ReLEx: Introducing a new minimally-invasive Laser Eye Surgery to the UK.
London Vision Clinic was the first clinic in the UK to offer ReLEx (Refractive Lenticule Extraction), a new generation ‘flap-less’ Laser Eye Surgery procedure, available at the London Vision Clinic.
What is ReLEx?
Often known simply as SMILE, which stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, the procedure is a revolutionary advancement in the performance, safety, and comfort of Laser Eye Surgery.
Differences between ReLEx and LASIK
ReLEx represents the beginning of a new era in refractive surgery, on the grounds of its significant advantages in the patient’s level of comfort. Because there is no need to pass from one instrument to another—as in the LASIK procedure—there is no need for the patient to change their position.
This is the main reason why the ReLEx SMILE procedure only takes a few minutes.
“Not only is the patient experience greatly enhanced, as there is less surgical manipulation of the eye–making it less invasive than traditional Laser Eye Surgery–but it also makes vision correction available to people who would have previously been told they were unsuitable candidates. It’s a major development.” —Professor Dan Reinstein
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The ReLEx procedure: How it works
During the procedure, eye anaesthetic drops are used to completely numb the eye, and the state-of-the-art Carl Zeiss VisuMax laser places a series of pulses in the centre of the cornea with extraordinary 3D placement accuracy.
These pulses form bubbles less than 1/100th the width of a human hair, and outline the tissue that needs to be removed to effectively change the shape of the cornea. The laser then creates a tiny connecting tunnel through which the surgeon draws out this tissue.
With ReLEx SMILE, no flap is created, so the healing time is faster than conventional LASIK. The procedure takes a matter of minutes, and the vision is instantly 80% better and reaches 100% within a few days (according to trials conducted on over 1,000 patients between the UK, Germany, France and Denmark).
One of the other main advantages of the treatment is that, by its less invasive nature, ReLEx SMILE , it allows correction of even higher myopic prescriptions than previously treatable by standard LASIK Laser Eye Surgery.
No other laser platform has been able to match the accuracy of the Carl Zeiss VisuMax (which is accurate enough to inscribe a word on a grain of sand) in producing this keyhole type of Laser Eye Surgery.
Key advantages of the ReLEx procedure over traditional LASIK
“ReLEx represents the next-generation in corrective vision treatments” —Professor Dan Reinstein
Although Laser Eye Surgery is already extremely safe and very effective—and is and the most popular elective procedure in the world with over 20 million treatments carried out to date—for patients who are suitable, ReLEx offers several advantages over the widely used LASIK:
- ReLEx can be performed in considerably less time than traditional LASIK, as it uses only one laser instead of two.
- ReLEx is capable of treating even higher prescriptions than previously deemed possible.
- After-effects of Laser Eye Surgery (such as post-operative discomfort and dry eye) are significantly reduced, and in some cases eliminated.
- Importantly, the mechanical strength of the cornea is kept intact throughout the procedure, as no flap is created.