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ReLEx SMILE laser eye surgery

St Paul’s Laser Vision has been conducting successful laser eye surgeries in Liverpool for over 25 years. Clients trust our world-leading consultants and SMILE laser eye surgery surgery in partnership with the NHS.

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    How ReLEx SMILE laser eye surgery works

    SMILE (also known as laser-assisted lenticule extraction) laser eye surgery is an innovative and minimally invasive procedure designed to correct common vision problems, including myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. The procedure involves reshaping the cornea, the transparent front surface of the eye, using a highly precise femtosecond laser. Unlike traditional LASIK surgery, SMILE doesn’t require creating a corneal flap.

    • Lenticule Creation: A femtosecond laser is used to create a small, lens-shaped piece of tissue, known as a lenticule, within the cornea. The lenticule contains the portion of the cornea that needs to be removed to correct your vision.
    • Incision: The surgeon then makes a tiny incision on the surface of the cornea to access the lenticule.
    • Lenticule Removal: The surgeon then gently removes the lenticule through the small incision.
    • Corneal Reshaping: With the lenticule removed, the shape of the cornea is altered, correcting your refractive error and improving your vision.This is similar to LASIK without the LASIK flap, but the amount of tissue removed is slightly greater and the tissue may be removed from slightly deeper in the cornea. The end results are similar to those for LASIK and surface laser treatments.

    At St Paul’s, we have the latest, state-of-the-art femtosecond laser that is able to offer laser-assisted lenticule extraction. However, at present, the scientific evidence base for SMILE is not as widely established as LASIK and PRK. Therefore currently, we are not offering SMILE to our patients until we feel more robust scientific evidence is available to support its widespread use, especially as excellent and well-established alternatives are available.

    ReLEx SMILE laser eye surgery

    Before your ReLEx SMILE laser eye surgery

    1. Welcome

    You’ll be seen by your surgeon who will review your clinical measurements, examine you and answer any additional questions that you may have.

    2. Drops

    Local anaesthetics eye drops will be instilled in the eyes to ensure they’re completely numb and comfortable throughout the procedure.

    3. Treatment

    A surgical clip keeps the eye open and the laser is orientated over the treatment area. The lenticule is created in the cornea and then gently removed through small, keyhole incisions, at which point vision becomes blurry. Once the lenticule is removed, the surgeon will check to ensure, the entire lenticule has been removed satisfactorily. The surgeon may apply a contact lens for comfort in some cases.

    4. Aftercare

    You’ll be taken to a rest room to relax and will be reviewed by your consultant before you go home.

    5. Future

    You’ll be given your post-surgery drops and a follow up appointment will be arranged between 1-7 days.

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