Smile in Johannesburg, Africa

SMILE, which stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, is the latest technology in laser refractive surgery performed with a Carl Zeiss Visumax femtosecond laser. Currently this is the only laser accurate enough to be able to perform “keyhole” laser eye surgery. This minimally invasive procedure enables Dr. Guglielmetti to perform laser eye surgery on patients that were previously unsuitable for traditional LASIK procedures.

Advantages of SMILE over LASIK

  • Flapless form of refractive surgery — absence of  a corneal flap means no flap-related complications
  • Less dry eye issues compared to LASIK
  • Corneal sensation is preserved because there is less damage to the corneal nerves due to the keyhole surgery technique
  • Fast and pain-free recovery like LASIK
  • Higher myopic prescriptions can be done compared with LASIK
  • Increased corneal stability and integrity compared with LASIK

How Does It Work?

Anaesthetic eye drops are instilled to completely numb the eye. During the Smile procedure, Dr. Guglielmetti directs the Visumax laser to create the lenticule (responsible for inducing a shape change in the cornea), which is then removed through a tiny keyhole. During this process, he will direct you to look at a target light; you may feel some pressure, but no pain. The procedure takes just a few minutes and, because no flap is created, the healing time is much faster. Another advantage of SMILE surgery is that it results in far less dry eye symptoms than the other refractive procedures.

SMILE Results

Immediately after surgery, some patients’ vision will be blurry while others notice sharper vision right after the procedure. Most patients can see clearly as early as the morning after surgery. Your vision will continue to stabilize and improve for a few days, but a majority of patients return to work the following day.


Following ReLEx SMILE surgery, you will need to relax for the remainder of the day. Avoid rubbing or irritating your eyes with soap, water or cosmetics. Dr. Guglielmetti will prescribe medication and eye drops to be used after surgery. You should refrain from intense exercise for a week to avoid healing complications. Our staff will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your eyes after surgery. Dr. Guglielmetti will see you for several post-operative appointments to check the progress of your recovery.

Dr. Guglielmetti also offers TransPRK and phakic IOLs for patients who do not qualify for ReLEx SMILE surgery. He treats many cataracts patients and offers premium intraocular lenses to further correct their vision.

SMILE treatment steps diagram in Johannesburg, Africa