Dr. Dishler Talks About SMILE

The launch of our new SMILE laser vision correction program, at Dishler Laser Institute, has given us another way to help our patients see better and live more fully.

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.

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SMILE By The Numbers

SMILE by the numbers Interesting facts and statistics that show what makes                                                                   laser vision correction with SMILE great!

Clicking around our site, you’ve certainly read a lot about SMILE at this point. Dr. Dishler was involved with the development of this new SMILE procedure since 2012 and we’re excited to be the first  to perform SMILE in the entire USA post FDA approval!   If you’re ready to learn about how SMILE and LASIK can change your life, call or email us to set up your laser vision consultation.

Because SMILE is exciting and new, our patients and friends don’t yet know everything about how it works and its value. We want to share some of the main facts and statistics that reveal the great benefits and experience you can have with SMILE at our practice.

0 – Odor or noise produced during a SMILE procedure. Because SMILE is gentle, simple and minimally invasive, there are no noises and odors produced during the procedure. This is an incredibly comfortable procedure.

1 – Number of days before you can return to work after SMILE (and LASIK). After the day of the procedure, most patients are back to work the next morning. SMILE can fit into any busy lifestyle.

2-7 – Number of days for a full recovery after SMILE. Most patients experience better vision just a few hours after their SMILE, and are back at work the next day! Recovery after SMILE is quick and doesn’t affect your lifestyle.

30 – The average number of seconds the SMILE laser is active during a SMILE procedure. This amount of time varies a bit for each patient, but overall SMILE is a very quick and comfortable laser vision correction procedure.

1,000+ – Number of doctors around the world who are performing successful SMILE procedures. SMILE is a proven laser vision correction option that is rapidly growing around the world.

750,000+ – Number of successful SMILE procedures performed worldwide. Patients around the world are benefiting from the latest laser vision correction technology, and you can too!

SMILE is now an important part of any complete laser vision correction program. As of now, we are the first and only center in Colorado to offer SMILE, the latest option to correct nearsightedness. We’re proud to offer 3 corneal refractive procedures; LASIK, SMILE and PRK. We are thrilled by how SMILE is being accepted by our patients and   helping  them see more clearly.

To see if LASIK, SMILE or PRK are right for you, call us to set up a free consultation or ask questions

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The SMILE procedure – Explain it to me!


Like LASIK, SMILE can be explained and understood in a simple four-step process.

You’ve heard of LASIK. Perhaps by now you’ve heard of SMILE as well. But how, exactly, does SMILE work? To help you understand SMILE, how it compares to LASIK and what makes it special, we’re sharing with you these four simple steps of the SMILE procedure. Let us know if you have questions or if you’re ready to stop in for your free consultation!

  1. SMILE Step 1 – Your eye is measured and tested to ensure total precision and accuracy.

  2. SMILE Step 2 – A precise laser is used to trim a small contact lens-shaped layer just under the surface of the cornea.

    SMILE Step 3 – A tiny laser opening is made on the surface of the eye near the edge of the cornea.

    SMILE Step 4 -The small layer, which is about the size of a contact lens, is removed through the tiny opening.










That’s it! That’s how we SMILE! This simple procedure reshapes the cornea of your eye to allow it to focus images more clearly on your retina, creating better vision without glasses or contacts.

LASIK and SMILE have similarly positive visual outcomes, and both have been proven around the world to create better, freer vision. To find out which one is right for you, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors.

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10 Reasons to SMILE- A gentler laser vision correction is here.


10 Reasons to SMILE

The latest advancement in laser vision correction, SMILE, has many great benefits. Our practice has helped thousands of patients see better through laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK.


Now we’re thrilled to offer the latest innovation in laser vision correction, called SMILE. As the first in North America to perform SMILE in 2012, and the first to perform the procedure post FDA approval, Dr. Jon Dishler is the most experienced surgeon for SMILE procedure in the United States.


Together with LASIK, SMILE provides a powerful technology to help you see better without glasses and contacts. To help you get to know SMILE, we’d like to share 10 reasons you should consider SMILE to improve your vision.

  1. 1. SMILE can correct your vision. SMILE gives you corrected vision without the hassle of glasses or contacts.


