ReLEx SMILE Laser Eye Surgery
SMILE is a minimally invasive “flapless” laser eye surgery. A lenticule inside the cornea is created with the use of a femtosecond laser, and is extracted via a small corneal incision.
ReLEX – Stands for Refractive Lenticular Extraction.
SMILE – Stands for Small Incision Lenticular Extraction.
Refractive surgery techniques have evolved and are continuing to develop with the advancement in technology. Nowadays, going to an eye doctor with the intent to correct refractive errors by surgery is becoming more common.
Options are expanding; more facilities are making the procedures available and accessible; and due to a better market the prices of procedures are becoming more affordable as well.
Deciding to undergo SmILE eye surgery requires a thorough planning.
A series of tests will be conducted and results will be analyzed by your eye care professionals. General eye condition, other medical conditions, current refractive power, corneal topography, lenticule parameters, and required correction to attain desired result will be considered. After completing all these tests, your eye doctor will then discuss with you the surgical plan and expected outcome.
SMILE is highly safe and predictable. SmILE was developed with the idea of making existing laser procedures more safe and stable. It is also free from flap related complications.
Painless and no discomfort after the surgery
Minimally invasive, more corneal biomechanical preservation
Less reported complaints of glares and halos
Lesser incidence of dry eyes
Quick healing and recovery
- Great option for athletes and those participating in contact sports
Similar to other laser eye surgeries, it is not recommended below 18 years old. It can be done to patients up to 40 years old, but still depends on individual condition.
Duration of Procedure
It takes around 15-20 minutes for both eyes. Only one laser is used which means the patient doesn’t have to be transferred from one machine to another. The time for laser treatment is the same for everyone, whether the patient requires a -1.00 diopter correction or a -7.00 diopter or more, laser treatment lasts for 24 seconds.
The small incision heals very quickly and improvement of vision can be noticed on the same day of surgery or a day after. All activities, including sports and swimming, can already be resumed 1 week after the surgery.
Recovery post-operatively is relatively fast. Healing may be different from person to person, but cornea is considered fully stable 3-6 months after the surgery.
Though infrequently reported, possible complications are:
ReLEx SmILE is highly safe and accurate, and although complications may occur, it is mostly due to inexperience and can be easily resolved without a significant effect on the final vision outcome. The minimally invasive procedure with fast recovery is a good alternative to LASIK. Eligibility for the procedure will be checked through a comprehensive exam prior to surgery.
The procedure is relatively new and may be less available compared to other refractive surgeries. Still, the advantages are appealing with very promising outcomes.