SMILE Eye Surgery in Kansas City, MO

SMILE laser eye surgery stands for SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction and is performed as a treatment for nearsightedness with or without astigmatism. Discover Vision Centers has two SMILE Surgery Centers in the Kansas City area.

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Crystal Clear Vision with
An advancement in Laser Vision Correction that millions have been waiting for over the last several decades.
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NO flap created.
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Out of 357 eyes studied all had 20/20 BCVA vision.
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Myopia and Astigmatism
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Highly accurate but also highly predictable. Valid across entire range of correction, from low to high-level myopia.

What Is SMILE Eye Surgery?

SMILE – Small Incision Lenticule Extraction – also known as third generation Laser Vision Correction, is a state-of-the-art procedure that is less invasive, has minimal downtime as well as less discomfort. This procedure, which was originally called ReLex SMILE surgery, is perfect for people who suffer from nearsightedness with or without astigmatism. SMILE is a LASIK-like procedure available to improve vision with all the benefits of traditional LASIK but with a smaller incision and being less invasive.


How Does SMILE Eye Surgery Work?

If you are looking to have SMILE in Kansas City, it is performed at both of our laser eye surgery centers. Our SMILE specialist, Dr. John Doane, and team will help you navigate this process from start to finish. As a principal investigator, Dr. Doane and Discover Vision Centers have been an FDA study site for SMILE approval in the United States since 2012. What does this mean? We have helped thousands of people achieve their vision goals with this procedure. SMILE is performed with the VisuMax femtosecond laser from Carl Zeiss Meditec. Both nearsightedness and astigmatism can be corrected with SMILE. SMILE is considered a “ key-hole “ or small incision less invasive procedure.  Unlike traditional LASIK with SMILE only one laser is used.  The laser creates a small lens-shaped piece of tissue called a lenticule within the cornea. The laser also creates a small arc-shaped or key-hole incision on the surface of the cornea. This opening allows the surgeon to remove the lenticule. Once removed, the surface shape is changed to allow for a more perfect focus of vision. SMILE refractive surgery can treat low to high levels of nearsightedness and most patients with astigmatism. Many studies have shown less dry eye and greater preservation of biomechanical stability.

Benefits of SMILE Refractive Surgery

  • Minimally invasive procedure with a small two clock hour or 4 mm incision.  
  • No corneal flap required. 
  • Less interruption of corneal nerves so corneal tear lubrication is optimized and patients experience less dry eye.  
  • Biomechanical structure is maximally maintained since no flap is required.  
  • Faster vision recovery than PRK.  Patients should be able to legally drive the day of their surgery.

Who is a Good Candidate For SMILE?

  • Age 18 years or older SMILE eye surgery age limit
  • Myopia or nearsightedness from -1.00D to -10.00D with up to 3.0D of astigmatism.
  • Relatively stable glasses prescription in the last 12 months
  • Normal topography and corneal thickness (similar to what is required for LASIK)
  • No previous eye surgery
  • Good general and eye health
  • No active eye infection
  • Not pregnant

Schedule a ReLEX SMILE Laser Eye Surgery Consultation

The consultation for SMILE surgery is free of charge, with no obligation.  Consultations can be performed virtually or in the office. This is the best way to receive information about whether or not you are a candidate for SMILE surgery. You can schedule on our website or by calling 816-542-7157.

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What to Expect During ReLEX SMILE Surgery

Preparing for SMILE Vision Correction Surgery

In preparation for SMILE vision correction surgery your surgeon and care team will perform several diagnostic tests to confirm you are an appropriate candidate.  Your eye and general health will be reviewed along with your eye glass prescription.  

1. Don’t wear make-up, perfume or lotion on the day of the procedure. These products may leave debris around the eye and eyelashes, which increases the chance of infection.

2. Most patients will receive a sedative prior to surgery so you will need a driver for transport to your home. 

3. You should plan to take a nap or just relax for the rest of the day.

4. You will be prescribed eye drops for several days after surgery.  

5.  Your vision may be blurry right after SMILE surgery.  Your vision should be functional the day of surgery and improve over the next few days and weeks.