  1. 2. SMILE has been successfully performed around the globe for many years. SMILE was developed by ZEISS, a company known for 170 years of optical innovation. More than 750,000 SMILES have been performed worldwide.


  1. 3. SMILE is gentle and minimally invasive. SMILE is a highly precise procedure. A tiny laser opening and lack of corneal cutting creates little disturbance to the eye, helping you recover quickly with predictable visual outcomes.


  1. 4. SMILE is a simple and fast procedure. During a SMILE procedure, the latest in laser technology is used to gently create a thin, contact lens-shaped layer just beneath the surface of the eye, which is removed through a small opening. In this way, SMILE reshapes the surface of your eye and sharpens your vision, correcting the refractive error. SMILE is a gentle and highly precise procedure lasting only a few minutes, with the laser only active for about 30 seconds on average. Read all about the SMILE procedure on our information page.


  1. 5. Rapid visual recovery after your SMILE. While visual recovery is ever so slightly behind that of LASIK, people often return to most of their daily activities the day after their SMILE procedure. Full visual recovery is comparable to that of LASIK1.


  1. 6. SMILE promotes eye strength and stability. Potential for flap dislocation or detachment isn’t a factor with SMILE because the procedure is minimally invasive.


  1. 7. Surgical results are consistent and predictable with SMILE. The visual outcome is highly predictable. More than 750,000 SMILEs have been performed worldwide, and the results have been amazing!


  1. 8. SMILE is a procedure with minimal risk. Cases of dry eye, disturbed nerves and infection as a result of laser vision correction are very low with SMILE2.


  1. 9. SMILE is a noiseless, odorless procedure. SMILE is minimally invasive and is one of the gentler, more comfortable forms of laser vision correction.


  1. 10. The SMILE procedure offers quick healing time. Patients are able to resume most normal daily activities within 24 hours, including driving, showering, applying makeup and going to work.


  1. These 10 reasons to SMILE are just the start!
  2. Call us today to find out if SMILE is the laser vision correction option that’s best for you.


  1. 1. Clinical study, data on file. 2. Dry eye disease after refractive surgery: comparative outcomes of small incision lenticule extraction versus LASIK. Ophthalmology 2015 Apr, Denoyer A, Landman E, Trinh L, Faure JF, Auclin F, Baudouin C.
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Are you a SMILE candidate?

As the latest technology in laser vision correction, SMILE is a comfortable procedure, but how do you know if it’s right for you?

  • Do you have blurry vision or are you nearsighted?
  • Do glasses or contact lenses inconvenience your daily life?
  • Do you often experience dry eye symptoms?
  • Are your eyes intolerant of contact lenses?
  • Do you play contact sports or work on a flight crew, as rescue personnel, or in the military?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, SMILE might be the best laser vision correction option for you.

As part of any laser vision correction program, each patient has to go through a detailed eye examination with an eye doctor to fully determine their suitability for both SMILE and LASIK. Factors your eye doctor will take into consideration include the nature and degree of the refractive error and the curvature and thickness of the cornea.

SMILE is a gentle, minimally invasive procedure. It is also odorless and noiseless, making it an attractive option for patients seeking laser vision correction. Overall, it tends to be a very comfortable and convenient experience. Patients are able to resume most normal daily activities within a day, including driving, showering, applying makeup and going to work.

Call us today to discuss the best laser vision correction option for you!

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SMILE, LASIK and glasses – Comparing the total costs

Consider the yearly and long-term costs of your glasses and contacts when thinking about investing in laser vision correction. In today’s blog post, we’re going to be discussing cost, value and investment as it relates to your vision correction and care options. This is a very important topic as you consider your options and plan for caring for your vision.

First, let’s acknowledge an important fact. Laser vision correction options such as LASIK and SMILE are not inexpensive, especially if you’re investing in quality technology, experienced surgeons and a proven laser program. Your eyes are precious, and laser vision                                                                                             correction is not the best place to shop based only on cost!

So how does the cost of laser vision correction compare to glasses and contacts?

Let’s start with contact lenses. If you wear disposable contacts and replace them every two weeks (which is the most common replacement schedule recommended by eye doctors), you’ll pay about $250 a year 5 Weeks Prior for lenses and another $150 a year on contact lens solution. This adds up to about $400 a year to wear your contact lenses.

