Recovering from ReLEx SMILE

ReLEx SMILE is an innovative form of laser vision correction which combines many of the benefits of other types of laser eye surgery into one, straightforward procedure. What makes ReLEx SMILE so different from other treatments is that instead of cutting a flap into the cornea, or removing the whole outer later of it, the ReLEx SMILE surgery technique involves removing a small lenticule from the cornea itself. The ReLEx SMILE technique is believed to be the most advanced laser vision correction procedure in the world.


As with any laser vision correction surgery, patients need to allow themselves a little time to recover and heal following their treatment. There are two different elements to recovering from laser vision correction. The first is the physical recovery from the procedure itself, and in the case of ReLEx SMILE, this refers to the healing of the incision through which the lenticule was removed from the cornea of the eye. In most instances, this takes just a day or two. The second element of the recovery is, of course, your visual recovery from the procedure. This refers to how quickly it takes your vision to stabilize following your procedure, and how soon you can get back to your usual activities in terms of reading, using a computer, etc.


Here are a few key things that you need to know about recovering from ReLEx SMILE laser vision correction.

The Initial Side Effects of ReLEx SMILE


Immediately following your ReLEx SMILE procedure, you can expect your eyes to feel a little different from usual. They may seem sore, itchy, watery or prickly. It may feel uncomfortable to try and open them, or your eyelids may feel much heavier than usual. These sensations usually only last around 24 hours before dissipating. If you have any concerns about any side effects that you are experiencing, you should contact your New York or New Jersey eye doctor at Manhattan LASIK Center as soon as possible.



You will be prescribed antibiotic eye drops which will help to prevent infection. These should be taken as directed for the entire course, which usually lasts around 10 days. We also recommend you use artificial tears for at least 2-3 weeks following your procedure.


Getting Back to Normal


The good news is that the physical recovery from the ReLEx SMILE is usually much faster than other types of laser vision correction. The benefit of this speedy healing process is that it means that you can get back to your usual activities such as swimming and outdoor sports within a few days of your ReLEx SMILE procedure. You will also be able to watch tv, use a computer or laptop, and read normally within a day or two. You will be advised to take regular screen breaks to prevent eye fatigue and to stop the eyes from drying out.

Driving After a ReLEx SMILE Procedure


This is a significant concern for many patients following any laser vision correction. With a ReLEx SMILE, many patients can resume driving within 72 hours of their procedure. However, our team will be able to give you more specific advice relating to driving following ReLEx SMILE and this should be followed precisely. 


If you are considering ReLEx SMILE laser vision correction and you would like more information about what to expect from the recovery process, our knowledgeable team is happy to help. Please contact Manhattan LASIK Center with your questions today.