6. You can do most normal activities after a day or two. Avoid getting water in your eyes for a few days.

SMILE Eye Surgery Procedure

SMILE Eye Surgery Procedure

At Discover Vision Centers your surgeon and care team will discuss your expectations for your SMILE procedure. Your vision will be tested and the power of your eye will be examined for stability to make sure you are a good candidate for SMILE refractive surgery. Several computerized devices will be used to accurately assess the shape of your eye. The actual procedure has several steps.  

  1. The actual procedure takes about 15 minutes.   Prior to the procedure you likely will be offered a sedative to relax you before your procedure.
  2. The skin around you eye will be prepared with skin cleaner.
  3. The laser is programmed with the specific measurements for each of your eyes.  
  4. Your eye will be numbed with anesthtic eye drops.
  5. A lid guard will be placed so you do not have a full lid closure. 
  6. A patient interfaced hold the eye in position and you will be instructed to look at green blinking light.  
  7. During the procedure you should notice no sound or smell and should experience no pain.  
  8. The laser operates silently for about 25 seconds.
  9. When the laser is complete the surgeon removes the lenticule through a small corneal incision.  
  10. The surgeon will instill a cortisone and antibiotic drop.

SMILE Eye Surgery Results

SMILE eye surgery recovery time is very quick.  Most people notice immediate improvement in vision.  In the first four hours after surgery patients may notice tearing and light sensitivity.  By four hours this passes and the patient typically will have legal driving vision.  SMILE eye surgery success rates are very high.  Over 95% of patients have 20/20 unaided distance vision after surgery.  Virtually everyone has legal unaided driving vision in each eye.   Occasionally patients may seek an enhancement surgery to provide even better unaided vision.  If this is needed it is usually done in the first 3-6 months after the initial surgery.  After the initial surgery patients should expect to return to full work the next day and full activities in a few days at the latest.

If you’re curious about how SMILE surgery can have a life-changing impact, don’t miss Derrick Nnadi’s SMILE success story. He bid farewell to his sunglasses and contact lenses, which were inconvenient for him as a professional athlete.

Amazing Clinical Results

The clinical study reports on the results of the ReLEx SMILE procedure for the correction of spherocylindrical myopia.
Background & Method

  • 357 eyes were analyzed and evaluated in five study centers
  • All the eyes had a best-corrected visual acuity of 20/20 or better before the operation

  • Consistent results with very good predictability
  • Very close to target refraction
  • Valid across entire range of correction, from low to high-level myopia

  • At 6 months, 99% of eyes achieved a UCVA of 20/40 or better.
  • At 6 months, 84% of eye had a UCVA of 20/20 or better.
SMILE Vision Correction

SMILE Eye Surgery Risks & Side Effects

SMILE surgery is performed with topical drop (local) anesthesia that numbs your eyes. The drops last for 10 to 15 minutes. When the numbing effect wears off, you can experience light sensitivity, tearing, and foreign body sensation that can last out to about 4 hours. At some point around 4 hours like snapping your fingers those symptoms subside.  SMILE carries the risks of overcorrection or undercorrection. If this were to happen a second surgery to resolve this may be necessary.

Get a SMILE Corrective Eye Surgery Consultation in Kansas City

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SMILE Eye Surgery Cost

SMILE surgery price at Discover Vision Centers is based on the amount of correction needed. We recommend scheduling a FREE consultation which helps to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure, and if so, how much the SMILE surgery will cost for your specific prescription. Insurance does not cover the cost of vision correction surgery as it is considered an elective procedure; however, we do have affordable financing options available.

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Discover Vision First to Offer ReLEX SMILE Eye Surgery

Discover Vision Centers is proud to offer our patients the latest advancements in vision correction. Now, we are excited to announce the first minimally invasive, flapless technology – the only solution for performing small incision lenticule extraction, or SMILE for short. Discover Vision is 1 of only 5 clinics in the country at the forefront of SMILE vision correction technology. This new refractive procedure combines the benefits of PRK and LASIK. It is designed to treat a multitude of refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism. Results have shown several benefits, including highly successful visual outcomes, minimally invasive laser vision correction and enhanced patient comfort.

