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Is SMILE Eye Surgery Right for You?

Posted by  On 07-03-2023

ReLEx SMILE® (short for “Small Incision Lenticule Extraction”) is a type of refractive eye surgery performed to correct both nearsightedness (myopia) and astigmatism in patients.

With its 10-year track record of success, the ReLEx SMILE procedure has become a popular alternative to traditional LASIK eye surgery, and for a good reason. As a flapless and, therefore, minimally invasive procedure, ReLEx SMILE presents minimal risk while offering a smooth and relatively painless treatment experience. 

Furthermore, patients appreciate how quick the treatment is (usually taking less than 30 minutes for both eyes in-office), with a fast recovery time. 

If you’re interested in learning more about ReLEx SMILE eye surgery and whether this may be a suitable vision correction procedure for you, then keep reading.

How does ReLEx SMILE work to correct vision?

ReLEx SMILE utilizes a ZEISS VisuMax® femtosecond laser to correct a patient’s refractive error(s). During a standard SMILE procedure, the surgeon will first administer numbing eye drops to eliminate any discomfort. 

Next, a tiny incision is made using the single femtosecond laser to create a pre-calculated mini-lens tissue (otherwise known as a lenticule) inside the patient’s cornea. After that, the lens tissue is removed via the small incision, which reshapes the cornea and, ultimately, improves vision for the patient.

Within the first 24 hours after SMILE surgery, patients will generally experience a dramatic improvement in their vision compared to pre-surgery without the use of corrective lenses. As the eyes progressively heal, eyesight continues to improve, and most patients can function normally during their healing process. 

It’s worth noting, however, that it can take up to three months for the vision to fully stabilize following the ReLEx SMILE procedure, with the possibility of increased dryness during the initial post-surgery period.

With that being said, prior to scheduling ReLEx SMILE surgery, patients must first undergo a thorough eye examination to determine whether they are a suitable candidate for the procedure. During this examination, the eye doctor will closely assess both the thickness and shape of the cornea, in addition to considering the patient’s overall health and medical history.

If you’re curious about whether the ReLEx SMILE procedure is right for you before going for your initial examination, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will go into detail about the types of patients SMILE is most suitable for.

Are you a suitable candidate for SMILE eye surgery?

Generally speaking, people in good health with stable vision and suffering from common refractive errors like nearsightedness (myopia) and/or astigmatism are considered good candidates for ReLEx SMILE laser eye surgery.

Other factors for eligibility that should be taken into consideration include the following:

  • Being free of any complicating eye diseases.

  • Having had a stable eyeglasses and/or contact lens prescription for a minimum of two years before the procedure. No more than a -.50 change in prescription over 12 months is considered stable. 

On the other hand, there are a number of factors that may deem a patient unsuitable for the ReLEx SMILE procedure. These factors include:

  • Being pregnant at the time of the procedure.

  • Having certain eye issues or a history of eye issues, such as severely dry eyes, lazy eye (amblyopia), a muscle imbalance (strabismus), or having had a previous eye surgery or eye injury in addition to any recurring, lingering, or active eye conditions that may impact recovery.

    If you aren’t sure if you have these issues and how they may affect your suitability, our doctors can provide an assessment.

  • Undergoing a current treatment involving medication like steroids and immuno-suppressants, as any medication that causes one to become immuno-compromised, may negatively impact the healing process.

  • Suffering from medical conditions that hinder recovery, such as auto-immune or collagen-vascular disorders, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, or other particular viruses of the eye such as herpes simplex and herpes zoster.

  • Having substantial corneal scarring.

The best way to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for ReLEx SMILE laser eye surgery is to schedule an appointment.

As the first clinic in Canada to offer ReLEx SMILE to its patients, Clearview Vision Institute is at the forefront of this groundbreaking and minimally invasive technology.

After your comprehensive eye exam appointment with one of our experienced doctors, which will include discussing your medical history and what you can expect with surgery, we will be able to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for ReLEx SMILE.

Contact Clearview Vision Institute Today

Are you ready to learn whether you’re a good candidate for ReLEx SMILE laser eye surgery?

With the flapless SMILE procedure, vision issues no longer need to be an obstacle in your life. After determining whether you’re a candidate for this treatment, our team of experts would be happy to walk you through the process, so that you can schedule your ReLEx SMILE procedure fully informed and with the utmost confidence.

To book an appointment, call Clearview Vision Institute at 647-493-6371 or contact us here.

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