ReLEx® (Refractive LEnticule Extraction) SMILE (SMall Incision Lenticule Extaction) is the very latest, 3rd generation, laser eye surgery technique used to treat short-sightedness, with or without astigmatism. This treatment is available in only a few laser eye surgery clinics in the UK. Patients get all the benefits of LASIK - rapid healing and very little discomfort - but now without having a corneal flap.

ReLEx® SMILE uses state-of-the-art femtosecond technology to create a high-precision lenticule (thin circular disc of tissue) that is removed through a small incision in an intact cornea. It reduces the roughly 20 mm side cut of a LASIK procedure to a small incision of less than 4 mm.

Your eye is anaesthetised with eye drops and a lid speculum is gently positioned to prevent you from accidently blinking. The treatment process then uses our Visumax femtosecond laser to create the lenticule. Your surgeon then uses his skill and experience to remove this thin disc of tissue from your eye through tiny keyhole incisions.
The whole treatment usually takes between 10 to 15 minutes, the actual laser is in operation for only a tiny fraction of this time, and after a quick post operative check by your surgeon, you are free to go. The recovery from ReLEx is generally quite comfortable (similar to Lasik) but the visual recovery can be slower. You should have hazy but navigational vision when you get up off the couch but it is always wise to take a few days off after your surgery and some patients may prefer to pencil in a little longer off work in case you need it. Visual recovery with ReLEx-SmILE is generally slower than Lasik. Follow up appointments are the next day, then between 7 and 14 days, then 1-3 months and then 6 months later. We tend to judge the success ReLEx SMILE treatment at about 3 months but we will keep a check on your progress for at least 9 to 12 months.

Smile is only available for short sighted prescriptions at the moment (with or without astigmatism).