Dr. Dishler talks about the new SMILE laser vision procedure.
After 4 months of performing SMILE post-FDA approval, we’re more excited than ever to share the benefits of SMILE with the entire community. SMILE, LASIK, and PRK truly allow our practice to serve the most patients possible by offering a complete program of laser vision correction.
We talked to Dr. Jon G. Dishler about the SMILE procedure and the overall state of laser vision correction. Read on to hear all about SMILE, straight from the doctor!
Tell us about your history with this innovative one of a kind technology?
“I had the honor of being invited to Germany about 13 years ago to see the prototype of the laser now used for the SMILE procedure. A few years later I was invited back to perform some of the very first of these procedures under a special medical license to allow me to operate in Germany. Since that time, I have worked with Zeiss as a consultant to help to bring this technology to the world and more recently as the Medical Monitor of the pivotal USA clinical trial, to successfully get this procedure approved in the United States. I continue to work with Zeiss on technology, patents, research, and clinical applications of SMILE and other laser technologies”.
Tell me about the past 4 months of SMILE procedures.
“Because we were a clinical research site for both of the SMILE clinical trials in the USA, we had experience with the procedure for several years before commercial launch. Even so, it is a unique experience to offer this option to patients and we had to decide how best to integrate it with our other refractive procedures such as LASIK and PRK”.
What surprised you about the experience and the results of SMILE?
My main concern was since this was a relatively new and in most cases unheard of procedure, I was not sure that even with the potential benefits that patients would be electing this option for their vision correction. However, with the careful education of my staff, many were willing to embrace it in spite of these limitations”.
What did your patients think about the SMILE experience?
“Most of the patients we have treated have been very happy with their experience at our office, having the procedure, and their post-operative comfort and visual result. There have been a few patients who had a slight delay in their visual recovery, but they were told that they might expect this, and all very soon after had very clear vision. The SMILE patients are a happy group”.
How do you see SMILE fitting into your laser vision correction program moving forward?
“We at first tried to position SMILE as a premium procedure with a premium price and although I think it deserves this recognition due to many factors, we found that it was best to keep the pricing out of the decision-making process, and offer the patient whatever procedure was a best fit to their needs and desires. Most who choose SMILE like the idea of not needing a “flap” and the potential issues associated with protecting their flap during the healing phase. There is also an understanding that there are likely less dry eye issues with SMILE and possibly less structural weakening of the eye than with LASIK. One limitation currently is that SMILE is currently only approved for patients without significant astigmatism, so it is not for everybody. There is another SMILE study that is wrapping up and it is hoped that the correction will be extended to potential patients with astigmatism in about a year”.
You can find even more information about SMILE throughout our blog and our site, or jump right in and call us for your free SMILE consultation!
We’d love to walk you through LASIK, SMILE and the advances in laser vision correction that can make better vision a reality.