Before we delve deeper into how ReLEx SMILE surgery can help you, let us first define what this procedure means.
SMILE is an acronym for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. It is the most advanced laser refractive surgery and is minimally invasive. In this procedure, a 2-4mm incision is created via laser. A lenticule is created, and is then extracted via the same incision.
What are the advantages of ReLEx® SMILE?
- Comfortable and gentle
Many patients prefer ReLEx SMILE surgery as it is relatively painless and comfortable. As compared to LASIK, the surgeon will no longer need to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea that is needed to access the underlying cornea to remove corneal tissue. During the surgery, the patient’s eye will be anaesthetised using eye drops. A single 24 second laser is then used to create a small incision of less than 4 mm. This is gentler on the eye and allows a faster recovery period.
- Zero flap complications
ReLEx® SMILE is carried out under the surface of the cornea. As ReLEx® SMILE is flapless, this also means that the patient will not need to worry about any flap dislodgement or displacement. This procedure is ideal for people who do contact sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts or soccer.
- Stable refractive outcomes
As compared to traditional LASIK, ReLEx® SMILE surgery is not just effective and predictable. This procedure also provides stability that is superior to other laser treatments.
- Minimally invasive
Due to the smaller wound created, ReLEx® SMILE results in a much stronger eye and less discomfort and tearing right after the surgery. With the use of a small incision, fewer corneal nerves are disrupted during the procedure, resulting in lower incidences of dry eyes as compared to LASIK. Patients are also less or totally not dependent on lubricating eyedrops months after the procedure.
- Changes in vision can be seen in just a few hours
Another great thing about ReLEx SMILE is that your vision will start to improve in just a few hours after your surgery. You will achieve functional vision within the first 24 hours, and vision will continue to improve steadily in the coming days and weeks after surgery. You are advised to take at least 3 days off work to allow your eyes to heal faster. You will need to return to the clinic the next day for a follow up.