ReLEx SMILE

ReLex SMILE Fort Lauderdale

In 2017, another laser corneal sculpting option became available for nearsighted individuals. The VisuMax femtosecond laser manufactured by Zeiss of Dublin, California was approved in September 2016 for the use of the SMILE procedure. SMILE is an acronym for Small Incision Lenticular Extraction. This common corrective procedure is only offered by a few advanced laser eye clinics around the country. Dr. Lessner at Millennium Laser Eye Centers is a leading provider of SMILE in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida.

A pre-operative exam is required and patients should not wear contact lenses for 1-2 weeks before the procedure. On the day of the procedure, patients should avoid wearing beauty products and makeup on the face to decrease the risk of contamination in the surgery room.

As in Femto-Flap Creation, a million or so laser pulses are placed in a circular pattern inside of the cornea during the SMILE procedure. However, rather than creating a side cut to complete a flap, a second pass of femto-pulses is delivered to create a disc of tissue inside the cornea. Its shape is comparable to the amount of tissue removed during the second step in LASIK. The laser then makes a small connecting side-cut tunnel to access the disc through which it is removed and discarded. The center of the cornea flattens and corrects the prescribed amount of nearsightedness. The procedure is usually complete in about 20 minutes and it is completely painless.

SMILE offers an alternative for those at high risk of eye trauma as no flap is created. SMILE is often a better solution for patients with thinner corneas and is ideal for patients that already deal with dry eyes. This laser is intended to treat myopia with little to no astigmatism. Trials are under review for myopic astigmatism.