MLC is the only laser center in the NY Tri-state area to offer the ReLEx SMILE procedure and the 1st to have performed the procedure in the North-East region.
Only performed at select, premier laser eye surgery clinics across the United States, this is the newest and most recent innovation in laser vision correction; In other words, it is the world’s best laser vision correction technique and technology.
The entire idea which conceptualized ReLEx SMILE is based on how to make laser procedures that exist today, such as LASIK and PRK/LASEK, even safer and easier to recover from. This technique is not only as effective and predictable but also provides safety and stability that is superior to earlier forms of laser surgery. it is free from flap-related complications possible with other forms of LASIK. The cornea is biomechanically stronger after ReLEx SMILE as the incision made on the cornea is 80% smaller than the flap cut made during conventional LASIK. It also reduces/eliminates the common dry eye condition after PRK/LASEK/LASIK. In effect, it combines the advantages of older PRK/LASEK/LASIK and reduces/eliminates their shortcomings/side effects.
This no-flap procedure takes about 10 minutes per eye. Taking only about 20 seconds of laser time to create the lenticule, it provides added comfort and convenience for the patient. The lenticule will then be removed from one tiny 4mm incision created by the laser. This will change the way light focuses within the eye, allowing you to see clearly again. The incision heels on its own. With a short time under the laser, you will receive a post check up by your surgeon, and are free to go home. There is no noise, no pressure, no burning smell during the process. This is a truly a revolutionary Femtosecond laserbased 3rd generation laser eye surgery, without the use of the Excimer laser (unlike in PRK/LASEK/LASIK). It is an advancement in technology millions have been waiting for over the last several decades.
Step 1: Creation of the Lenticule within the cornea.
Step 2: Lenticule removal – The lenticule is removed through a tiny 4mm opening.
Step 3: Vision correction – By removing the lenticule, the cornea’s shape is changed, correcting your nearsightedness and astigmatism.
With ReLEX SMILE from ZEISS, the VisuMax laser enables the fusion of cutting-edge femtosecond technology and precise lenticule extraction to provide minimally invasive vision correction. A precalculated refractive lenticule and a small incision with utmost accuracy and dependability are created in the intact cornea using ZEISS VisuMax femtolaser. Subsequently, the lenticule is extracted via a small incision of 4 mm, thereby achieving the desired vision correction. Without ablation, without a flap, the ReLEx SMILE treatment is a flapless, all-femto and single-step procedure to improve nearsightedness and astigmatism. To achieve the refractive correction, with ReLEx SMILE, a small incision of 4 mm is sufficient to remove the lenticule from the intrastromal layer of the cornea, thus preserving the corneal structure, keeping the cornea biomechanically stronger and significantly reducing the risk of post-surgical dry eye. Utilizing the ZEISS VisuMax laser system, the ReLEx SMILE treatment embodies precision, predictability, reproducibility, and perfection.
1. What is SMILE?
It is an acronym standing for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction ( SMILE )- is a minimally invasive and innovative procedure. Instead of the laser ablation of the cornea, only minimal amount is lasered to create a lenticule which is then extracted through a keyhole 4mm corneal incision (as opposed to 20 mm incision to create the flap used in LASIK).
2. What is ReLEx?
It is an acronym standing for- Refractive Lenticule Extraction (ReLEx)- a 3rd generation laser refractive surgery. This all-femtosecond laser vision correction procedure is the least invasive and most advanced technique, leaving the cornea stronger and reducing/eliminating the common dry eye after PRK/LASEK/LASIK.
3. What is the recovery time of this laser eye procedure?
There is no flap creation with ReLEx SMILE. The small incision through which the lenticule is removed heals within hours. Since there is no risk of flap-related issues, one can resume activities like swimming, outdoor sports, etc. as early as the next day. Make-up can be applied the next day as well.
4. How safe is the procedure?
The entire idea which conceptualized ReLEx SMILE is based on how to make laser procedures that exist today, such as LASIK and PRK/LASEK, even safer and easier to recover from. This technique is not only effective and predictable but also provides safety and stability that is superior to earlier forms of laser surgery. It is free from flap-related complications possible with other forms of LASIK. The cornea is biomechanically stronger after ReLEx SMILE as the incision made on the cornea is 80% smaller than the flap cut made during conventional LASIK. It also reduces/eliminates the common dry eye condition after PRK/LASEK/LASIK. In effect, it combines the advantages of older PRK/LASEK/LASIK and reduces/eliminates their shortcomings/side effects.
5. Can all refractive errors be corrected with ReLEx SMILE?
ReLEx SMILE can correct Myopia and Astigmatism.
6. Why do we need SMILE when other procedures are doing fine?
SMILE is FLAPLESS. No flap means
• No flap complications
• Cornea stays strongest
• Reduces/eliminates the common dry eye condition after PRK/LASEK/LASIK, as the majority of corneal nerves are spared
• Return to normal activities and sports by the next day
7. Am I a suitable candidate?
Practically, all patients who are suitable for conventional LASIK, and also many patients who were given PRK/LASEK as their only option can be treated with ReLEx SMILE.
8. Why do patients prefer SMILE?
• If there are any complications in LASIK, then 99% of them are due to flap. Since SMILE has no flap, there are no flap-related complications.
• For those playing contact sports, there is no risk of flap displacement.
9. How long does the procedure take?
Typically, 15-20 minutes for both eyes.
10. Can both eyes be treated in the same sitting?
Yes, the laser procedure is usually done for both eyes at the same time, as we do not ‘enter’ the eye, but just work on the surface; also as both eyes have to recover visually in a binocular way.
11. Will I be awake during the procedure?
Yes. You will be awake during the entire procedure. However, we use anesthetic eye drops and you will feel numbness or little heaviness in your eyes with NO pain sensation during the procedure.
12. Why is SMILE said to be Ultra-gentle on the eyes?
The opening needed to extract the lenticule is far smaller than the previous and older method [80% less than in LASIK] therefore the structure of the cornea remains stronger.
13. Is SMILE accurate?
YES. It is not just highly accurate but also highly predictable. There is no tissue distortion. Comparison studies with LASIK show as good or better results.
14. What about Dry eye issues?
As the number of corneal nerves affected during the procedure is far lower than that in LASIK, the resulting dry eye symptoms are significantly lesser or near zero in patients undergoing ReLEx SMILE.