ReLEx SMILE surgery is one of the most widely performed surgeries in the world and is used to treat myopia and astigmatism. SMILE stands for Small incision lenticule extraction and earlier, it was known as Femtosecond lenticule extraction (FLEx). The entire method was developed by Carl Zeiss Meditec. ReLEx SMILE surgery has myriads of benefits when compared to traditional eye surgery and involves lesser precautions and is more accurate.
What is ReLEx SMILE Surgery?
The surgery is performed by an eye specialist or an ophthalmologist. ReLEx SMILE surgery is an advanced type of minimally invasive surgery which is bladeless, painless, and stitchless. It is a great alternative to eye traditional surgery methods such as LASEK and LASIK treatment.
In ReLEx SMILE surgery, a top-notch Carl Zeiss VisuMax laser is used which places a series of pulses in the center of the cornea which is affected. The accuracy level is very high in this type of surgery because it utilizes 3D mapping. These pulses form minute bubbles that have a 1/100th width of human hair and are used to outline the tissues that need to be removed because of deterioration. After this, the laser creates a minute tunnel which is used to draw out the damaged tissue.
This treatment demands no flaps and the whole procedure requires only few seconds for completion. The best part of this procedure is that 80% vision is restored within minutes. And after a few days, the patient’s vision will be magnificent and reaches normal level within a few days of time.
Benefits of ReLEx Smile surgery
Because laser is involved in this treatment, ReLEx SMILE is great in terms of accuracy. In this method, there is no chance of the flap moving, shifting, dislocating or folding and the chances of having dry eyes is negligible. Also, the procedure is considered to be a better alternative for the long-term stability of the cornea. The entire process takes place in a closed room and there is no chance for the involvement of external factors like – temperature, draft, dust or humidity.
- Flapless Method: ReLEx SMILE surgery has changed the way of refractive surgery is performed. Earlier, an eye specialist has to make a side-cut of approximately 28 mm. But now, a small incision which is lesser than 2 mm is sufficient enough to perform ReLEx SMILE which makes it a micro-incision keyhole procedure.
- 100% Femto: ReLEx SMILE surgery is a hi-tech method which utilizes Femtosecond laser for maximum accuracy. In this method of treatment, high-precision ZEISS VisuMax laser is used.
- Single-step procedure: ReLEx SMILE brings a lot of factors together which make the process easier to perform and more successful – the complete laser treatment and lenticule access and creation both take place in a single step.
- Indication range: ReLEx for myopia and astigmatism
Sphere: -0.50 to -10.00 D
Cylinder: 0 to 5.00 D
Spherical equivalent: -0.75 to -10.00 D
Comparison of ReLEx SMILE and LASIK Surgery
LASIK stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis. This is highly popular surgery and LASIK is used to treat vision problems in people who are suffering from farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism. The procedure works by reshaping the cornea which is present in the front side of the eye, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye.
- In a survey of 1000 patients, 82% of patients said SMILE is better, faster, and safer than LASIK treatment.
- LASIK is a method where there is a need to create a FLAP and on the other hand, ReLEx SMILE is entirely a flapless procedure.
- In ReLEx SMILE, an eye specialist uses only one laser during the procedure and that’s – Zeiss Femtosecond laser. In LASIK treatment, an ophthalmologist uses different brands of excimer lasers to treat eye problems.
- Recovery time of the SMILE procedure is quicker than LASIK treatment.
- Research suggests there may be less risk of dry eyes after SMILE, compared with after LASIK.
When it comes to overall advantage, ReLEx SMILE wins over LASIK over a big margin. The entire process is bladeless, flapless, painless, and stitchless. Also, the procedure is highly advanced which uses only Femtosecond laser for better accuracy. The patient does not suffer from dry eyes after the treatment in ReLEx SMILE.
Dr. Jeevan Ladi with his 30+ years of experience in laser eye surgery specializes in the ReLEx SMILE procedure. At Dada Laser Eye Institute, we take care of our patients by understanding their problems thoroughly and then perform highly advanced eye surgeries with utmost diligence.