Laser Vision Correction at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

SMILE surgery approved for wider range of patients

Dr. Sonia Yoo is a laser vision surgeon at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida. For more information on laser vision correction surgery or to make an appointment, call 305-243-2020.

For most of her life, Claudia Martinez wore glasses with a prescription so strong, she could not take a shower without them. “Out of everybody I know, I probably have the strongest prescription,” she says. “I would pay extra so they could thin the lens just a little bit. If not, they looked like binoculars.”

Weary of the daily routine required by eyeglasses and contact lenses, Claudia decided to move forward with laser vision correction surgery. But with multiple options to choose from, she needed guidance.

Dr. Sonia Yoo, a laser vision surgeon at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, walked Claudia through the differences between LASIK, PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy), and SMILE (SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction). Ultimately, Claudia chose SMILE, the newest of the three choices for laser eye surgery.

“One of the real beauties of coming to Bascom Palmer is that we have all of these different technologies available,” says Dr. Yoo. “SMILE adds to our vast selection of therapies.”

SMILE has recently been approved for patients with myopia and astigmatism, which covers the majority of laser vision surgery candidates that seek care at Bascom Palmer, says Dr. Yoo. “Claudia was interested in a procedure that was safe, didn’t cause a lot of discomfort, and allowed her to get back to work quickly,” she says.

“For me the biggest thing was just the recovery time as well as the size of the incision,” says Claudia. Compared to LASIK, SMILE makes a smaller incision in the cornea of the eye, which reduces the risk of tearing or injury. One million people worldwide have had the procedure.

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is consistently ranked the best eye hospital in the nation. Through clinical research, physicians scientists at Bascom Palmer helped pioneer the technology that made laser vision correction possible. Dr. Yoo says, “We’ve been fortunate to be involved in the clinical trials for the approval of PRK, and then with LASIK, and now most recently with SMILE.”

A few hours following surgery, Claudia started to have improved vision. “I looked in the mirror and I just couldn’t believe it,” she says. The next morning she saw clearly enough to drive to Bascom Palmer for her follow-up appointment. “It was probably the most life changing thing I’ve ever done. I would tell anybody if they are slightly considering it, do it.”

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