PurposeTo conduct a bibliometric and altmetric analysis of the top 50 most-cited articles on small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) surgery and assess its correlations with other metrics.MethodsThe terms "small incision lenticule extraction" or "SMILE" were searched in the title, abstract, and keywords using Web of Science database. The retrieved articles (n = 927, between 2010 and 2022) were analyzed in-depth using altmetric attention scores (AAS), and traditional metrics (citation numbers of articles, impact factor of journals, and other citation-based metrics). A correlation statistics was performed with metrics. The articles' focus was examined quantitatively and the most prolific parameters were identified. Authorship network and country statistics also was examined.ResultsCitation numbers were between 491 and 45. AASs were between 26 and 0. The altmetric score correlated moderately with citation number (r = 0.44, P = 0.001) and annual mean citations (r = 0.49, P < 0.001), but correlated weakly with impact factor (r = 0.28, P = 0.045), and immediacy index (r = 0.32, P = 0.022). The most articles published from China and the most articles were published in 2014. Modern SMILE surgery was mostly compared to the older LASIK procedure. The highest authorship number of links belonged to Zhou XT.ConclusionThe first bibliometric and altmetric analysis of SMILE research provides novel directions for future work by showing the current research trends, prolific parameters, and zones with potential for the public's attention, providing useful information about the dissemination of scientific knowledge on SMILE in social media and to the general public.