ReLEx SMILE, the latest generation of laser refractive surgery, is known as the least invasive treatment for myopia and astigmatism. The most significant advantage of ReLEx SMILE is the fact that the treatment takes place without a corneal flap.
In this technique, two incisions are created at a depth of 110 to 130 microns of the cornea. These two incisions form a lens tissue inside the cornea. By removing the lens through a 2-4 mm incision, the cornea is reshaped and the refractive error is corrected. This surgical procedure is the best choice for all patients with astigmatism and myopia. ReLEx SMILE can be used to treat myopia of -2.5 to -10 D (diopters) and astigmatisim of up to 5 D if the thickness of the cornea is adequate for this surgical procedure.
In this method, a femtosecond laser is used for cutting, and unlike other refractive surgical procedures, there is no need for an excimer laser. In this surgery, due to entering the least amount of energy into the cornea, recovery and healing of the cornea will be faster, although the patient's vision is slowly improving, and it takes between one to six weeks and sometimes two months to complete the vision.
- Flapless ( the least removal of the corneal tissue)
In this method, the cut on the cornea is 2-4 mm, which is much less than the cut is created in femto-LASIK method, a circular cut with a 28 mm circumference on the cornea.
- Single-step Surgery
Unlike Femto-LASIK, in which the two types of lasers are used to correct the refractive error in two steps, in SMILE whole the surgery is done in one step by using femtosecond laser.
- No change in the upper corneal layers
In SMILE procedure, the refractive error is corrected by removing the deeper layers of the cornea, and the upper corneal layers that play a more important role in maintaining the integrity and stability of the cornea remain intact and the corneal strength is further maintained.
- Fast healing
Unlike LASEK and PRK, in this method refractive error is corrected quickly, and the corneal tissue is repaired quickly too; however, in SMILE procedure vision is corrected slower compared to Femto-LASIK. So, tears and burning eyes are much less common, and it's possible to get back to your everyday activities very quickly and within a day.
- less chance of developing dry eyes
Dry eye is a common and temporary postoperative complication in all refractive laser surgeries, but because the corneal incision in this method is 2-4 mm and in Femto-LASIK method it is 28 mm, the ophthalmic nerves have less transient disturbances. Therefore, dry eye syndrome after SMILE surgery is less than Femto-LASIK, which brings more comfort to the patient.
- No increasing of intraocular pressure during surgery
This method has the least chance of increasing of the intraocular pressure during surgery. Compared to the femto-LASIK procedure, when the laser radiation is focused on the eye, the patients feel more comfortable, their vision are not impaired, and they experience less stress during surgery. In addition to the comfort of the patients, during surgery they are less likely to experience increased intraocular pressure, which make this procedure more immune for the people who are sensitive to increased eye pressure that may lead to damage their optic nerves.
1. People with myopia
2. People who are willing to have high visual acuity
3. People who are prone to severe dry eyes
4. People who are busy with activities (like athletes) and need faster recovery
5. People who can not tolerate the postoperative complications of LASIK or femto-LASIK surgeries (such as the children who refractive surgeries are recommended for them)
6. People with a thin cornea who are willing to undergo a fast minimally invasive surgical procedure. Although PRK is also a good choice for these people.
1. People with hyperopia
2. Pregnant women
3. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, severe glaucoma, herpes simplex infection, or severe and uncontrolled diabetes