SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

ReLEx SMILE Eye Surgery

ReLEx (Refractive Lenticule Extraction) SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is one of the newest developments in vision correction procedures. This treatment is available in only a few laser eye surgery clinics in the United States.

ReLEx Smile uses state-of-the-art femtosecond technology to create a high-precision thin circular disc of tissue that is removed through a small incision in the cornea. The incision made with SMILE is less than 4 mm.

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“A year ago when I made the decision that LASIK (SMILE in my case) was for me I never believed I’d be where I am today. A year later I no longer struggle to see what is right in front of me or worry about if I have a new pair of contacts to put in or where I placed my glasses. Instead, I wake up and start my day with 20/11 vision (something I’m making up because I can now read 80% of the 20/10 letters). Clear Choice made this all possible and every time I go in for a check-up its a pleasant experience.

Everyone there seems to love their jobs and if that isn’t enough there’s always fresh cookies :). So if anything is holding you back from making the decision to get LASIK or SMILE stop procrastinating and go visit Clear Choice you’ll be glad you did.”

-Garrett Gill

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Some patients are not candidates for LASIK because of thin corneas, high prescriptions, dry eye, etc. Traditionally, the Clear Choice surgeons have used PRK/ASA for these eyes, which is a great procedure, but it takes longer to heal. SMILE is a good alternative allowing for the safety profile that PRK provides for certain eyes, but with quick healing like LASIK.

Your eye is anesthetized with eye drops and a lid speculum is gently positioned to prevent you from accidentally blinking. The whole treatment process is then undertaken using the Zeiss Femtosecond Laser as a single step. The treatment usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes. The actual laser is in operation for only a tiny fraction of this time, and after a quick post-operative check by your surgeon, you are free to go. The recovery from ReLEx is generally quite comfortable (like LASIK) and the visual recovery is reasonably quick. You should have hazy, but navigational, vision after a nap. Most patients will need three days of recovery before driving and using a computer. Visual recovery with ReLEx SMILE is generally a little slower than LASIK, but quicker than with PRK or LASEK.

Dr. Wiley and Dr. Bafna are part of an elite group of surgeons who offer the SMILE procedure to their patients. We are now accepting consultations for SMILE. Schedule a consultation below, or read further for frequently asked questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who should consider SMILE?

SMILE is effective on patients with moderate to high levels of nearsightedness and astigmatism who are over the age of 18.

How long does the SMILE procedure take?

The procedure takes 15-20 minutes for both eyes.

Is SMILE painful?

Most SMILE patients do not report any pain with the procedure. There may be some discomfort during the procedure, akin to light pressure on the eyes, but it is minimal.

What are the benefits to SMILE?

SMILE is performed using the VisuMax femtosecond laser, which is one of the most precise lasers on the market. The procedure is a huge advance due to its minimal invasiveness and use of a single laser.

What are the risks or complications of SMILE?

Complications with the SMILE procedure have been reported infrequently, as it is a relatively safe procedure. Risks include epithelial abrasions, small tears at the incision, dry eye, and loss of suction of the eye during use of the laser. However, these risks are very small, and do not prohibit the vision benefits from taking effect.

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