ReLEx™ SMILE is one of the latest developments in Laser Eye Surgery. ReLEx stands for refractive lenticule extraction. This procedure differs from a LASIK Surgery in that it is a completely flapless procedure which is performed using the VisuMax Femtosecond platform. In this Laser Eye Surgery, the Femtosecond Laser creates a disc shaped structure called the 'Refractive Lenticule' within the patient's Cornea.

The lenticule is then removed out through a small incision of 2mm. This causes the Cornea to change its shape just as in Lasik Surgery which perfectly focuses the light on to the patient's Retina. Thus, Relex Smile Eye Surgery permanently corrects the patient's power after the Laser Treatment. The flapless nature of Relex Smile Surgery offers a faster recovery time as compared to other methods of Laser Eye Surgery, including Lasik Surgery.

This Laser Treatment can treat both Myopia and Astigmatism. The entire Laser Treatment procedure takes 30 seconds to 1 minute since it is an all laser procedure. The extraction of the lenticule through the small incision after the Laser Treatment can further take up another 5 minutes per eye. Thus, Relex Smile Eye Surgery can take a total of 5-7 minutes per eye after which you can kiss your glasses goodbye!

Eye problems that can be treated with ReLEx SMILE

Treatment Myopia Astigmatism Hyperopia
Relex Smile

This Laser Treatment can treat both Myopia and Astigmatism. The entire Laser Treatment procedure takes 30 seconds to 1 minute since it is an all laser procedure. The extraction of the lenticule through the small incision after the Laser Treatment can further take up another 5 minutes per eye. Thus, Relex Smile Eye Surgery can take a total of 5-7 minutes per eye after which you can kiss your glasses goodbye!

Benefits of ReLEx SMILE

Advanced Laser Technology

The success behind ReLEx™ Smile Eye Surgery is the Visumax Femtosecond Laser Eye Surgery platform. This is recognized as one of the best Laser Eye Surgery machines for treating Myopia and Astigmatism. The popularity of the Visumax laser has grown significantly in just a short span of time since its introduction in 2011 since the patients experience higher satisfaction and more comfort owing to the flapless technology of Relex Smile Eye Surgery.

The Visumax Laser Treatment is also much more gentler on the eyes, since it uses an extremely mild suction during the Laser Eye Surgery as compared to other Laser Treatment platforms. The Visumax Femtosecond laser is the only FDA approved Laser Eye Surgery platform to perform SMILE for Myopia and Astigmatism and the treatment is called as Relex.

At Sri Eye Care, our surgeons are one of the few surgeons in the country to operate on this advanced laser platform to perform Relex Smile Laser Eye Surgery.

Visumax Femtosecond Laser Eye Surgery Machine

Eye Problems That can be Treated with ReLEx SMILE


Myopia or short-sightedness is a condition wherein far objects are difficult to visualize. Myopia usually occurs when the rays of light entering our eyes focus in front of our Retina, instead of focusing directly on it. Myopia is one of the most common conditions for which patients undergo Laser Surgery!

Myopia Treatment
Astigmatism Lasik


Astigmatism is a condition which causes distortion of the vision, both for far as well as near. In this condition, all the rays of the light entering the eye at different axes do not converge onto the Retina. Instead one or more rays of light may fall in front or back of the retina, while the other set of rays may fall on the retina or in front of it. Astigmatism contributes to the cylindrical power of the eyes, and is usually due to the difference in the shape of the cornea in one axis as compared to the other. However, even our natural lens of the eye can also cause Astigmatism.



Before ReLEx SMILE

Pre-surgical evaluation of Relex™ Smile Laser Eye Surgery is almost the same as that as for LASIK. It is always recommended to discontinue your contact lenses 2-3 weeks before planning your visit to your Ophthlamologist. You can continue using your glasses during that time. This helps your specialist to measure the power of the eye accurately, as well as image the parameters of your Cornea precisely.

At this time, it is highly recommended that you inform your doctor about any medications that you may be taking including medications for any general health conditions, skin conditions, etc. A comprehensive Eye Examination will also make sure to rule out any other issues including retinal pathologies which may need to be treated before proceeding for the Relex procedure. It is also mandatory before Laser Eye Surgery that the spectacle power is stable.

Lasik Eye Examination
Relex Smile Suction

During ReLEx SMILE

As with LASIK Laser Eye Surgery, the Relex Surgery is performed under topical Anaesthesia. That is, your eyes will be anaesthetised by using only numbing eye drops without the need for any painful injections. These drops make the procedure completely pain-free although you may feel some vague sensations such as water dripping on your eyes or a gentle pressure at times. Once the anaesthetic drops have been applied, the eyelid and the surrounding face and cleaned thoroughly.

A thin sterile drape is used to keep the operating field free of any contamination. The eyes are then positioned under the Laser Visumax Femtosecond Laser Eye Surgery platform to begin the procedure. In the first step of the Relex procedure, the Femtosecond Laser fashions a disc shaped lenticule within your Cornea. This step is completely automated. In this step, the small incision for removal of the lenticule is also created.

In the second step of the Relex procedure, the lenticule which is created in the previous step is removed through a small incision. During this entire time, you will need to follow all the instructions of the surgeon, who will be guiding you throughout the procedure. The Relex process will take approximately 15 minutes.


