Suffering from nearsightedness? Do you have laser surgery as an option in your mind? Hold on. There are new and advanced methods for treating this problem. SMILE or ReLEx SMILE(Refractive Lenticule Extraction, Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a treatment that is a further development of Femto-LASIK procedure. It works by giving a safe and gentle correction of ametropia. It combines femtosecond technology with high precision lenticular extraction.
SMILE laser Surgery
It is a form of bladeless eye surgery. ReLEX SMILE or Small Incision Lenticule Extraction corrects deformities like shortsightedness and astigmatism. Though there are other traditional methods to treat these problems, eye specialists recommend SMILE as it has excellent advantages.
Facts about ReLEX SMILE surgery
- It is performed using a VisuMax femtosecond laser which has worldwide recognition as Carl Zeiss Meditec makes the technology.
- SMILE can correct up to -10.00 diopters of nearsightedness.
The science behind the procedure
SMILE laser eye surgery is made using a VisuMax femtosecond laser. The surgeon uses the laser to create a small, lens-shaped bit of tissue (lenticule) within the cornea. Then, a small arc-shaped incision is made in the surface of the cornea, and the surgeon extracts the lenticule through this incision and discards it.
Eligibility for this treatment
The person has to be 22 years and above. They should have no more than -0.5 D of astigmatism and their eyeglasses prescription should be stable for at least 12 months.
ReLEX SMILE over traditional LASIK
- In LASIK surgery, a large opening is made to reshape the cornea. However, SMILE has an opening as small as 4mm to treat the cornea.
- LASIK surgery involves cutting a flap and folding it backwards to remove corneal tissue. On the other hand, ReLEX SMILE uses a minimal procedure and does not require any flap folding.
- LASIK tends to generate more tears. ReLEX SMILE is suitable for dry eyes as it uses an advanced technology called a keyhole. This keeps the cornea stable, and the flow of tears is hardly disturbed.
- While LASIK uses a traditional method of surgery, ReLEX SMILE uses 100% femtosecond technology that is recognized worldwide and has a very high reputation. It is also considered to be the safest and most precise method of correcting visual disorders.
- Short-sighted patients up to -10 diopters can be treated with the ReLEx SMILE procedure. The Femto-LASIK treatment was only recommended to patients with the refraction up to a maximum of -8 diopters.
Furthermore, it is even suitable for patients with higher ametropia, thinner cornea or dry eyes. A thinner cornea (min. 480 micrometres) is also not an issue because with the ReLEx SMILE procedure, it remains fully intact and the tissue ablation does not go as deep.
In contrast to Femto-LASIK, the nerves in the upper corneal layer, necessary for the regulation of the tear film, are retained mainly reducing the risk of dry eyes after the operation. A further advantage is that pain or a strong feeling of a foreign body on the cornea is not felt with ReLEx SMILE since laser treatment takes place inside the cornea.
To be precise, it is very safe. The entire idea which conceptualized SMILE is based on how to make laser procedures that exist today, such as LASIK, even more reliable, stable and long term. It is free from flap related complications possible with other forms of LASIK. The cornea is biomechanically more stable after ReLEx SMILE as the incision made on the cornea is 80% smaller than the flap cut made during conventional LASIK, minimizing the chances of late corneal thinning and ectasia and also a dry eye.
Benefits of ReLEX SMILE
- Minimally invasive – The incision done through SMILE is 80% smaller than the one in LASIK. This incision enables the cornea to have more biochemical stability.
- No flaps – Unlike in the conventional LASIK procedure, SMILE procedure does not require any flap folding, which often leads to displacement issues.
- Preserving upper corneal structure – Since the upper corneal is untouched, the stability of cornea is largely unaffected
- Night Vision – Less induction of optical aberrations.
- Visual Acuity – 88% had a visual acuity of 20/20 or better post SMILE.
Limitations of ReLEX SMILE laser surgery
- SMILE can only correct myopia, whereas LASIK and PRK correct significant amounts of farsightedness and astigmatism.
- Also, LASIK and PRK can treat Higher-Order Aberrations (HOAs) that can affect night vision, whereas SMILE cannot. SMILE might increase HOAs to some degree.
- If you have residual Refractive Error after a SMILE procedure and require additional vision correction, typically PRK would be the preferred enhancement procedure for best results.
Ensure you know your eye history before undergoing any LVC procedure to minimize any possible complications and risks and to maximize the benefits of ReLEx SMILE.
Finally, as with any newer vision correction surgery, it may be necessary for a surgeon to perform a significant number of SMILE procedures before he or she masters the surgical techniques required for optimum outcomes and minimal risks. Keep this in mind when considering SMILE (versus LASIK or other vision correction procedures) and discussing the procedure with your refractive surgeon.
The LASIK or laser eye treatment should not be performed, if you suffer from any of the following: –
- Uncontrolled vascular disease or autoimmune disease.
- Immune-compromised or on immunity-suppressing drugs or have a previous history of keloid formation.
- Pregnancy, nursing, expecting to become pregnant within six months following the LASIK procedure or on hormone therapy for gynaecological dysfunction.
- Have residual, recurrent, or active eye diseases or abnormality except for myopia or hyperopia in either eye.
- Have any active or residual systemic diseases likely to affect wound healing capability.
- Had herpes infection of the eye in the past.
- Have unstable or uncontrolled diabetes.
- Have progressive myopia or hyperopia [unstable spectacle power].
- Amblyopia (lazy eye); glaucoma; severe dry eye.
ReLEX SMILE indication for myopia and astigmatism
- Sphere: -0.50 to 10.00 D
- Cylinder: 0 to 5.00 D
- Spherical Equivalent: -0.50 to -12.50 D
Step 1: Creation of the lenticule and the incision
Creation of the lenticule and the incision with VisuMax, a 2 mm tiny incision is created in the cornea, and the refractive lenticule is created. This leaves the upper layers of corneal tissue mostly untouched. In a single step, the VisuMax takes about 30 seconds to precisely create a refractive lenticule (a thin lens-shaped corneal tissue) within the cornea inner layers & a small 4mm incision on the intact cornea surface.
Step 2: Removal of the lenticule
The lenticule is removed through the incision with only minimal disruption to the corneal biomechanics. The refractive lenticule is then removed through the small incision. Cornea structure remains undisrupted & stable.
Step 3: Rehabilitation
Removing the lenticule changes the shape of the cornea, thereby achieving the desired refractive correction. The removal of the refractive lenticule changes the way light bends into the eye, allowing you to see clearly once again. The micro-incision self heals.
LOTUS as the first option
Lotus Eye Hospital & Institute was the first eye hospital to introduce Multiscan Lasik in 1998. Lotus was the first eye hospital to introduce EpiLasik technology in South East Asia. Now Lotus has launched the World’s latest laser technology Zyoptix -217P in 2011. We always update new technologies as and when introduced.
We have performed over 35,000 Lasik procedures in addition to Epilasik, Intralase Epilasik, Zyoptix Ultimate, Intralase Zyoptix Ultimate, Zyoptix Supracor, etc., We have also received Best Performer Award from M/s.Bausch & Lomb for performing the highest number of Lasik procedures in India, in 2006. laser Eye Surgery in Tamilnadu can be experienced with doctors under personalized care in Lotus Eye Hospital and Institute. We are also one of the Best Eye Hospital in Kerala to provide Lasik Eye Surgery.