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ReLEx® SMILE® in Singapore: What To Expect From Treatment

ReLEx® SMILE® in Singapore: What To Expect From Treatment undefined

Who doesn't want sharper vision? In Singapore, there are numerous options for enhanced optical vision, with treatments that are evidence-based and US FDA-approved.

ReLEx® SMILE® from ZEISS is a laser vision correction surgery that is gaining traction among the public. Despite that, people may still have many unanswered questions.

Ophthalmologist Dr David Chan answered a reader question regarding vision stabilisation after ReLEx® SMILE®. Here's what he had to share.

ReLEx® SMILE® is not as new as you think

a woman with autumn leaves


ReLEx® SMILE® is a minimally invasive laser vision correction surgery that does not create a corneal flap. It is a 10-20 minute procedure, and only suitable for certain patients.

It is true that ReLEx® SMILE® might not have been around for as long as the other prominent eye corrective treatments but it has still been in practice for over 10 years since the first procedure in 2007 in the US.

Dr David believes that it is not an entirely new technique but rather a refinement of previous techniques. [1]

How does ReLEx® SMILE® work?

a woman with blue hair and glasses


Much like other laser-based vision correction techniques, ReLEx® SMILE® adheres to the same principles of improving vision through reshaping the cornea. On this basis, LASIK and Advanced Surface Ablation (PRK, Epi-LASIK, and TransPRK) work the same way. [2]

It tries to improve on the limitations of earlier laser procedures

a woman drinking from a cup


Aspects of earlier laser treatments such as the flap creation in LASIK or the longer visual recovery time in Advanced Surface Ablation are addressed with ReLEx® SMILE®. [3]

ReLEx® SMILE® relies on smaller incisions

an eye surgery going on in an opening theatre


ReLEx® SMILE® is able to reduce the incision size needed to achieve vision correction by five times compared to LASIK. In fact, many surgeons are drawn to it for its safety due to this smaller incision. [4]

So far, data for ReLEx® SMILE® has been encouraging

a woman's right eye


Many patients are often worried that there are insufficient medical studies to back the treatment's capabilities. However, the data has been encouraging so far. For example, a study showed that corneal sensitivity after ReLEx® SMILE® had no major difference compared to after FS-LASIK, possibly because ReLEx® SMILE® does not create a corneal flap. [5]

Results for corrective vision have been similar to LASIK

a young man with glasses


Thus far, results for corrective measures from ReLEx® SMILE® in dealing with myopia and astigmatism have been similar to those of LASIK. Comfort and speed of recovery are also on the same level. [6]

However, ReLEx® SMILE® cannot correct hyperopia

a pair of glasses seeing golden gate bridge


One limitation with ReLEx® SMILE® treatment is that it currently cannot correct hyperopia (farsightedness). [7]

Patients usually see results in one week

a woman having an eye check


Patients will usually begin to notice relatively good vision about a week after the ReLEx® SMILE® procedure. [8]

There may be certain side effects

bokeh effect with landscape

Akin to other laser treatments, patients may experience fluctuating vision right after the surgery. Also, there may be some dryness in the eye for several weeks or months but this should improve gradually. [9]

Generally, the laser procedure a patient goes for is dependent on the shape of the eye, corneal thickness, and the amount of short-sightedness and astigmatism one has. Other factors include the patient's occupation and hobbies. Be sure to consult your doctor if you have any other concerns and so he or she can help you choose the most suitable treatment.

 

Would you like to ask any related health questions? 

You can Ask A Doctor right away, or view the complete list of DoctorxDentist Sessions.

 

 

References:

1. WebMD Medical Reference and Brian S. Boxer Wachler. A Guide to Refractive and Laser Eye Surgery. WebMD. 2018. Accessed April 2019.

2. Vance Thompson. SMILE Laser Eye Surgery. All About Vision. December 2017. Accessed April 2019.

3. Trattler WB, Barnes SD. Current trends in advanced surface ablation. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2008 Jul;19(4):330-4. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e3283034210. Accessed April 2019.

4. Manolette R Roque. Small-Incision Lenticule Extraction (ReLEx SMILE) . Medscape. 26 June 2017. Accessed April 2019.

5. Shengsheng Wei and Yan Wang. Comparison of corneal sensitivity between FS-LASIK and femtosecond lenticule extraction (ReLEx flex) or small-incision lenticule extraction (ReLEx smile) for myopic eyes. Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. 7 Feb 2013. Accessed April 2019.

6. Gretchyn Bailey. Myopia (Nearsightedness): Causes and Treatment. All About Vision. Nov 2018. Accessed April 2019.

7. Mayo Clinic Staff. Farsightedness. Mayo Clinic. 12 June 2018. Accessed April 2019.

8. Deborah Balzer. Mayo Clinic Minute: 3 tips for healthy eyes. Mayo Clinic News Network. 30 Aug 2017. Accessed April 2019.

9. Mary Ellen Ellis. Home Remedies for Dry Eyes. Healthline. 8 June 2016. Accessed April 2019.

185 views 2 Apr 2019 Medically reviewed by Dr David Chan, last update on 16 Apr 2019
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