Discover Vision Involved in SMILE Vision Correction FDA Trials

The approval of the SMILE procedure represents the first significant FDA approval for a new refractive procedure in over 2 decades. Discover Vision Centers and John Doane, MD were instrumental in developing the procedure. Having been involved with the trial as an FDA clinical investigation site for the past 7 years, Discover Vision was the single largest enrollment site in the FDA trial performing the most SMILE procedures in the country.
“We’re excited to be part of this milestone,” said Dr. John Doane. “Safety is the hallmark of vision correction surgery and with the SMILE procedure we are providing the safest procedure in line with modern small incision technology for the quickest healing and return to visual freedom.” He added, “Importantly, we continue to move forward in our mission to blend surgical expertise with the latest technology. This ensures our patients receive the very best care available.”

John Doane, MD

John Doane, MD

Discover Vision Centers has been serving the Kansas City community for over 50 years. Dr. John Doane has been performing laser vision correction since 1995. He has been ranked among the top 5% of Laser vision surgeons in the country. Our Refractive Team has performed over 45,000 vision correction procedures and has been instrumental in pioneering the latest solutions in Vision Correction and advanced microsurgery. For more information on SMILE, call 816.283.EYES.

Randy T. Jackson, MD

Randy T. Jackson, MD

Dr. Randy T. Jackson is a board certified ophthalmologist who specializes in refractive surgery, including SMILE, LASIK Laser Vision Correction, Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), Full Focus® Vision Correction and cataract surgery. For more information on SMILE, call 816.283.EYES.

SMILE Eye Surgery Reviews

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AMAZING EXPERIENCE. I recently had a SMILE procedure in both eyes and the results are fantastic. Everyone on staff was friendly, professional, and comforting. They answered all my questions. HIGHLY recommend.
B Curdy

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Did an excellent job. Great office, kind, and, professional. I will be referring anyone I know to have SMILE done by Dr. Doane. Really quick procedure, I can see great. Dr. Doane did an amazing job. Thank you!
Joshua Tervort

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I got the SMILE surgery from Discover and I am already super happy with the results so far. They had a great staff and took care of me very well!
Kamryn Rusbarsky

Schedule SMILE Refractive Eye Surgery Appointment in Kansas City

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How long does SMILE laser eye surgery last?

The SMILE procedure itself takes about 15 minutes to complete. Prior to surgery, you have the option to take medication that helps you to relax. The medication is administered by our medical team and takes about 30 to 40 minutes to take effect. After the procedure is complete, you are provided with instruction on care and what to expect over the following hours and days. You will also be seen by our team the following day for a “post-op” check up, either in person or through a telehealth video appointment with one of our doctors.

Is SMILE surgery permanent?

SMILE will permanently change the shape of the cornea after surgery which is the desired result of the surgery. Internal aspects of the eye start changing for focusing up close to about age 40 and this stabilizes at age 65. Having refractive surgery does not prevent other eye disorders from occurring throughout the normal aging processes.

Is SMILE eye surgery safe?

SMILE surgery is considered to be safe.   Rarely will a patient lose even a line of best corrected vision.  In fact twice as many eyes gain a line of vision after surgery compared to those that will lose a line of vision.  Infection is a rare occurrence with refractive surgery – SMILE included.

Is SMILE surgery painful?

SMILE surgery is rarely remarked as painful by patients.  The procedure itself is usually considered as no pain whatsoever.   In the first four hours after surgery as the numbing drops wear off light sensitivity, tearing and foreign sensation can be reported.  If they are it is best to close eyes and rest.   Right at 4 hours these symptoms go completely away and the patient should have legal and functional driving vision.

Does insurance cover SMILE smile eye surgery?

Because SMILE surgery is not considered medically necessary, SMILE surgery price at Discover Vision Centers is based on the amount of correction needed. We recommend scheduling a FREE consultation which helps to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure, and if so, how much the SMILE surgery will cost for your specific prescription. Insurance does not cover the cost of vision correction surgery as it is considered an elective procedure; however, we do have affordable financing options available.

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