Closeup of a lying woman ready for her eye surgery.

The ZEISS SMILE® Laser Eye Surgery Procedure

What will happen during your ZEISS SMILE eye correction procedure?

Do you want to improve your eyesight and reduce or eliminate your dependency on glasses or contact lenses? ZEISS SMILE may be a solution for you! Learn here how the surgery procedure is performed and how ZEISS SMILE can improve your vision.


The ZEISS SMILE procedure is an advanced technology in laser eye surgery. Millions of people across the world have already benefited from the high-precision ZEISS SMILE laser eye surgery. Find out more about this advanced procedure here.

Step by step through the ZEISS SMILE surgery procedure

What to expect during your surgery

These are the typical steps a patient can expect when undergoing a ZEISS SMILE laser eye surgery. Your doctor will also explain these steps to you and answer any additional questions you may have.

Anesthetic drops are put into the eye to numb it.

1st Step

Preparing you for the ZEISS SMILE procedure

Before starting the procedure, your eye is numbed using anesthetic drops. To keep your eye open during surgery, an eyelid holder is fitted, and a contact glass is placed on your eye. The suction of this tool will keep your eye still. You may experience some slight pressure.

A Laser creates a small opening in the eye lens.

2nd Step

Reshaping your cornea with the ZEISS SMILE laser system

Using the ZEISS VisuMax femtosecond laser, in less than 30 seconds, the laser creates a small disc of corneal tissue (called a lenticule) and a small opening of 4 - 6 mm. The size and shape of this lenticule is very specific to your refractive error.

The lenticule is removed through the small opening.

3rd Step

Preparing to remove the lenticule

The lenticule is then removed through the small opening created by the laser.

The small opening seals itself.

4th Step

Correcting your vision to make you smile!

The removal of the lenticule will change the shape of the cornea, thereby correcting your vision. The small opening will seal itself as your eye heals.

A couple running through the park smiling.

5th Step

Healing and Recovery

Before and after the surgery, your doctor will advise you on when it is appropriate and safe to resume any specific activities. Some patients can return to many of their regular activities of daily living as soon as the day following the procedure. However, you should avoid risky activities like contact sports or being in dusty or smoky environments until the doctor gives you the ok.

What are the advantages of the ZEISS SMILE procedure?

ZEISS SMILE is FDA approved for the reduction or elimination of nearsightedness with or without astigmatism in patients who qualify for the procedure. In most cases following the ZEISS SMILE surgery many patients enjoy improved vision that will even get better within a couple of days! These are some of the advantages of the ZEISS SMILE laser eye correction procedure:

  • Minimal invasive icon.

    Flapless procedure

    ZEISS SMILE is a minimally invasive flapless and bladeless procedure where the small opening created is around 4-6 mm.

  • No flap zeiss icon.

    It’s technologically advanced

    ZEISS SMILE is FDA approved and is a high-precision, flapless procedure that can correct nearsightedness with or without astigmatism.

  • Back to work icon.

    Fast recovery

    With an incision size of ~4-6 mm on the eye surface, ZEISS SMILE supports a minimally invasive procedure.

Smiling ZEISS SMILE Patients

Millions of people worldwide have had a ZEISS SMILE laser eye correction. Hear from them directly, what they thought:

Amanda Nagy-Lukose

“My ZEISS SMILE procedure felt like a breeze. Before I knew it, both eyes were done! My downtime felt like no time!”

Amanda Nagy-Lukose

Insurance Agent from Pennsylvania
Montana DeLaRosa

“I want to thank my surgeon for helping me get out of glasses and contacts, which I've been wearing since being 10 years old. The ZEISS SMILE surgery offered me a fast visual recovery. I am a professional fighter, so being able to see is a huge advantage for me.”

Montana DeLaRosa

Mixed Martial Artist from Texas
Map of the United States.

Find a ZEISS SMILE clinic near you!

Eye clinics offering the ZEISS SMILE procedure

Not all eye clinics in the US offer ZEISS SMILE technology. In fact, while many laser eye correction clinics and eye laser chains in the US will offer a seemingly good price for laser eye surgery, they may not be using the technology required for the ZEISS SMILE procedure. To make it easy for you to find a clinic offering ZEISS’ technology near you, have a look at our ZEISS SMILE Clinic Finder.

Frequently Asked Questions on the ZEISS SMILE surgery?

  • What is ZEISS SMILE able to correct?

    ZEISS SMILE laser eye surgery is currently approved for patients with myopia with or without astigmatism. While myopia causes your vision to be blurred for far away objects, astigmatism can cause distorted or blurred vision as the cornea is more oval than round (more like a football than a baseball) and can lead to headaches and eye strain.

    If you are farsighted, please consult your doctor to discuss options for treatment as they may still be able to help you with hyperopia or recommend one of the other advanced ZEISS laser eye procedures. If you still are looking for an eye clinic powered by ZEISS technology, please consult our clinic finder!

  • How do I prepare for the ZEISS SMILE surgery?

    Your surgeon will provide you with a list of instructions prior to your procedure, including having your prescription eye drops on hand, needing a driver to take you home, when to stop wearing your contact lenses, what to eat, and even what to wear to your procedure.

  • Do I have to wear an eye patch after the ZEISS SMILE surgery?

    Following your procedure, you will want to avoid rubbing or touching your eye. Some doctors may recommend wearing eye shields while sleeping for a day or so following your treatment.

  • Can I just walk out of the eye clinic after the ZEISS SMILE surgery?

    In most cases following the ZEISS SMILE surgery, many enjoy improved vision that will even get better within a couple of days. Please also talk to your doctor for any details that might be applicable in your case.

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