Now, let’s consider the cost of eyeglasses, which is a bit more tricky to average due to the wide variety of frames, lenses and brands to choose from. According to Vision Service Plan, the national cost average for a pair of prescription glasses is $196, with costs ranging from $20 to well over $800 for designer frames and premium lens technologies.

Now consider these costs over a more than 10-year period. For regular contact lens wearers, this equates to more than $4,000 in lens and solution purchases. For glasses wearers, depending on the number of glasses and sunglasses pairs you purchase, it also equates to thousands of dollars.

Finally, be sure to understand the pricing options available at your preferred LASIK or SMILE practice. Across the United States, the cost of laser vision correction ranges from $495 to $4,000 per eye. Some practices advertise a very low price for laser vision correction, only to give you a much higher price because of your prescription after you come in for a consultation. Other practices offer a flat fee for your laser vision correction, which will include any and all technologies that will be needed to give you better vision. Be sure you discuss costs in detail with your eye practice and know your exact costs.

In truth, no matter what you choose for your vision correction – LASIK, SMILE, glasses or contacts – caring for your vision can be expensive! All these treatments are an investment in your vision and your quality of life over many years. Instead of considering only the immediate cost of each option, be sure to invest in a long-term plan that matches your lifestyle.

What do you think? Does considering the cost of glasses, contacts and laser vision correction over 10 or more years change the way you think about the cost? If you have questions about the cost or value of SMILE and LASIK, please call or email us and we’ll be happy to discuss your options.

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LASIK and SMILE: The future is brighter with new laser vision correction technology options

You deserve choices for your vision. As laser vision technology continues to expand, we at Dishler Laser Institute continue to be the regional leader in bringing these options to you.

Whether LASIK or SMILE is the laser vision correction best suited for you, your vision for the future can be sharpened.

As you know, LASIK has been helping patients for more than 25 years to see more clearly without glasses. Today we want to tell you about the newest laser vision correction technology coming to our practice – SMILE! Together with LASIK, SMILE provides us with a complete set of laser vision correction tools to help many patients find better vision and less dependence on glasses or contacts.

Understanding how both LASIK and SMILE work will help you understand your vision procedure options. LASIK was developed in the early 1990s and is the most utilized form of laser vision correction today.

During the LASIK procedure, a laser is used to make a small flap across the cornea. The flap is folded back, and a second laser is used to reshape the cornea, which allows the eye to focus clearly. The flap is then folded back into its original position.

After LASIK, it takes very little time for the flap to heal, and side effects include slight risk of infection and dry eye symptoms. Visual recovery takes place immediately. Healing and stability of the flap takes four to seven days.

Check out our LASIK education page to learn more about all the ways LASIK can help you see more clearly.

SMILE is the first major innovation in laser vision correction since LASIK.  The procedure is minimally invasive, noiseless and odorless.

During a SMILE procedure, a thin, contact lens-shaped layer just beneath the surface of the eye is removed through a small opening. Due to removing this layer, the cornea is gently reshaped and the patient’s vision is sharpened, correcting the refractive error.

SMILE is a gentle and highly precise procedure lasting only a few minutes total, with the laser only active for about 30 seconds. There is little disturbance to the eye because of the small laser opening size.

Cases of dry eye, severed nerves and infection as a result of laser vision correction are very low with SMILE [1] . Overall it tends to be a very comfortable and convenient experience for patients. Patients are able to resume most normal daily activities within a few days, including driving, showering, applying makeup and going to work.

The visual outcome is highly predictable. More than 750,000 SMILE procedures have been performed worldwide[2] , and results have been consistent.

For more information about which options are right for you, fill out our online form.

[1] Dry eye disease after refractive surgery: comparative outcomes of small incision lenticule extraction versus LASIK. Ophthalmology 2015 Apr, Denoyer A, Landman E, Trinh L, Faure JF, Auclin F, Baudouin
[2] As of April 2017

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Why is My Vision Blurry?

Understanding your vision is the first step in improving it!

Most people deal with some amount and form of unclear vision. From nearsightedness to farsightedness, astigmatism to old age, everyone’s eyes and clarity of vision are different. The more you know about what causes blurry, unclear vision, the better decisions you can make to care for and improve your vision.

