and from your surgery and first follow up appointment.

It is generally determined to be okay for patients to drive 24 hours after the operation has taken place. You will likely drive yourself to a follow up appointment about one week later.

Eye Makeup

Did you know that make up and make up brushes are common carriers of harsh chemicals and bacteria? Following laser eye surgery, you should steer clear of applying makeup on or around your eyes for about one week. It can lead to serious infections or cause you to rub your eyes, which can affect your healing process.

Even if you are not receiving SMILE eye surgery, you might want to consider switching to makeup with natural ingredients, as well as replacing your makeup on a regular basis to protect your eyes.

Reading & Screen Time

Avoid heavy reading for a few days after SMILE eye surgery to avoid eye strain. This especially includes reading on and looking at computer screens, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Unnecessary stress on your eyes can be uncomfortable and increase recovery time. Some eye doctors suggest going one week without excessive screen use.

Enjoy a Healthy Recovery from SMILE Surgery by Following These Tips

While everyone’s healing process differs, it is important to follow these general tips to ensure the smoothest and fastest recovery possible. At LaserVue, there’s nothing more important to us than our patients’ experience. From the first SMILE consultation to the recovery and results, we want every moment to feel comfortable and safe.

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.