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Eye Vis (Lond). 2014 Oct 16;1:3. doi: 10.1186/s40662-014-0003-1. eCollection 2014.

Small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) history, fundamentals of a new refractive surgery technique and clinical outcomes.

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London Vision Clinic, 138 Harley Street, London, W1G 7LA UK ; Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY USA ; Centre Hospitalier National d'Ophtalmologie, Paris, France.
London Vision Clinic, 138 Harley Street, London, W1G 7LA UK.


in English, French

This review summarizes the current status of the small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) procedure. Following the early work by Sekundo et al. and Shah et al., SMILE has become increasingly popular. The accuracy of the creation of the lenticule with the VisuMax femtosecond laser (Carl Zeiss Meditec) has been verified using very high-frequency (VHF) digital ultrasound and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Visual and refractive outcomes have been shown to be similar to those achieved with laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), notably in a large population reported by Hjortdal, Vestergaard et al. Safety in terms of the change in corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) has also been shown to be similar to LASIK. It was expected that there would be less postoperative dry eye after SMILE compared to LASIK because the anterior stroma is disturbed only by the small incision, meaning that the anterior corneal nerves should be less affected. A number of studies have demonstrated a lower reduction and faster recovery of corneal sensation after SMILE than LASIK. Some studies have also used confocal microscopy to demonstrate a lower decrease in subbasal nerve fiber density after SMILE than LASIK. The potential biomechanical advantages of SMILE have been modeled by Reinstein et al. based on the non-linearity of tensile strength through the stroma. Studies have reported a similar change in Ocular Response Analyzer (Reichert) parameters after SMILE and LASIK, however, these have previously been shown to be unreliable as a representation of corneal biomechanics. Retreatment options after SMILE are discussed. Tissue addition applications of the SMILE procedure are also discussed including the potential for cryo-preservation of the lenticule for later reimplantation (Mohamed-Noriega, Angunawela, Lim et al.), and a new procedure referred to as endokeratophakia in which a myopic SMILE lenticule is implanted into a hyperopic patient (Pradhan et al.). Finally, studies reporting microdistortions in Bowman's layer and corneal wound healing responses are also described.


Cap; Corneal biomechanics; Corneal innervation; Corneal sensation; Dry eye; Endokeratophakia; Laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK); Lenticule; Small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE)

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