Skip to main content

Lasik and SMILE can give you new freedom

Laser Vision Correction including LASIK eye surgery has been growing in popularity since its FDA approval in the mid 1990’s. Millions of people have selected this surgical procedure with the possibility of eliminating glasses and contact lenses from their lives. SMILE is a new procedure similar to LASIK. LASIK involves one laser creating a flap in the cornea and another laser removing a little tissue. SMILE, small incision lenticule extraction, uses the first laser to delineate the sliver of tissue which is then removed through a small tunnel without needing to create a flap.

About LASIK Eye Surgery and
Laser Vision Correction in Hoffman Estates

LASIK eye surgery provides several advantages over glasses or contacts because it corrects the visual problem as opposed to simply treating the symptoms. For the most part, the clinical data suggests that an overwhelming amount of people who have chosen LASIK eye surgery have had positive results. At the AAO in 2006, the American Academy of Ophthalmology released a 10-year effectiveness study that concluded LASIK eye surgery was both safe and effective. Many celebrities and sports stars have even sung the wonders and value of this amazing eye surgery.

In recent years, new technological advances have made LASIK eye surgery safer and more accurate. Later in this chapter we will discuss the new technologies that have improved LASIK and laser vision correction such as SMILE. Despite all of the positive outcomes, considering LASIK eye surgery is a matter to be taken seriously. Not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. Selecting the right surgeon and determining appropriate candidacy really becomes a critical issue in how well you will see after surgery. Please see some of the criteria listed below when starting your quest to select an appropriate LASIK surgeon.

Click the Picture to Learn What 20/20 Vision Means!

Determining Candidacy

The first step in undergoing LASIK or SMILE is the pre-operative evaluation. This process involves a series of diagnostic tests that determine the overall health of your eyes. Your cornea thickness is a critical component to your LASIK or SMILE candidacy. If you do not have the proper amount of cornea thickness the procedure is not recommended. If you are a candidate for LASIK or SMILE eye surgery we also suggest having a discussion with the actual surgeon who will be performing the surgery. In our practice, Dr. Sullivan will be able to help you determine how successful the surgery could be. Expectations for LASIK surgery will be vital to your happiness so make sure you participate in your discussion with Dr. Sullivan. Dr. Sullivan personally performs the pre-operative and post-operative exams.

Girl Smiling Brown Hair 1280×853

LASIK Or SMILE Candidacy Requirements

  • The patient must be over the age of 18
  • The patient must have necessary amount of corneal thickness
  • The patient must have had a stable glasses or contact lens prescription
  • The patient’s prescription must be within the treatable parameters
  • The patient must discuss expectations with the staff or surgeon
  • The patient must not have an extreme case of dry eye syndrome. For more information regarding dry eye syndrome CLICK HERE
  • The patient must have had a consultation regarding the benefits and possible risks of the surgery

The Procedure

LASIK, formally known as (Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a refractive surgery procedure designed to reshape the cornea or outer surface of the eye. By reshaping the cornea LASIK surgeons can actually correct the refractive error of a patient. The common refractive errors that LASIK can treat effectively include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. LASIK eye surgery first involves creating a thin corneal flap with the Zeiss VisuMax laser. A second laser removes a small amount of tissue. When the flap is placed back in position the cornea has been flattened.

SMILE, formally known as (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a refractive surgery procedure designed to reshape the cornea or outer surface of the eye. By reshaping the cornea SMILE surgeons can actually correct the refractive error of a patient. The common refractive errors that SMILE can treat effectively include myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. The Zeiss VisuMax laser delineates the small amount of tissue that would be removed by the second laser in LASIK. The VisuMax laser creates anterior and posterior planes outlining the lens shaped tissue that is removed through a small tunnel without the lifting of a flap.

you tube 1
The Excimer Laser

Once the flap has been created it is carefully laid back and the inner part of the cornea is prepared for Excimer laser treatment.

The Excimer laser is then utilized and applied to the cornea removing the calculated amount of corneal tissue. The amount of corneal tissue removed is directly related to your specific visual needs. After the laser has been applied the thin flap is then repositioned in its normal position and several drops are administered.

What should I expect?

As patients begin to sit up from the surgical chair they typically notice an immediate visual improvement. At first, vision appears cloudy due to the drops administered but over the next day, you will typically notice drastic improvements in your overall visual outcome.

How Long is the Procedure?

The LASIK or SMILE eye surgery procedure usually lasts no more than 10 minutes per eye.

How long is recovery?

Because LASIK or SMILE treats the inner part of the cornea, the healing process occurs more rapidly. Patients typically resume normal activities the day after surgery. No stitches are required; however, protective goggles can be used at night to prevent the rubbing or bumping of your eyes. The first 72 hours after the procedure are critical to this healing process. Patients are asked to return home, get plenty of rest on the first night and use the eye drops to aid in the healing process.

Post-Operative Care

After your LASIK or SMILE eye surgery  you will need to have your eyes examined on a regular basis. The first of these visits is within two days of surgery and then at one month. Dr. Sullivan may adjust this schedule based on a patient’s individual needs. Dr Sullivan will examine your vision and check the healing process and bonding of the corneal.  Some LASIK centers may have hidden fees regarding post-operative care. Please make sure to ask about the cost of continued post-operative care. If you feel you have been improperly informed by a LASIK center with false advertising or hidden fees please let our trade associations know about the matter or contact the Eye Surgery Education Council or ASCRS (American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery).

The Cost of LASIK or SMILE Eye Surgery in Hoffman Estates

Compared to wearing glasses and contact lenses for over 5-10 years laser eye surgery can be a great value. The initial costs can often be burdensome to our patients. Because we are dedicated to providing excellent affordable vision financing arrangements are available. Our LASIK Coordinator will be happy to discuss these financing options and what this will cost on a monthly basis. Enrollment is often very easy.


  • Successful LASIK surgeons get that way from experience and the ability to screen out poor candidates for the procedure. Here’s the list of what makes you a good candidate.
  • Get LASIK that's customized through a digital map of your eye. Custom LASIK is the most advanced solution for 20/20 vision provided by Sullivan Ostoich Eye Center.
  • Complications from LASIK are extremely rare, but we've listed the risks to help you understand them and how to minimize them.
  • A number of relatively new procedures are addressing the age-related decrease in ability to focus on near objects, that was once correctable only with bifocals.
  • These small lenses or optical devices are inserted into the cornea to alter its shape and correct vision problems.
  • Sometimes because of disease or injury, the cornea becomes so damaged that problems cannot be corrected with eyeglasses, contacts, or refractive surgery such as LASIK.
  • Start here for an overview of the different types of surgery to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism; and the merits and drawbacks of each.
  • It’s the most popular vision correction surgery, by far. Learn what to expect before, during and after the procedure.