Since Relex is a flapless procedure, the healing and recovery time is significantly lower as compared to LASIK Eye Surgery. Your vision may be hazy for 24-48 hours and this will gradually recover over time. You may also experience mild irritation or watering in your eyes within the first 12 hours after having undergone the Relex procedure. As with LASIK you will also be prescribed drops to enhance the healing process.

To reduce strain on the eyes, it is advisable to keep reading and near work to a minimum for the first 24 hours after the procedure. You can start resuming your work immediately after this. After the relex procedure you will have to wear protective goggles for a period of 48 hours. We also request you to please consult your doctor for the follow-up visits without fail.

After Lasik Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Laser Eye Surgery hurt?

Laser Eye Surgery is usually painless, but you may experience a kind of pressure in your eyes during the procedure, but this may be temporary

How long does Laser Eye Surgery take?

Laser Eye Surgery takes a maximum of 30 minutes, but in most cases it is done within 10-12 minutes

When can I go back to work after having Laser Eye Surgery?

If you have undergone ReLEx SMILE or LASIK, you can resume your work the next day after your procedure. You are advised to have someone nearby after the surgery, to get support for safe travel, as your eyes strain to sight the bright light. At Sri Eye Care, our Eye Doctors at our Eye Care Hospital in Bangalore, practice Lasik Surgery With PRK/ASA it may need 5-7 days to resume your work. However, you may need to wait until your eyes become fully comfortable and clear. You are also advised to as your surgeon post-surgery before resuming your job.

Is Laser Eye Surgery safe?

With modern day Laser Technology, Laser Eye Surgery is extremely safe. Our team of specialists always use the highest safety parameters and keep a high ceiling safety profile before advising Laser correction for all patients.

Should I keep reading glasses with Laser Eye Surgery?

See, the Laser Surgery aims to provide a 'permanent' solution to your eyes, but it has to be accepted that your eyes change with age, reading glasses are optional with the surgery. However, using them may be an added advantage.

When is LASIK Eye Surgery procedure not recommended?

Laser Eye Surgery is usually not recommended for people where the spectacle power has not stabilised. Laser eye surgery is not done for individuals below 18 years. An Eye with Keratoconus is a strict no-no for undergoing any kind of Eye Surgery. Also, if the corneal profile and thickness are not suitable, your surgeon may defer the procedure or offer any other alternate means of achieving spectacle free vision

What is SMILE Xtra or LASIK Xtra? Do I need this procedure instead of normal SMILE or LASIK?

SMILE Xtra and LASIK Xtra are recently introduced procedures that offer an additional layer of protection for the Cornea after Surgeries. This process combines SMILE/LASIK procedure with Riboflavin assisted Corneal Collagen Cross Linking [C3R] procedure to aid in strengthening of the corneal layers. SMILE/LASIK Xtra procedure is not recommended for all patients undergoing Laser Eye Surgery. It will only be recommended by our specialists only if your corneal profile is borderline or shows some indications of future thinning.

What is bladeless LASIK?

Are there any advantages of ReLEx SMILE over conventional LASIK? Bladeless LASIK or Femto LASIK is an all-laser LASIK wherein even the creation of the flap is performed by Femtosecond LASER. The thickness and accuracy of the flap depth is more precise with this method as compared to conventional Lasik procedure.

Is ReLEx SMILE the same as Bladeless/FemtoLASIK?

While ReLEx SMILE is also an all laser procedure, it however does not need the creation of a corneal flap for correction of the power. Here a disc shaped tissue called as the “lenticule” is fashioned by the femtosecond layer which is extracted through a 2mm incision.

What is CONTOURA® vision? Do I need Contoura™ vision instead of LASIK?

Contoura vision is an advanced type of LASIK Surgery. Here, microscopic irregularities on the patient’s cornea are mapped on the corneal topographer. These irregularities are then transferred to the LASIK suite. At Sri Eye Care, we use the Alcon WAVELIGHT™ suite which automatically maps and corrects these irregularities while also correcting the power. Contoura™ vision is required only for patients who have significant irregularities on their cornea. If not a simple LASIK would suffice.

Should I choose ReLEx SMILE over LASIK for my eyes?

Normally your specialist, after performing a thorough evaluation, would suggest the ideal procedure recommended for your eyes. However, if you are deemed to be suitable for both ReLEx SMILE as well as LASIK, you can take a conscious decision based on the relative advantages of SMILE over LASIK. The flapless nature of ReLEx SMILE makes healing of the incision faster (within 48 hours as compared to 5-7days with LASIK). Since a flap is created in LASIK, it causes a larger proportion of corneal nerves to be severed. These corneal nerves are important for tear production and hence patients experience dry eyes post-operatively. However, in SMILE since no flap is created, the post-operative dry eye is significantly lesser as compared to LASIK.

This advantage might be more relevant in people who work on computers for long hours who may be more prone to dry eyes. The flapless nature of this procedure also affords a higher safety profile for those who have an active lifestyle and play contact sports. Post LASIK there are minor chances of the flap being dislocated due to any injury. This risk is not there in SMILE. Although SMILE does have some advantages over LASIK, the visual recovery and accuracy of vision correction is equal in both procedures.

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