FAQ’s on Relex Smile laser eye surgery

It is an acronym standing for Small Iincision Lenticule Extraction ( SmILE )- is a minimally invasive and innovative procedure. Instead of the laser ablation of the cornea, only minimal amount is lasered to create a lenticule which is then extracted through a keyhole corneal incision (compare 2-4 mm to 20 mm used in LASIK).
It is an acronym standing for- Refractive Lenticule Extraction (ReLEx)- is a novel refractive surgery and the most recent, advanced laser vision correction procedure in the world. Many surgeons believe that this All-femto laser vision correction is the technique of the future.
It is said that the actual recovery (physical tissue recovery) from Relex smile is quicker. This is because there is no ‘cut’ or flap made. The small incision through which the lenticule is removed heals very quickly, by end of the day or next. And as there is no risk of flap related issues, one can resume activities like swimming, outdoor sports etc within the first week itself post smile procedures. In LASIK such energetic activities are usually allowed after 15 days to a month. Read more
Very safe. The entire idea which conceptualized SmILE is based on how to make laser procedures that exist today, such as LASIK, even safer and more stable in the long term. This technique is not only effective and predictable but also provides a safety and stability that is superior to traditional LASIK. it is free from flap related complications possible with other forms of LASIK. The cornea is biomechanically more stable after ReLEx SmILE as the incision made on the cornea is 80% smaller than the flap cut made during conventional LASIK, minimizing the chances of late corneal thinning and ectasia and also dry eye.
ReLEx SmILE can correct Myopia and Astigmatism. Hypermetropia (Plus Power) and Presbyopia cannot be corrected with this procedure.
SmILE is FLAPLESS. No flap means No complications No weak cornea Less Dry eye No nerves are cut
It can be done above 18 yrs up to 40 years. However, eligibility has to be determined through a series of tests.
Most of the patients suitable for conventional LASIK can also be treated with ReLEx SmILE. You have to consult our ophthalmologist, Dr Anand Shroff for a detailed examination.
Painless Flapless If there are any complications in LASIK, then 99% of them are due to flap. Since SmILE has no flap, there are no flap related complications. One still comes across data stating that corneal flaps never heal. For those playing contact sports there is no risk of flap displacement. Gives high stability in the long term with less chance of numbers coming back.
No, there is no diet restriction. You can have a normal diet.
15-20 minutes for both the eyes.
Need to rest for 24 hours post procedure, and the day the laser is performed, you must stay indoors. Then, depending on individual requirement and occupation, a maximum of 2 to 3 days rest is needed for your eyes.
Yes, laser procedure is usually done for both eyes at the same time, as we do not ‘enter’ the eye, but just work on the surface; also as both eyes have to recover visually in a binocular way.
Yes. You will be awake during the entire procedure. However, we use anesthetic eye drops and you will feel numbness or little heaviness in your eyes with NO pain sensation during the procedure.
The opening needed to extract the lenticule is far smaller than the previous and older method [80% less than in LASIK] therefore the structure of the cornea remains more intact. The contact glass through which the laser beams pass, adapts to the curve of the cornea, making this procedure painless.
We have been doing ReLEx SmILE surgeries since early 2013 and we do about a minimum 20 SmILE treatments per week. This number is only increasing as more and more people are getting aware of this safe technology. To give you an example, when we offer a choice between LASIK/SmILE to any patient over 90% choose the SmILE procedure.
Yes, this is a permanent treatment at present, though research is working in making ReLEx reversible if required, it is still in studies.
YES. It is not just highly accurate but also highly predictable. There is no tissue distortion. Comparison studies with LASIK show better results.
Till date we have never needed to retreat any of our SmILE patients. However, compared to LASIK, which have been doing for over 18 years, SmILE numbers are less being done for about 2 years. Even then, in those patients in whom we have done LASIK, our re-treatment rate has not been more that 0.4 to 0.8 %. We have faced no complications such as permanent dry eyes, night vision issues etc. due to our thorough detailed checkup done by Dr Anand Shroff himself.
Since, we follow strict protocols of infection control, and also being accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) from USA, we have never faced any issues with infections. We use completely disposable laser kits provided by the laser company in Germany, and following the strict guidelines of no reuse, we face no infection issues
As the number of corneal nerves affected during the procedure is far lower than that in LASIK, the resulting dry eye symptoms are significantly lesser or near zero in patients undergoing ReLEx SmILE.
You should discontinue wearing soft lenses 3-4 days before the evaluation or consultation with our doctor, and same before the procedure (3 weeks for RGP/ semi soft lenses lenses)
ReLEX SmILE was born to address the problem of ectasia which came from LASIK. So any laser eye surgery which has a “flap” has higher chances of ectasia. Hence, SmILE is safer with very very low chances of ectasia, near zero.
After ReLEX SmILE, re-treatment can of course be done, both for plus and minus powers and also cylindrical errors. The only method is different, not by doing smile again, but by doing a superficial ablation like PRK (as choice) or even considering LASIK

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