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.
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 the for the safety profile that PRK provides for certain eyes, but with the 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 general 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.
PerfeCT choice Surgeons 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.
SMILE is effective on patients with moderate to high levels of near-sightedness and astigmatism who are over the age of 22.
The procedure takes 15-20 minutes for each eye.
SMILE is not painful. There may be some discomfort during the procedure, akin to light pressure on the eyes, but it is minimal.
SMILE was approved in September, 2016.
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.
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, 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.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.