By 2050, according to a new report from the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Australia, almost half the world will be nearsighted and require some form of corrective lens, up from a quarter of the global population in 2000.

There are three main factors that can affect your eyes and create blurry, unclear vision:

  1. Genetics. These are the eye factors you were born with. Does your family have a history of glasses or cataracts? More than likely you will experience something similar during your life. Learn about your family vision history so you can know what might be part of your vision future, and ask your eye doctor for a detailed exam of your eye structure so you can understand what’s naturally affecting your vision.
  2. Lifestyle choices and experiences. Choices you make and things that happen to your eyes throughout life can affect your vision in many ways. Behaviors like smoking can slowly harm your vision over many years, while accidents like an eye injury during sports can lead to unclear vision and additional vision conditions as you get older. On the other hand, positive nutrition choices and wearing sunglasses can help protect your vision.
  3. Natural aging. Regardless of your genetics and life experiences, the fact remains that as you get older, the eye also ages and begins to lose some of its flexibility, which creates less clear vision. This is called presbyopia, and nearly every person will experience some degree of blurry vision due to it after the age of 50.

Now for the good news! Even though almost everybody experiences some form of blurry or unclear vision in their lives, our practice and surgeons offer a complete program of proven solutions that can benefit nearly every patient, giving you more options than ever before to achieve better, fuller vision.

Have questions about your vision? Give us a call! We’re happy to help answer your questions.

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ReLEx SMILE-A New Future For Laser Vision Correction

Well, it finally happened.  I have been working for almost 10 years on the next big advance in laser vision correction, and it just got approved by the FDA for patients in America.  During this long development, and over the last several years the technology was approved in virtually all the rest of the world, and as a result, there now have been over 600,000 procedures performed.  That’s a lot of procedures and should help ease the minds of anyone who is concerned about trying something new.

So what is this new procedure?  It is called, somewhat cryptically, ReLEx SMILE.  It really could be called either, but Zeiss, who is behind the brainy people that invented this technology, wanted to use both names.  ReLEx stands for refractive lens extraction, and SMILE means small incision lenticule extraction.  So what is this all about?

Here it is in a nutshell.  Most have heard of LASIK, where a corneal flap is made, with either a blade or a laser, and then after peeling back the flap, the inner surface of the cornea is treated with another type of laser, an excimer laser, to reshape the eye.  Flap is flipped back, and viola, vision is corrected.  It has been done millions of times worldwide.  But there are occasional issues with LASIK.  Without going into all the detail, there can be problems with making or healing of the flap, and it can move during the early days after the procedure in rare cases creating “wrinkles” that need to be surgically fixed.  Also, some nerve endings are cut creating a temporary dry eye for some, and other things that are unlikely but real nonetheless.  All of this has scared many of the faint of heart away from LASIK.  Some just don’t like the idea of “burning away” tissue from their eye, although there really is not burning going on with LASIK.  Nonetheless, many, especially the so called Millennials, have been waiting for the next generation procedure to show itself.

Enter SMILE.  Here, a tiny incision can be used to remove a very small piece of tissue that is cut by the laser, to restore vision, and without a flap!  The laser, made only by Zeiss is called appropriately enough, the VisuMax.  In about 35 seconds, the laser precisely cuts the shape of a small contact lens from within the cornea, and then the surgeon removes this piece of tissue. The eye is permanently reshaped, to a front surface which is very similar to that obtained by wearing a soft contact lens, and clear vision is restored.

AAO Zeiss booth Jon AAO Zeiss poster

A photo of Dr. Dishler at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 10-15-16. Dr. Dishler was invited to make an introductory speech at the Zeiss booth launching the celebration of the FDA approval of ReLEx SMILE. 

Currently ReLEx SMILE is approved for about 99% of all nearsightedness cases, so even very bad eyes can be fixed.  It does not yet correct astigmatism, but another study, that is almost complete, will hopefully expand the range to include these peeps also.  When this happens we will have a viable alternative to LASIK for almost everyone seeing laser vision correction.

very detailed questionnaire So how were the results.  In a word, they were great.  Both the vision results were superb, the complications were few, and a about the experience of study subjects revealed that most everyone was very satisfied.

