Laser eye surgery takes a maximum of 30 minutes, but in most cases it is done within 10-12 minutes
What Is ReLEx™ SMILE
This procedure is the latest in Laser eye surgery technology. In this procedure, the VisuMax Femtosecond laser is used to create a precise disc of tissue in the patients cornea. Once the disc is created, the surgeon removes this disc of tissue from a tiny 2mm opening. This results in the reshaping of the central cornea and corrects the power. The flapless nature of this procedure allows the advantage of higher safety and stability as compared to conventional LASIK, as well as a quicker visual recovery.
Eye problems that can be treated with ReLEx™ SMILE
Benefits of ReLEx™ SMILE
Painless Eye Surgery
Fast Healing Process
No Bandages or Stitches Required
Spectacles Free Vision
Allergy Relief to some extent
Flapless procedure for better safety
Faster recovery as compared to LASIK (within 24 hours)
Advanced Specialised Laser Technology
Performing ReLEx™ SMILE requires the The VISUMAX femtosecond platform. This laser machine is a pioneer in the field of laser eye surgery and is the only laser system in the world which is FDA approved for performing ReLEx SMILE. The VISUMAX platform uses a very gentle suction which is extremely comfortable for the patient.
Eye Problems That can be Treated with ReLEx™ SMILE
You can see objects that are close to you clearly, but not those that are far away. This is because your eyeball becomes longer than normal.
You cannot see near or far objects. The complete vision becomes blurry. This is because of the uneven curving or flattening of the cornea.
Before ReLEx™ SMILE
When you book your appointment at Sri Eye Care, we request you to please mention your interest in undergoing Laser Eye Surgery to our care co-ordinator. You should discontinue your contact lenses before your visit [1 week for soft contact lenses and 4 weeks if you wear Rigid lenses]. We would also request you to bring an attendant with you, along with a pair of sunglasses. This is because your eye doctor will dilate your pupils to do a complete evaluation of the eye, which is the first step in your journey towards spectacle-free vision. You will also not be able to drive yourself after your examination due to your dilated pupils.
Our specialists will check for stability of your glasses power which is the main pre-requisite before undergoing Laser eye surgery. Therefore we request you to bring a copy of your old glasses prescription or your old glasses so that we may understand the stability of your eye power.
During ReLEx™ SMILE
Few minutes prior to the surgery, you will be given some eye drops and medication to help you relax. You will be awake throughout the procedure. The surgeon will instil drops in your eyes to numb your eyes completely. Your eye will be positioned under the laser and your eyelids will be kept open. The surgeon uses a computer to adjust the laser for your particular prescription. You will need to keep looking straight or as the surgeon directs you throughout the procedure. Your cornea will be reshaped with the laser light . The process is completely painless, but you may feel some pressure on the eye during the suction phase of the laser.
After ReLEx™ SMILE
You will have to rest for a bit. A temporary watering or an itching sensation on your eye is quite common. Immediately after the surgery blurry and hazy vision is also normal. As time passes by, your vision improves and will be restored within 24 hours. Follow your doctor's instructions and use all the drops as advised for the prescribed number of days and come for follow ups as advised by your surgeon. You will also have to use UV protection sunglasses for a while going outdoors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Laser Eye Surgery is usually painless, but you may experience a kind of pressure in your eyes during the procedure, but this may be temporary.
If you have undergone ReLEx™ SMILE or LASIK, you can resume your work the next day after your procedure. With PRK/ASA it may need 5- 7days to resume your work. However, you may need to wait until your eyes become fully comfortable and clear. You are also advised to as your surgeon post-surgery before resuming your job.
With modern day laser technology, laser eye surgery is extremely safe. Our team of specialists always use the highest safety parameters and keep a high ceiling safety profile before advising Laser correction for all patients.
See, the laser surgery aims to provide a 'permanent' solution to your eyes, but it has to be accepted that your eyes change with age, reading glasses are optional with the surgery. However, using them may be an added advantage.
Laser eye surgery is usually not recommended for people where the spectacle power has not stabilised. Laser eye surgery is not done for individuals below 18 years. An eye with keratoconus is a strict no-no for undergoing any kind of laser eye surgery. Also, if the corneal profile and thickness are not suitable, your surgeon may defer the procedure or offer any other alternate means of achieving spectacle free vision
SMILE Xtra and LASIK Xtra are recently introduced procedures that offer an additional layer of protection for the cornea after surgeries. This process combines SMILE/LASIK procedure with Riboflavin assisted Corneal Collagen Cross Linking [C3R] procedure to aid in strengthening of the corneal layers. SMILE/LASIK Xtra procedure is not recommended for all patients undergoing laser eye surgery. It will only be recommended by our specialists only if your corneal profile is borderline or shows some indications of future thinning.
Are there any advantages of ReLEx™ SMILE over conventional LASIK? Bladeless LASIK or Femto LASIK is an all-laser LASIK wherein even the creation of the flap is performed by femtosecond LASER. The thickness and accuracy of the flap depth is more precise with this method as compared to conventional LASIK procedure.
While ReLEx™ SMILE is also an all laser procedure, it however does not need the creation of a corneal flap for correction of the power. Here a disc shaped tissue called as the “lenticule” is fashioned by the femtosecond layer which is extracted through a 2mm incision.
Contoura vision is an advanced type of LASIK laser surgery. Here, microscopic irregularities on the patient’s cornea are mapped on the corneal topographer. These irregularities are then transferred to the LASIK suite. At Sri Eye Care, we use the Alcon WAVELIGHT™ suite which automatically maps and corrects these irregularities while also correcting the power. Contoura™ vision is required only for patients who have significant irregularities on their cornea. If not a simple LASIK would suffice.
Normally your specialist, after performing a thorough evaluation, would suggest the ideal procedure recommended for your eyes. However, if you are deemed to be suitable for both ReLEx™ SMILE as well as LASIK, you can take a conscious decision based on the relative advantages of SMILE over LASIK. The flapless nature of ReLEx SMILE makes healing of the incision faster (within 48 hours as compared to 5-7days with LASIK). Since a flap is created in LASIK, it causes a larger proportion of corneal nerves to be severed. These corneal nerves are important for tear production and hence patients experience dry eyes post-operatively. However, in SMILE since no flap is created, the post-operative dry eye is significantly lesser as compared to LASIK.
This advantage might be more relevant in people who work on computers for long hours who may be more prone to dry eyes. The flapless nature of this procedure also affords a higher safety profile for those who have an active lifestyle and play contact sports. Post LASIK there are minor chances of the flap being dislocated due to any injury. This risk is not there in SMILE. Although SMILE does have some advantages over LASIK, the visual recovery and accuracy of vision correction is equal in both procedures.