Closeup of a blue-eye.

What is ZEISS SMILE® laser eye surgery?

The facts about ZEISS SMILE

ZEISS SMILE is an advanced laser eye surgery procedure. Using the ZEISS femtosecond laser, your surgeon can now correct myopia (nearsightedness) with or without astigmatism in a minimally invasive, flapless, and bladeless procedure. ZEISS SMILE aims to eliminate or reduce your dependency on glasses or contact lenses! 

Why choose ZEISS SMILE as your corrective eye surgery?

For most patients, once you are on the treatment table and prepared, the whole procedure on average takes 10 to 20 minutes per eye in total, including the removal of the lenticule. Your vision should stabilize within a few weeks after your ZEISS SMILE procedure.

What are the advantages of the ZEISS SMILE procedure?

Minimally invasive—faster recovery

ZEISS SMILE is a minimally invasive flapless and bladeless procedure, intended to correct nearsightedness with or without astigmatism. Your doctor creates a small opening that’s around 4–6 mm. For comparison: with LASIK, the surgeon creates a flap to access your cornea; this flap could be dislocated which can cause complications afterwards.

Schedule a consultation today and see if ZEISS SMILE may be the right choice for you.

  • Minimal invasive icon.

    Flapless procedure 

    No flap is required with ZEISS SMILE laser eye surgery. On average, the laser portion takes approximately 30 seconds or less. The opening created by the laser is around 4–6mm.

  • Back to work icon.

    Faster recovery

    Your vision should stabilize within a few weeks after your ZEISS SMILE procedure. Check with your doctor for your specific instructions and timings. 

  • Less dry eye icon.

    Less dry eye symptoms

    Compared to femtosecond LASIK, fewer corneal nerves are disrupted with ZEISS SMILE, which may lead to fewer post-operative dry eye symptoms.

What happens during the ZEISS SMILE procedure?

The three simple steps to correct your vision

On average, the laser portion takes approximately 30 seconds or less. For most patients, once you are on the treatment table, the whole procedure, including the removal of the corneal tissue, generally takes 10 to 20 minutes in total. Before the procedure, the doctor will numb your eye with numbing drops and may offer you a mild sedative to help you relax throughout the procedure, ensuring your comfort. During the surgery, the ZEISS SMILE laser system corrects your refractive error by changing the shape of the cornea. This process reshapes your cornea by creating a contact lens shaped layer called a lenticule. The lenticule is removed through a small opening.

Many different people that could be suitable for SMILE.

Is ZEISS SMILE right for me?

ZEISS SMILE is FDA approved and is a high-precision, flapless procedure that can correct myopia (nearsightedness) with or without astigmatism. If you are at least 22 years of age, have stable prescription which has changed no more than 0.50 diopters in the year before the surgery and have healthy eyes free from retinal problems, corneal scars, or eye diseases, and are currently not pregnant or nursing, you may be eligible for ZEISS SMILE laser eye correction. However, always talk to your eye doctor who will do a personalized vision and medical assessment to determine if ZEISS SMILE is the right procedure for you.

U.S. Armed Forces soldier.

ZEISS SMILE is currently offered by the U.S. Military

All four main branches of the U.S. military currently offer ZEISS SMILE as an acceptable form of laser vision correction for eligible candidates. This includes qualifying personnel within the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force, where a speedy recovery and reliable results are mandatory throughout all types of jobs and occupations. Please consult your military superior as well as your eye doctor to find out if you personally qualify for ZEISS SMILE.

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Astigmatism and ZEISS SMILE

Astigmatism is a very common condition, leading to blurred vision that can cause headaches and eye strain. Astigmatism oftentimes comes together with other vision imparities such as far- or nearsightedness. Talk to your doctor to learn if ZEISS SMILE applies in your case.

ZEISS SMILE facts & figures

Did you know that …

  • 7,000,000

    ZEISS SMILE has treated over 7 million eyes worldwide. As an FDA approved laser eye treatment, ZEISS SMILE might also be an option for you!

  • 175 Years

    Carl Zeiss has over 175 years of leadership innovation and is a pioneer in high-precision optics. Today, ZEISS produces award winning medical technologies, laser systems, precision lenses, eyeglasses, and scientific optical systems.

  • 30 Seconds

    On average, the laser portion takes approximately 30 seconds or less. For most patients, once you are on the treatment table and prepared, the whole procedure on average takes 10 to 20 minutes per eye in total, including the removal of the lenticule.

Hear what actual patients are saying about ZEISS SMILE

Millions of people around the globe have had a ZEISS SMILE laser eye correction. Hear from them directly, what they thought and how they experienced the procedure.

Francesca Presti

“As someone who is always on the go, I knew ZEISS SMILE was the perfect option for me! It was was truly life changing for me. My only regret is not having it done sooner!”

Francesca Presti

Radio Show Host Maryland
Map of the United States.

Find a ZEISS SMILE clinic near you!

Eye clinics offering the ZEISS SMILE procedure

To find out more about ZEISS SMILE and your personal suitability, don’t hesitate to talk to an eye doctor that offers ZEISS SMILE. While many laser eye correction clinics and chains in the U.S. will offer a seemingly good price of laser eye surgery, they are not using the advanced ZEISS SMILE procedure. To find a clinic offering ZEISS SMILE near you, have a look at our clinic finder.

Frequently asked questions about ZEISS SMILE

  • Who is ZEISS?

    You may know ZEISS from your last visit to the eye doctor, as ZEISS is a leading manufacturer of lenses and eyeglasses. ZEISS’ expertise also stretches to camera lenses and binoculars as well as observation and rifle scopes. In fact, ZEISS optics in the James Webb Space Telescope even allow humanity to see into the furthest reaches of the universe. 
    But the company is more than that. From its roots in Germany, the company now employs more than 35,000 people at 160 locations in 50 countries. Research and development are undertaken in 27 specialist research and development facilities to ensure ZEISS is always at the forefront of technology. 

  • What equipment is used during ZEISS SMILE laser eye surgery? 

    Your surgeon will use the latest ZEISS medical technology during your corrective eye procedure. The ZEISS VisuMax system contains a femtosecond laser which produces very fast and short-pulses from the infrared laser. Each laser pulse delivers a very precise burst of light, thereby reducing the potential for harm to any nearby, healthy tissue that must remain intact. 
    To help the surgeon do their job effectively, the ZEISS VisuMax also features high-quality ZEISS microscopes, digital cameras, advanced interactive touch screens and integrated illumination.

  • Are there risks to the ZEISS SMILE procedure? 

    As with all surgical procedures, you may experience side effects after your surgery. However, ZEISS SMILE has been designed to be as minimally invasive as possible. Unlike other laser eye correction procedures, your surgeon only needs to create a small opening in your eye and the upper layers of the cornea remain virtually unaffected. However, you should know potential side effects may include: 

    • Disorders of the cornea, retina, and other parts of the eye 
    • Visual disturbance 
    • Visual impairment 
    • Ocular pain
  • How long will I need to recover?

    Even though your vision will take a few weeks to stabilize, you may see a difference in your vision shortly after the surgery. However, it is recommended that you do not rub your eye and follow the instructions of your doctor with regards to post-operative medications and any restrictions. During the healing process, you may feel some minor discomfort, such as a foreign body sensation or some blurry vision while your eye is healing. Also check with your doctor for specific instructions regarding your personal recovery. 

Please review our Patient Information Booklet for ZEISS SMILE safety information.