What does Dr. Dishler have to do with all of this?  He (I) was the medical monitor of the study for Zeiss, overseeing and stewarding the study before, during, and after to this point of approval.  We also treated our fair share of the patients as an investigative site.  We learned first-hand in both this study, and the astigmatism one that followed, just what makes this procedure work well, and we are happy to make it available to the right people very soon.

Who are these “right people”?  Part of this is easy, it is the people who fit the criteria of any voluntary refractive eye surgery, of healthy eyes other than nearsightedness.  In addition, such folks as policemen/women firefighters, avid sports nuts, and anyone who might get hit in the eye makes the most sense.  This is why the US military is so excited about ReLEx SMILE, and why they are starting their own study very soon for military personnel.  Their study will bring further validation to the process, since people like pilots will be treated and combat ready troops.

To begin with the ReLEx SMILE will be offered by the six investigative sites, then a select group of prestigious doctors and institutions, and a short time later it will be rolled out to several doctors in most communities throughout the country.  A year from now this should be widely available.  If you have an interest in finding out if you are a good candidate for this new refractive procedure, then please make an appointment for a consultation with our staff.  We expect a lot of interest and will be placing qualified people on a wait list in the order that they are seen.  If you are an early adopter of new technology (look down and see if you have an iPhone 7 for instance) then this might be calling your name.  Come on in for a chat.

Want to learn more?  Check out these links for more information of this new eye opening option.  ReLEx SMILE, contact lenses out – forever.

Useful Links:

FDA approves Femtosecond laser for SMILE 

FDA approves VisuMax femtosecond laser to treat myopia

SMILE has fewer adverse effects on corneal parameters then femtosecond LASIK



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20th Anniversary of the 1st LASIK in Colorado thanks to Dr. Dishler

April 2015 is a special month for us at Dishler Laser Institute. This month marks a milestone as Jon G. Dishler M.D., F.A.C.S. celebrates being the first ophthalmologist in Colorado to perform LASIK utilizing an Excimer laser he had built for correcting nearsightedness!  

We are very proud and honored to work with Dr. Dishler.  All of us here want to spread the word plus acknowledge his hard work, foresight and diligence that has gotten him to where he is today. Join us in wishing Dr. Dishler congratulations and continued success in the contributions to the advancement of laser vision correction! 


Dr. Dishler is known for his ingenuity and inventiveness, and has received numerous awards for his scientific expertise and contributions to laser vision correction. He reflects on this significant landmark in Colorado’s refractive history. 

“Having great vision is one of the most important aspects of our quality of life, and the major thrust of my career has been to improve our patient’s vision making their lives better.  At the intersection of technology and medicine we now have precise lasers which return the eye to the function it was designed to perform.  Over the last 20 years I have seen the word “LASIK” evolve from something no one heard of into a very familiar concept. Now we are on the frontier of even more groundbreaking changes to vision correction, and I am proud to be a part of the continuing journey.”- Jon G. Dishler M.D., F.A.C.S.     

A specialist in refractive surgery, Dr. Dishler has personally performed over 60,000 LASIK and vision correction procedures during the last 15 years. He has participated in the original development of the Excimer laser within the framework of the FDA approval studies. In fact, he was the first laser vision surgeon and only ophthalmologist in Colorado to develop an FDA approved Excimer laser. 

From the very beginning, Dr. Jon Dishler contributed to the development of the Femtosecond laser. He was awarded the Pioneer award laser for perfecting the design of the Femtosecond laser technology by the IntraLase Corporation.  Currently, he is the first of 25 LASIK centers in the United States to perform LASIK with the Zeiss M.E.L. 80 Excimer and VisuMax Femtosecond laser platform.

Dr. Dishler is an internationally -known and respected refractive surgeon. He has been awarded several patents for inventions in his specialty including the FDA approved Dishler Excimer Laser, Excimer beam profiler, Insertion system for corneal implants, and surgical visual feedback and eye fixation method and apparatus.

Jon Dishler M.D is the Principal investigator for 10 FDA studies for laser manufacturers such as Bausch and Lomb, ReVision Optics, Meditec Carl Zeiss, and the Dishler Excimer laser. About Dr. Dishler (http://www.dishler.com/pages/trusted-lasik-surgeon)

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