At Vance Thompson Vision, we work each day to give our patients the best eye care in the world. ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) by ZEISS gives patients the latest technology in laser vision correction. ReLEx SMILE is designed to improve vision for patients with nearsightedness and astigmatism.
As the third generation of laser vision correction, SMILE builds on the benefits of LASIK, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. Vance Thompson Vision participated in the clinical trials for SMILE, and the procedure gained FDA approval in 2016. We were the first to perform the procedure in South Dakota and are on the cutting edge of technological advancements in the Upper Midwest. We have seen consistent patient success with SMILE in both the clinic in North Dakota and South Dakota.
LASIK, the predecessor to SMILE, is a common refractive procedure that uses a laser to reshape a person’s cornea. LASIK can be used to correct the vision for patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
In LASIK, the surgeon uses either a laser or a blade to create a flap on the cornea, the eye’s surface. The surgeon folds the flap to reveal the cornea, and then the surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea to a proper, rounded shape. The surgeon then lays the flap back over the cornea. With a properly shaped cornea, the eye is better able to reflect light, resulting in clearer vision without the need for glasses or contacts.
SMILE uses the concept of LASIK in a minimally invasive procedure, so the surgeon is able to gently perform the vision correction without creating a flap. During the SMILE procedure, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to make a small incision in the cornea. At the same time, the laser also cuts a small piece of the cornea the surgeon then removes through the incision.
When the surgeon removes the piece of tissue, the patient’s improved corneal shape may correct visual error to create clearer vision. The incision heals on its own, and patients are generally able to see fast visual results. Benefits of SMILE include an incision size up to 80 percent smaller than the incision needed for LASIK, and SMILE has a lower occurrence of dry eye and other complications after surgery.
At Vance Thompson Vision, we are proud to be a part of the future of laser vision correction. SMILE may help you achieve clearer vision coupled with the knowledge that your eyes are receiving the world’s most advanced technology in laser vision correction.