ReLEx smile by EuroEyes, the German champion:
The gentle form of laser eye surgery
The ReLEx smile treatment is the further development of the Femto-LASIK procedure and enables a particularly safe and gentle correction of ametropia. It combines state-of-the-art femtosecond technology with high-precision lenticular extraction.
The decisive advantage: with ReLEx smile we can laser your eyes without “flap” and don’t have to open a large corneal area – as it is necessary with LASIK. A special femtosecond laser prepares a thin three-dimensional lenticula disc inside the cornea, which is removed via tiny 2 mm opening at the cornea.
This procedure protects the eye, the cornea remains stable and flap complications are excluded. This minimally invasive treatment is our first choice for the correction of myopia, astigmatism and dry eyes.
For more than 10 years, individualized Femto LASIK has been the scientifically accepted method for the correction of ametropia. Previously in a LASIK a side-cut of roughly 20mm had to be created, which severs the nerves and is known to cause dry eye.
The ReLEx smile keyhole technology goes one step further: laser eye surgery has become even safer, more gentle and faster. A 3D disk (lenticle) is prepared inside the cornea and removed through a tiny 2 mm “keyhole” opening prepared by laser.
The volume and shape of the lenticula corresponds to the amount of tissue required to correct your vision disorder. Also the stability of the cornea is maintained and the production of the tear film is hardly disturbed. This makes ReLEx smile suitable for patients with dry eyes or contact lens intolerance. The icing on the cake: only 32 seconds per eye are required for the entire procedure.
How does ReLEx smile work?
A Lasik procedure used to involve cutting a flap and folding it back to remove corneal tissue point by point. On the other hand, ReLEx smile eye surgery is minimally invasive and makes laser vision correction possible without the need for a corneal flap.
1. 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 all in one step. This leaves the upper layers of corneal tissue largely untouched.
2. Removal of the lenticule
The lenticule is removed through the incision with only minimal disruption to the corneal biomechanics.
Removing the lenticule changes the shape of the cornea, thereby achieving the desired refractive correction.
Course of treatment – step by step
1. Personal consultation, no obligation
In a personal consultation, your doctor will first evaluate if your eyes are suitable for ReLEx smile treatment. All relevant parameters of the eye will be measured.
2. Comprehensive preliminary evaluation
A general medical examination will be given prior to the operation. Before this appointment, you should refrain from wearing contact lenses, as these change the shape of the cornea. Under certain circumstances, it may take the cornea several weeks to go back to its natural shape once you removed your contact lens. You will be asked to remove your lenses for a period of time prior to your visit in order to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the examination. If you wear soft lenses, they must be removed for at least one week before the appointment. If you wear hard lenses, you must remove them at least two weeks before the appointment. Failure to do so could produce an unsatisfactory result, with poor vision after surgery to follow. The day before treatment and on the day of the treatment itself, you should refrain from using cosmetic products such as face creams and lotions, as well as makeup and perfume as this can increase the risk of infection or contamination of the surgical area. Your eye area especially should be cleaned thoroughly on the day of surgery.
3. The ReLEx Smile treatment
On the day of surgery, you should wear comfortable clothing. You can eat and drink as normal, but you should not smoke. For hygiene reasons, you should wash the eye area thoroughly and completely remove any residue of makeup. Before the procedure a tranqulizer is available on request.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and for both eyes it takes around 20 minutes to complete. First, the surgeon will greet you and again match your personal data before the surface of the cornea is anesthetized with drops. To prevent blinking of the eye during surgery, we will use an eyelid opener. The other eye is covered during the operation.
Next is the preparation of the lenticule in the cornea using femtosecond laser VisuMax. For fixation of the eye, we use a corneal shape adapted contact lens. During this process you will see a bright spot, but hardly feel anything. Once the surgeon has prepared the lenticule, he cuts a small opening with the laser of no more than four millimeters and through which he gently removes the lenticule. After correction this small incision closes by itself, so no stitches are needed and no separate post-operative precautions are required. You will probably be amazed at how quickly the operation is over, and how painless it is. An eye patch will not be necessary but sunglasses are recommended. You should not drive immediately after the operation.
