Before we delve deeper into how ReLEx SMILE surgery can help you, let us first define what this procedure is.
SMILE stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. It melds the qualities of both LASIK and Advanced Surface Ablation. During SMILE, a 4mm incision is created with a laser. A lenticule is created with the same laser, and then extracted through the 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 numbed using eye drops. A single 24 second laser is then used to create a small incision of less than 4mm. This is gentler on the eye and allows a faster recovery period.
- No flap complication
ReLEx® SMILE is carried out under the surface of the cornea. As ReLEx® SMILE is flapless, it means the patient will not need to worry about flap dislodgement or displacement. This procedure is ideal for people who do contact sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts or soccer.
- 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 a small incision, fewer corneal nerves are disrupted during the procedure, resulting in lower incidence of dry eye compared to LASIK. Patients are also less or totally not dependent on lubricating eyedrops 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. You will need to return to the clinic the next day for a follow-up.