What is ReLEx SMILE?
ReLEx® SMILE is the new laser technique by ZEISS for the gentle correction of vision defects. It is a treatment method which combines the extensive experience and superior safety of traditional vision correction techniques with some theoretical benefits and high precision levels.
The ReLEx® SMILE principle: The high-precision VisuMax® femtosecond laser creates a small lens (lenticule) inside the intact cornea, the volume and form of which are determined by the degree of vision defect to be corrected. This lenticule is then removed from the interior of the cornea through a small access measuring just a few millimeters. There is no flap incision, the area of the incision is reduced to a minimum and the outer corneal layers remain more or less intact. This innovative treatment technique yields a whole range of benefits:
- Lenticule preparation in the intact cornea
- Minimally invasive access measuring just a few millimeters (80 % less lateral incision than in LASIK and Femto-LASIK)
- Almost complete preservation of protective corneal layer (epithelium) and stabilizing outer corneal layers (Bowman’s membrane)
- Maximum number of corneal nerves responsible for tear regulation remain intact
- Painless during and after the procedure
Entire treatment carried out using femtosecond laser (all-femto)
- Use of high-precision femtosecond technology
- Outstanding predictability of results, even in cases of severe myopia (> -7.00 D)
- Anatomically shaped contact glass avoids unnecessary compression of the cornea
- Stabilization of visual acuity typically within 14 days
- Entire laser correction in a single treatment step
- No device change during the operation
- Short procedure
Unlike in all other laser eye surgery procedures, the corneal tissue is not ablated using an excimer laser. In ReLEx SMILE, proven femtosecond laser technology is the only technology used. A small lenticule is prepared inside the intact cornea using the femtosecond laser. This lenticule is removed through an access point just a few millimeters across. In fact, the cornea does not have to be opened at all – unlike with LASIK and Femto-LASIK.
How can I find out if I am suitable for SMILE?
As with all other vision correction methods with Mr Barsam, you will have to undergo a detailed eye examination. The nature and degree of ametropia, the curvature and thickness of the cornea, as well as many other factors play a role. Mr Barsam will advise you after conducting a detailed examination.
After ReLEx SMILE, how long will it be before I can see properly without glasses or contact lenses and return to my normal routine?
Every healing process is different. In most cases visual acuity is very good one or two days after the operation and stabilizes within two to three weeks. After ReLEx SMILE, you will generally be able to drive, work and do sports without glasses or contact lenses just a few days following treatment.
What are the risks?
Like all medical techniques, ReLEx SMILE is not without side effects. Mr Barsam will explain the individual risks and possible side effects to you and decide whether treatment with ReLEx SMILE is the right option for you.