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ReLEx SMILE- Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE)

What is ReLEx SMILE?

ReLEx SMILE is a recently FDA approved procedure for the correction of nearsightedness. It reshapes the cornea without creating a flap. You may feel hey that is what PRK or lasek was about. The difference is that the reshaping is not done on the surface. It is done below the corneal surface. A personalized disc or lenticule of cornea is fashioned by the Visumax laser. This is extracted by the Smile surgeon through a small opening. Its as simple as that.

PRK vs Lasik vs ReLEx SMILE

Let us make the difference between PRK, LASIK and Relex Smile more clear.


Surface ablation just below the epithelium

Excimer laser like Allegretto or Visx reshapes the cornea

One plane treatment

Patient discomfort common


Reshaping done below epithelium and a portion of corneal stroma

Excimer laser and a microkeratome or Femtosecond laser like intralaser employed

One plane treatment

Risks of flap complications


A disc of corneal stroma is removed

Only one femtoseocnd laser the Visumax used

Two plane treatment designs the outline of the lenticule

Gentle Treatment

No flap complications



This latest treatment combines the advantages of PRK and Lasik eye surgery  all refractive surgeons had concluded that PRK or its derivatives like lasek and superlasik are safer than lasik. Patient discomfort of these procedures have prevented them from becoming the mainstay of laser vision correction treatment. Enter the new Kid – Smile. This new procedure does not make a flap . So it preserves biomechanics of the cornea. It also means less incidence of dry eyes.

As of 2016/2017 only Visumax femtosecond laser developed by Zeiss is FDA approved to perform Smile. If fear has kept now you can Smile.

If you would like to learn more about Smile laser vision correction with the Visumax laser please call (310) 482 1240