4. After the ReLEx Smile treatment
After the procedure, you should not rub your eyes. You will be given antibiotic eye drops that must be taken five times a day for a week and artificial tears can be applied as required. Normally, you can resume your professional activity two to three days later. You can begin with sporting activities after about three days. Swimming and sauna, however, should be avoided for about two weeks to reduce the risk of infection. Medical checks are carried out after one day, one week and one month. Driving is not allowed until after you receive the doctor’s permission.
The femtosecond laser – technical facts
The Femto laser is an infrared light laser which treats the corneal tissue not only very precisely, but also with much lower thermal stress than other lasers. In eye surgery especially it has proven to be a decisive advantage. The femtosecond laser works on the basis of ultrashort light pulses. These typically last only fractions of billionths of a second and the spot size is only 1/100 mm.
The femtosecond VisuMax laser
ReLEx treatment uses a specially developed laser system, the VisuMax femtosecond laser from Carl Zeiss. It has already proven itself in Femto-LASIK procedures with its sophisticated technology, accuracy and reliability. It is now possible for the first time to prepare a lenticule inside the intact cornea with absolute precision, which makes larger cuts and a flap obsolete. It allows for the surrounding corneal tissue to stay untouched as much as possible, while the visual defects can be selectively corrected. A particular advantage of femtosecond technology is its superior precision, reproducibility and very high predictability even with strong corrections.
To avoid unnecessary compression and deformation of the cornea, a contact glass is fitted to retain its individual shape and to allow safe tailor-made treatment. This also prevents a short-term vision loss which can be caused by excessive intraocular pressure.
Also a sophisticated, ergonomic patient seat was designed for ReLEx treatments to allow for maximum comfort and a relaxed position during the procedure. The position of the patient is continuously monitored during the operation and can be automatically adjusted if necessary.
WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE A RELEX SMILE TREATMENT INSTEAD OF LASIK?
At the ReLEx smile procedure the corneal opening (2 mm) is significantly smaller than with LASIK (20 mm). The cornea remains stable and the tear flow remains intact.
Although flap complications are very rare with a LASIK procedure, they are completely excluded with a ReLEx smile treatment due to the keyhole technology.
With the ReLEx smile surgery the so-called keyhole technology is used. The cornea remains stable and the flow of tears is hardly disturbed compared to LASIK.
The ReLEx smile laser procedure requires only a tiny opening of approx. 2 mm in the upper corneal layer (keyhole technology). In comparison, the conventional LASIK procedure requires a lid (flap) of about 20 mm.
The ReLEx smile procedure is exclusively performed by a femtosecond laser (VisuMax from Zeiss). The femtosecond technology is worldwide recognized as the state-of-the-art, the safest and the most precise method for the correction of visual disorders.
The ReLEx smile procedure is even suitable for patients with higher ametropia, thinner cornea or dry eyes. 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. A thinner cornea (min. 480 micrometers) is also no problem 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 largely retained 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 hardly to be expected with ReLEx smile, since laser treatment takes place inside the cornea.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RELEX SMILE LASER EYE PROCEDURE
With laser eye surgery, a minimum age of 18 is required.
Your values must have been stable for at least a year prior to laser treatment. If in doubt, come and see us and we will check your eyesight.
As a rule, one day after the procedure you will be able to see 80-90% of what you were able to see with your glasses/contacts before treatment and within 3 days you should have perfect vision.
The risk of complications is extremely rare because of our high quality and hygiene standards. To ensure the best healing results it is extremely important that the patient comes to the follow-up examinations and follows the advice and instructions received from us after the treatment. The rare side effects that can occur with laser vision correction are typically only temporary, harmless and fully treatable.
Endurance sports are possible without restrictions after about two weeks. Eye makeup, swimming or sauna we recommend in moderation, after about three to four weeks.