• What Are the Risks of SMILE?

    Written By: David Turbert
    Reviewed By: Elena M Jimenez MD
    May. 03, 2018

    Like any surgery, SMILE carries the risk of problems or complications you should consider. These include:

    • glare and halos around lights, particularly at night
    • debris where the corneal disc was removed
    • inflammation within the treated area
    • infection
    • retreatment which must be done with surface PRK

    Also, with SMILE, your vision may end up being undercorrected or overcorrected. These problems often can be improved with glasses, contact lenses, or additional laser surgery.

    Most complications can be treated without any loss of vision. However, very rare problems may include:

    • having worse vision than before SMILE, even with glasses or contacts (called loss of best-corrected vision)
    • blindness 

    If you are happy wearing contacts or glasses, you may not want to have refractive surgery. Together, you and your ophthalmologist can weigh the risks and rewards of SMILE.