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ReLEx SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

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ReLEx SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a modern laser eye surgery procedure used to correct myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. This method offers a different approach compared to other laser eye surgery procedures such as LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy).

What is a ReLEx SMILE?

ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a modern laser eye surgery procedure used to correct myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. This method operates by creating a small incision in the form of a window within the cornea and shaping a thin layer of tissue called a lenticule with a femtosecond laser. Subsequently, the lenticule is removed through this incision to correct vision impairments. Unlike other laser eye surgery methods, ReLEx SMILE does not create a flap on the cornea, leading to less tissue manipulation and a faster recovery process.

ReLEx SMILE Procedure

  1. Preservation of the Corneal Layer:

In ReLEx SMILE, instead of creating a flap on the cornea, a small incision (lenticule) is made in the form of a small window within the cornea. This provides an advantage by requiring less tissue manipulation.

  1. Lenticule Formation:

Femtosecond laser creates a thin layer of tissue called a lenticule inside the cornea. This lenticule is programmed in terms of the required amount and shape for correcting myopia or astigmatism.

  1. Small Extraction Incision:

The eye surgeon enlarges a small incision to remove the lenticule inside the eye. This incision ensures the procedure remains minimally invasive.

  1. Tissue Removal and Correction:

The eye surgeon removes the lenticule through the created incision, thereby correcting myopia or astigmatism by altering the eye’s focal point.

ReLEx SMILE Recovery

The recovery process varies depending on an individual’s overall health, eye health, the degree of pre-existing vision impairment, and adherence to post-surgical instructions. However, the recovery time for this procedure is generally fast.

After SMILE eye surgery, complete recovery is typically observed within 3 to 6 months. Improvement in vision often begins within the first 2-3 days for many patients. It is important to avoid specific activities post-surgery and adhere to the follow-up program recommended by the doctor.

ReLEx SMILE Laser Eye Surgery Advantages

Among the advantages of ReLEx SMILE are less dry eye issues, a faster recovery process, and less loss of corneal tissue. The advantages of SMILE surgery are as follows:

  1. Minimal Invasiveness:

ReLEx SMILE is performed by creating only a small incision in the eye, in the form of a small window. Unlike other laser eye surgery methods, it does not require the creation of a flap on the cornea. This means less tissue manipulation.

  1. Faster Recovery Process:

Due to a smaller surgical area and less tissue damage, the procedure generally offers a fast recovery process. Many patients can return to normal daily activities in a shorter time after the operation.

  1. Less Dry Eye Issues:

ReLEx SMILE is associated with less dry eye complaints compared to other laser surgery methods because it causes fewer nerve fiber cuts in the cornea.

  1. Less Corneal Tissue Loss:

The method may result in less loss of corneal tissue compared to other laser surgery procedures because it affects the corneal tissue less.

  1. Effective Correction of Myopia and Astigmatism:

ReLEx SMILE provides an effective option for correcting vision impairments such as myopia and astigmatism.

These advantages make ReLEx SMILE a preferable laser eye surgery method for some patients. However, since each individual’s situation is unique, it is essential to consult with an eye specialist for an appropriate treatment plan.

SMILE Eye Surgery Side Effects

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) eye surgery is generally a safe and effective procedure, but like any surgical intervention, some side effects may arise. These effects will diminish and eventually disappear with the healing process. Potential side effects that may occur after SMILE eye surgery include:

  • Temporary Blurred Vision and Discomfort
  • Dry Eyes
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Night Vision Issues
  • Glare from bright lights and halos around light sources

It is important to communicate any symptoms or side effects that may arise after SMILE eye surgery with your doctor. Adhering to the instructions provided by your eye doctor and attending regular follow-up appointments can help minimize the impact of potential side effects.

LASIK Laser vs ReLEx SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

  1. Flap Creation:
  • LASIK: In LASIK, a flap (like a hinged door) is created on the cornea, lifted to apply the laser, and then repositioned.
  • ReLEx SMILE: In ReLEx SMILE, a small incision in the form of a window is made in the cornea, and the lenticule is removed through this incision to correct vision impairments.
  1. Surgical Area:
  • LASIK: In LASIK, as a flap is created and lifted, the surgical procedure occurs on a more superficial part of the cornea.
  • ReLEx SMILE: In ReLEx SMILE, the incision and lenticule removal occur at a deeper level, requiring less tissue manipulation.
  1. Recovery Period:
  • LASIK: Recovery after LASIK is generally fast, but there may be some discomfort in the first few days.
  • ReLEx SMILE: Recovery in ReLEx SMILE is also typically fast and may be associated with less dry eye issues.
  1. Dry Eye Problem:
  • LASIK: LASIK can lead to dry eye issues in some patients as it affects the nerve fibers on the cornea.
  • ReLEx SMILE: ReLEx SMILE is generally associated with less dry eye complaints due to fewer cuts to corneal nerve fibers.
  1. Incision Size:
  • LASIK: LASIK creates a larger incision when forming the flap.
  • ReLEx SMILE: The incision made in ReLEx SMILE is smaller.

