What Sets ZEISS SMILE Eye Surgery and LASIK Apart, Including Cost?


(Originally published on September 20, 2023)

You may have heard about the latest ZEISS SMILE eye surgery that offers an alternative to LASIK eye surgery. What separates these two procedures, though?

Why do some patients get ZEISS SMILE and others get LASIK? Which procedure is safest or gives the best results?

These are excellent questions, so let’s find out! Keep reading to learn more about ZEISS SMILE versus LASIK, including what sets them apart!

What is LASIK?

LASIK is a laser vision correction procedure that corrects refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The procedure begins with your LASIK surgeon creating a hinged flap in the cornea using a femtosecond laser.

An excimer laser is used after creating the flap and getting access to the corneal tissue. The excimer laser reshapes the cornea to help refract light into the back of the eye, improving vision and your ability to see clearly.

The flap is then placed back down to heal on its own, where it will act as a bandage during the recovery process.


ZEISS SMILE is also a laser vision correction procedure like LASIK, but some things set it apart. ZEISS SMILE uses a femtosecond laser to create a lens-shaped piece of tissue (called a lenticule) in the cornea.

An incision of less than 4 millimeters is then created on the surface of the eye. After creating this small incision, your surgeon will make an opening in the cornea’s surface before removing the lenticule through the small incision. Removing the lenticule reshapes the cornea and improves your vision.

Undergoing ZEISS SMILE is a minimally invasive procedure that only takes 10-15 minutes to complete. Because ZEISS SMILE does not involve creating a flap of any kind, it’s often better suited for patients who may not qualify for LASIK.

If you have dry eyes, thinner corneas, or a stronger prescription, you may have been told you’re not a good candidate for LASIK. However, you may be a good candidate for ZEISS SMILE because it affects fewer nerves in the cornea.

ZEISS SMILE’s treatment area is also larger, meaning that patients are less likely to need a touch-up after the procedure because the cornea becomes less dehydrated.

Although these are minor shifts, when you’re working with something as intricate and delicate as the human eye, slight differences can produce significant differences in patient outcomes.

Understanding what each procedure accomplishes is best to decide what’s most valuable when you’re deciding to get ZEISS SMILE or LASIK, depending on what’s the most ideal match for you and your vision.

Who is a Good Candidate for ZEISS SMILE?

ZEISS SMILE is often a very good option for patients who are nearsighted with astigmatism. It’s also an excellent option for those who have dry eyes and may not qualify for LASIK because of it.

ZEISS SMILE affects fewer nerves in the cornea, especially those that stimulate the tear glands. This means less potential for side effects like dry eye during recovery for ZEISS SMILE patients.

It is also possible that the small incision made during ZEISS SMILE helps protect the eye’s stability. Patients who are more nearsighted may not be a good candidate for LASIK because of its treatment limits.

But for these patients, ZEISS SMILE may mean better outcomes because the cornea is less dehydrated. When you choose IQ Laser Vision for ZEISS SMILE, you know you’re getting the best possible across the board.

IQ Laser Vision is the #1 ZEISS SMILE Laser Vision Center in the USA. We’ve performed more than 20,000 ZEISS SMILE procedures, making us the best eye care center to choose if you want ZEISS SMILE.

Who is a Good Candidate for LASIK?

There’s no doubt that ZEISS SMILE’s advantages are enticing, but ZEISS SMILE can’t replace LASIK. These procedures undoubtedly have their own advantages, with LASIK having things that it does better than ZEISS SMILE and vice versa.

What you choose should depend on your visual needs, lifestyle goals, and what your IQ Laser Vision ophthalmologist recommends. One thing that’s important to know about LASIK is that it can correct all refractive errors. These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

With ZEISS SMILE, the vision correction procedure can only correct nearsightedness and astigmatism. If you’re farsighted, your ophthalmologist may recommend a procedure like LASIK instead of ZEISS SMILE because of its capabilities.

You may be a good candidate for LASIK if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old
  • You have a prescription that’s remained stable and unchanged for a year or more
  • You have realistic expectations about what LASIK can do for you
  • You’re in good health and have healthy eyes
  • Your prescription is within the treatment limits
  • You’re not currently pregnant or nursing
  • You have thick enough corneas

Think you may be a good LASIK candidate? The only way to find out is to schedule a LASIK consultation at IQ Laser Vision!

ZEISS SMILE Eye Surgery Cost vs. LASIK

Most refractive eye surgeons in the United States charge similar rates for LASIK and ZEISS SMILE eye surgery. Here at IQ Laser Vision, we charge $249 per month for 24 months, interest-free, to have ZEISS SMILE.

This is about 10% more than LASIK costs. Why is it more?

ZEISS SMILE costs more because you’re paying for the best possible visual outcomes with that procedure. That means paying for more experienced surgeons to perform the procedure, the most advanced and state-of-the-art technology available, and knowing that your eyes are in the best hands possible.

If you can afford your daily caffeine addiction, there’s no reason you can’t afford ZEISS SMILE! We offer affordable financing options to ensure you can achieve your dreams of better vision, no matter your budget!

Are you nearsighted with astigmatism? Take your next step and find out if you could be a good candidate for ZEISS SMILE by scheduling your consultation at IQ Laser Vision in Los Angeles, CA, now!

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