The latest innovations in ophthalmology

Laser Eye Surgery is a treatment built on innovation. Since it’s humble origins, it has evolved to become one of the most technologically advanced surgeries in the world.

At London Vision Clinic, we are heavily involved in research to advance the field of vision correction even further. Since early on in his career, our founder Professor Reinstein has been one of the small group of experts pioneering the latest developments in Laser Eye Surgery.

Here we’re going to take a look at some of the major advancements in Laser Eye Surgery that have come about in recent years.

The femtosecond laser

When Laser Eye Surgery was first introduced in the 80s, surgeons used a microkeratome — a surgical instrument with an oscillating blade — to create a small flap in the outer layer of the cornea.

They then could reshape the tissue underneath using a laser and move the flap back to its original position to complete the treatment.

A few decades later, when the femtosecond laser was approved for use in Laser Eye Surgery, surgeons moved away from the microkeratome and so-called ‘bladed’ surgery and to an all-laser treatment.

In this treatment, a laser is used to create a thin flap in the cornea. Then a second laser, called an excimer laser, is used to reshape the underlying tissue and correct your vision. The flap is then returned to its original position.

This is how modern-day Laser Eye Surgery works today. But the treatment can be very different depending on how advanced the excimer is that is used.


“ReLEx SMILE represents the next-generation in corrective vision treatments” —Professor Dan Reinstein

Whereas with LASIK, surgeons need to create a flap in the cornea to reach the tissue underneath, SMILE uses the incredible accuracy and 3D placement of the VisuMax laser to do this by making a tiny “key-hole” incision.

The laser is then used to create a tiny connecting tunnel through which the target tissue is extracted. The outcome is the same as LASIK, but without the need to manipulate the cornea as much.

SMILE’s pioneering technique was first performed over 10 years ago. Several years later, in 2011, it became available to the public here at London Vision Clinic, under the name of ReLEx SMILE.

Today, the procedure has been performed at 700 clinics in over 65 countries by the over 1,300 SMILE-registered surgeons around the world. In just over half a decade, SMILE has corrected over one million eyes. With many more people ready and waiting to experience its incredible benefits.

Whatever the future of Laser Eye Surgery is, it certainly looks bright for SMILE.

To find out more about ReLEx SMILE or to book your complimentary Laser Eye Surgery consultation, contact one of our friendly clinic coordinators today.