The first to bring SMILE eye surgery in Melbourne

Dr van Heerden and his team of highly trained clinicians are proud to be the first to offer SMILE laser eye surgery to Melbourne and the surrounding areas. At the cutting edge of refractive surgery, the SMILE procedure provides patients with freedom from the inconvenience of glasses and contacts with this safe, effective, and minimally invasive technique.

What is SMILE Eye Surgery?

Our Melbourne patients are fortunate to be able to access this innovative refractive surgery technique, a valuable addition to other procedures such as LASIK and PRK. An acronym for “small incision lenticule extraction”, SMILE surgery combines the best of the PRK and LASIK techniques to form this new revolutionary procedure, known for being minimally invasive with excellent visual results.

SMILE eye surgery for our Melbourne patients is performed at our state-of-the-art clinic in Armadale, Eye Laser Specialists, using the highly precise VisuMax femtosecond laser by Zeiss. Under the care of Dr van Heerden, your eyes are in safe hands.

How SMILE Eye Surgery Works

SMILE laser eye surgery in our Melbourne clinic at Eye Laser Specialists is a safe, gentle, and accurate procedure.

Prior to undergoing SMILE surgery, your eligibility for this technique will be assessed by our trained ophthalmology team. This is to ensure your eyes are suitable for laser eye surgery and you have no existing risk factors that may make the procedure ineffective or unsafe for you. 

During the operation, your eyes will be numbed with topical anaesthetic. SMILE eye surgery is a one-step procedure, which greatly reduces the opportunity for adverse events to occur. Using the highly precise VisuMax femtosecond laser, a disc-like sliver of the central cornea (the transparent dome at the front of your eye) is separated from the surrounding tissues. The dimensions of this disc, or lenticule, are calculated in such a way as to correct your refractive error once extracted from the cornea through a tiny keyhole incision. No stitches are required; being no larger than 3mm, the keyhole incision is able to self-seal. 

The benefits of SMILE include:

  • Minimally invasive
  • Rapid recovery times
  • Single-step procedure
  • Lower risk of postoperative dry eye
  • Lower risk of regression 

After your procedure, your eye specialist will provide you with post-operative guidelines to optimise the recovery process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for SMILE eye surgery?
Our Melbourne team at Eye Laser Specialists are ready to organise your initial appointment to determine your suitability for SMILE eye surgery. At this comprehensive examination, our clinicians will assess the health of your eyes, take biometric measurements, such as the thickness of your corneas, and conduct vision testing. We also have a discussion around your visual requirements and what you hope to achieve from undergoing laser eye surgery. At this consultation, we can then offer suitable patients the option to undergo SMILE eye surgery or else discuss your other options should your eyes not be suitable for this procedure.
How much does SMILE eye surgery cost?
The fees associated with the SMILE procedure are best discussed at your initial consultation as they may vary slightly from patient to patient depending on the findings of your examination and private health insurance plan. At Eye Laser Specialists we are able to offer various payment options, including payment plans, and we accept all private health funds that offer cover for eye laser surgery procedures.
Do I need a referral to have the SMILE procedure?
No, a referral to see our ophthalmology team for SMILE surgery is not necessary. However, a report from your regular optometrist can be helpful for us to gain a full understanding of your previous prescription changes and any eye conditions you may have had in the past.
Are all prescriptions suitable for SMILE surgery?
At this point in time, the SMILE procedure is not effective for patients with long-sightedness (hyperopia). The best results are achieved for patients who have short-sightedness (myopia), even very high degrees into the double digits. People with astigmatism are eligible to have their vision corrected with SMILE. It is important to note that even if your prescription falls within the treatable range of SMILE surgery, there are still other factors that may deem your eyes unsuitable for this procedure.
How long is the recovery period after having SMILE surgery?
One of the great benefits of SMILE is that it is minimally invasive, which contributes to shorter recovery times. Many of our patients find their vision has cleared sufficiently to be able to drive safely even 2 to 3 days after the surgery. While vision can take a few weeks to fully stabilise, you may find you feel confident with many daily tasks even the day immediately after your procedure.
Can I have a general anaesthetic for my procedure?
Refractive operations are not performed under general anaesthetic, as this brings unnecessary risks to the procedure. If you are feeling particularly nervous or restless, your eye surgeon can offer you a light sedative to make you feel more at ease.
Book your consultation with Dr van Heerden now.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.