Both procedures are effective in correcting myopia and astigmatism, but the preference between the two methods may depend on factors such as the patient’s individual situation, eye health, and suitability for surgery.

PRK Laser vs ReLEx SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

  1. Flap Creation:
  • PRK Laser: In PRK, the epithelial cells, which are the top layer of the cornea, are removed with a laser, and this layer then heals.
  • ReLEx SMILE: In ReLEx SMILE, a small incision in the form of a window is made in the cornea, and the lenticule is removed through this incision to correct vision impairments.
  1. Surgical Area:
  • PRK Laser: In PRK, laser application occurs on the surface of the cornea, and since the removal of the epithelial layer is necessary, the procedure is more superficial.
  • ReLEx SMILE: In ReLEx SMILE, the incision and lenticule removal occur at a deeper level, requiring less tissue manipulation.
  1. Recovery Process:
  • PRK Laser: The recovery process after PRK may take longer because the epithelial layer needs to regrow. Discomfort and blurred vision may be experienced in the first few days.
  • ReLEx SMILE: The recovery process in ReLEx SMILE is generally fast with less discomfort.
  1. Dry Eye Problem:
  • PRK Laser: PRK may lead to dry eye issues in some patients as it affects the nerve fibers on the corneal surface.
  • ReLEx SMILE: ReLEx SMILE is generally associated with less dry eye complaints due to fewer cuts to corneal nerve fibers.

Are You Suitable for SMILE Eye Surgery?

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) eye surgery offers an effective option for correcting vision problems like myopia and astigmatism. However, this surgical intervention may not be suitable for everyone.

An ideal candidate for SMILE typically has the following characteristics:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • The eye prescription should have been stable for a certain period.
  • Should have a healthy corneal structure.
  • Overall eye health should be good.

Your eye doctor will assess the individual’s eye condition and recommend the most suitable treatment option by determining whether they meet the predetermined criteria.

ReLEx SMILE Reviews

Many individuals who have undergone ReLEx SMILE express that the operation offers a fast recovery process and causes less dry eye issues compared to other laser eye surgery methods. Highlighting minimal pain and discomfort, the satisfaction of rapid vision improvement after the surgery and the liberation from the use of glasses or lenses take the forefront. However, individual experiences may vary, so those considering ReLEx SMILE or other laser eye surgery options should have a detailed consultation with an eye doctor.

ReLEx SMILE Surgery Cost

The cost of ReLEx SMILE eye surgery varies depending on several factors such as geographical location, surgeon’s experience, quality of equipment used, and the choice of clinic or hospital. In Turkey, the cost of ReLEx SMILE eye surgery is generally much more affordable compared to Western countries.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Is ReLEx SMILE effective?

Yes, ReLEx SMILE is generally an effective eye surgery procedure used to correct myopia and astigmatism.

2. Is SMILE as effective as LASIK? Is ReLEx SMILE better than LASIK?

ReLEx SMILE and LASIK are similarly effective, but ReLEx SMILE may have some advantages since it is performed without creating a flap (flapless), such as causing less dry eye problems.

3. Is ReLEx SMILE painful?

Typically, the ReLEx SMILE procedure is painless or accompanied by very mild discomfort.

4. What are the disadvantages of SMILE eye surgery?

SMILE may have limitations in correcting certain types and degrees of refractive errors compared to other procedures. However, mastering SMILE surgery requires a longer learning curve for surgeons compared to traditional LASIK procedures. Therefore, SMILE is less common than LASIK in certain regions and can be more costly than other laser eye surgery procedures. Despite these disadvantages, SMILE is a safe and effective procedure for many individuals.

5. What are the problems after SMILE eye surgery?

Some patients may experience discomfort, redness, or mild dry eyes during the recovery process.

6. How Does SMILE Eye Surgery Work?

ReLEx SMILE creates a thin layer of tissue called a lenticule using a femtosecond laser within the cornea and removes this layer to correct refractive errors.

7. Who is suitable for SMILE treatment?

Individuals over 18 years old, with stable eye prescription, and a healthy cornea are suitable candidates for SMILE treatment.

8. How much does SMILE surgery cost?

The cost of SMILE surgery varies based on several factors but is generally higher than other laser eye surgery procedures.

9. Why is ReLEx SMILE so expensive?

Factors such as technological innovation, equipment used, and the surgeon’s experience contribute to the cost of ReLEx SMILE.

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