HomeBlogReLEx SMILE FAQ – What You Might Want To Know
ReLEx SMILE FAQ – What You Might Want To Know
ReLEx SMILE is a type of laser vision correction procedure that is newer compared to that of LASIK. It’s less invasive and boast to have better post-procedure comfort better than that of LASIK. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) on ReLEx SMILE that could possibly clear some doubts in your mind.
ReLEx SMILE FAQ
Is ReLEx SMILE painful?
This is probably one of the top ReLEx SMILE FAQ that people always ask and for a good reason too! Laser might be a scary thing to us considering how the big screens popularize its use for galactic space wars and swords that can cut through anything. But worry not! Contrarily to what is commercialized in the entertainment industry, the laser for ReLEx SMILE is painless and invisible to the eye. In fact, what’s posing the real challenge here is the anxiety that one may face before the operation.
All laser vision correction surgeries which includes SMILE will involve the use of anesthetic during the procedure. So, the eyes will be numbed throughout the procedure. The anesthesia effect will also reduce the urge of wanting to blink the eyes.
However, the patient may experience slight discomfort after the effect wears off. The eyes may feel sensitive and teary. They will be advised to have their family or friends to send them home and have their eyes well rested.
How long does it take for the eyes to heal?
In general, the patients will gain a clearer visual acuity in a week but they usually can get back to work in about 3 days. In the meantime, they should rest more and reduce eye strain. Adhering to some post-surgery eye care tips would help. They also should be up and about for their normal activities after 24 hours. However, there will still be restriction on activities such as swimming until the advised period.
Is ReLEx SMILE better than LASIK?
ReLEx SMILE and LASIK are different. Those who are not suitable for LASIK may be suitable for SMILE and vice versa. However, studies have shown that there is a higher satisfaction trend for SMILE patients compared to LASIK. Besides, there are certain advantage that SMILE has such as no risk of flap complications as well as lesser risk of having post-surgery dry eyes. However, it can only address short-sightedness or astigmatism. Meanwhile, LASIK can treat both and long-sightedness as well. So, there’s no saying that one is better than the other. It’s best to consult with our eye doctor to determine which one is well-suited for you.
Will SMILE cause flap complications?
SMILE is a flapless eye surgery. The incision made to the corneal surface is only about 4 mm. This is about 80% smaller than that of LASIK procedure. Hence, there’s no flap created and will not cause any flap complications at all.
Risk of flap conditions such as irregular astigmatism and epithelial can be avoided with SMILE operation. Hence, it has the upper hand on this matter compared to LASIK.
Will SMILE cause dry eyes?
SMILE has lesser tendency to cause dry eyes. Dry eyes are a very common post-surgery condition that is seen in LASIK patients. That’s because the operation involves creating a flap of about 20mm. This flap will damage the nerves on the surface of the cornea which is responsible in regulating tear production.
In SMILE, only a small incision is made and hence the damage to corneal epithelium is greatly reduced. The biomechanical strength of the cornea is kept as close to the original as possible. The nerves can send signals to the tear gland better. As a result, the eyes will get better lubrication and less discomfort from dry eyes.
How safe is ReLEx SMILE eye surgery?
The SMILE procedure is safe. It’s an FDA approved procedure. Besides, the patients will also be given heads up on the expectations and precaution. During the procedure, patient’s eyes will be given eye drops to numb them. This will reduce discomfort as well as the natural urge to blink. The laser machine will also have eye tracking system in place to buffer the changes to any motion to the patient’s eyes or head.
How long is vision blurry after SMILE?
It is normal for the vision to be blurry for the first few hours right after the operation. The vision will start to get clearer after 24 hours. However, it is not uncommon for certain patients to still experience slightly hazy vision. But after several weeks, the vision will stabilize and the patient can see better.
Can SMILE treat astigmatism?
Short answer is yes. SMILE can treat astigmatism (san guang in Chinese pinyin) as well as short-sightedness (myopia). However, it is best to consult your eye doctor to determine if that the operation can fully correct your astigmatism. This is because SMILE has a certain limit to how high the degree of astigmatism that it can treat. In general, the thicker your cornea is, the higher the degree of astigmatism that SMILE would be able to correct.
Can ReLEx SMILE be done twice?
No. Doing the operation twice may cause possible complications. This is due to the nature of the surgery that involves the removal of the lenticule from the patient’s eyes has its limitations in error correction.
Why can't I wear perfume before SMILE operation?
This ReLEX SMILE FAQ isn’t uncommon as one may think. Patients with strong body odor may have the tendency to put on some fragrance. Well, don’t.
Air quality plays an important role in the operation of laser. From temperature to humidity, the air quality needs to be kept pure. Therefore, we don’t want any foreign floating particles such as one molecule from that of a perfume to interfere with the efficiency of the laser in making the precise depth on the patient’s cornea.
What is the age limit of SMILE treatment?
You need to be at least 22 years old of age for the treatment up until 45 years old. This is because in this range, the prescription of the eye is considerably stable. So, it is best to do your ReLEx SMILE procedure when you’re young so you get to enjoy a longer period of time with clearer vision. This is until old age sets in and may bring in other problems like cataract, macular degeneration and presbyopia (old sight).
There are also other factors that would need to be considered other than age. Conditions like glaucoma, keratoconus, or if the patient is breastfeeding will make them not suitable despite they fall in the eligible age range.
How long does the procedure will take?
The SMILE operation could take around 30 minutes which includes all the preparation, briefing, anesthetic administration and post-procedure consultation. As for the procedure that involves the laser itself only takes less than 30 seconds for an eye.
Patients would usually be given MC of about 3 days to let them rest their eyes. However, some patients can also start working the following day.
Hope these ReLEx SMILE FAQs answered some of those questions that crossed your mind. Interested in SMILE? Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us at Sunway Eye Centre in Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia.