LASIK was yesteryear, smile is present future!

ReLEx smile-Evolution in Laser Eye Correction - Revolution in Safety and Comfort

The Procedure

How does the «ReLEx smile» technology function?


Until quite recently, the procedure established for the method of refractive correction was, as a rule, conducted in such a way that the surgeon would first slice a flap of the cornea cover (flap), which would then be flapped back for the further "point-by-point" removal of the corneal tissue sections. ReLEx smile technology that has currently been applied allows conducting laser vision correction without the formation of the corneal flap, which makes this technology a minimally invasive one.



1. Formation of the cornea lenticle and application of an incision






With the use of VisuMax femtosecond laser, a miniature incision in the cornea lenticle is applied in one step. A miniature (with a maximum length of up to four millimeters) incision is also made in the unaffected (intact) cornea, and this can be performed almost irrespective of the environmental conditions and individual characteristics of the cornea.


2. Extraction  of the cornea lenticle







The next step is the extraction of the cornea lenticle through the applied incision. Since this operation does not require excision of any cornea flaps, we may only speak of a minimal interference to the biomechanics of the cornea.


3. Rehabilitation process





Changes in the cornea, associated with the extraction of the cornea lenticle, will provide the achievement of the desired changes in the refraction.


Click the see the Procedure Animation


A brief overview of the main benefits of ReLEx smile technology

The use of  VisuMax femtosecond laser  involves a number of significant benefits for the patients, including:


  • Implementation of the treatment procedure in one step;
  • Gentle and minimally invasive treatment method;
  • No corneal flap creation needed - minimal incision
  • Painless during and after the treatment;
  • Implementation of the whole treatment process exclusively with the use of the femtosecond laser;
  • Considerably high predictability of the results of the operation even at high degrees of shortsightedness (myopia);
  • Absence of the visual field defects in the process of treatment;
  • Rapid stabilization of the acuity of vision.


A detailed overview of the benefits of ReLEx smile technology


  • A miniature, a few millimeters long and a minimally invasive incision  is only applied in the process of the operation, but no excision of any cornea flaps is required. The result of this is the incision   surface that is approximately 80 per cent smaller in comparison with the result of   LASIK and Femto-LASIK technologies.
  • In the process of the "flapless" operation, there is no need to apply an incision to the cornea; on the contrary, the preparation of cornea lenticle is carried out directly in the unaffected (intact) cornea. Thus, the protective outer layer of the cornea (epithelium), as well as the stabilizing upper layers of the cornea (Bowman's membrane) remain substantially intact. Furthermore, a maximum possible quantity of the corneal nerves, which are particularly important for the regulation of lacrimation, remain intact.
  • In addition to the abovementioned benefits and advantages, the applied treatment method is favorable for the patients due to some other reasons. The patient feels little or no pain in the process of the operation, which is characterized by the absence of any noises and odors; moreover, the appearances of visual field defects ( scotomas )  are  not fixed in the process of the treatment. The acuity of vision is, as a rule, stabilized during a very short period of time. The application of  the contact glass, formed with due consideration of the individual anatomic features of the eye, will help to avoid an excessive compression of the cornea.
  • Due to the fact that the whole process of treatment is carried out exclusively with the use of the femtosecond laser, no change of equipment in the process of the operation will be required. In addition, the overall duration of the laser correction procedure, which is carried just in one step, is also short, which reduces the duration of the patient’s stay in the operation room, and also reduces the time expenditures of the surgeons.
  • The use of the high-precision femtosecond technology provides a very high degree of predictability of the results of the operation. This is especially important in the cases of a high degree of shortsightedness (myopia) (over – 7 diopters).

Treatment Procedure

1. A non-binding, advisory individual counseling interview with a patient

In the course of a non-binding, advisory individual counseling interview with you, your doctor will first establish the principal eligibility of your eyes for «ReLEx smile» operation procedure. For this purpose, a measurement of all the relevant parameters of your eyes will be required.




2. Comprehensive preliminary examination

A comprehensive preliminary medical examination will precede the conduct of the examination. Prior to this preliminary medical examination, you will have to avoid wearing contact lenses under any circumstances, because the continuous wearing of the contact lenses may affect the shape of the cornea. Under certain circumstances, the process of restoration of the natural shape of the cornea after the removal the contact lenses may take up to several weeks. Inadequate duration of the period preceding the beginning of the period of medical examination, during which you should have refrained from wearing your contact lenses, may lead to undesirable consequences (adverse events) – in particular, to the planning of the operation, which does not take into consideration all the actual characteristics of your eyes, and, as a result – to the possible poor result of the operation, first of all – to the insufficient acuity of vision after the operation has been completed. Prior to the beginning of the medical examination, you should refrain from wearing your soft contact lenses for at least, one week,better yet – for two weeks. In the event that you wear  hard contact lenses, the abovementioned  period of time should make at least two weeks. Furthermore, during the preoperative period, you should refrain from wearing your glasses for the same period of time.

On the day that precedes the day of the beginning of the treatment, as well as on the day of the operation, you should avoid using any cosmetic products, such as creams, lotions, etc., as well as cosmetics and perfumes; otherwise, you may increase the risks of infection or contamination of the operative field. The area around the eyes should be thoroughly cleaned, especially in the morning of the day of the operation.

3. Operation conducted in accordance with «ReLEx» technology

On the day of the operation, you should wear, if possible, the most comfortable clothes. You may eat the usual food and drink the same drinks, but you should refrain from smoking. For hygienic purposes, you will need to wash your face thoroughly one more time and completely remove any remnants of your  makeup or cosmetics. 

Upon the arrival at the (private) medical facility / clinic, you will receive the patient’s record, which you will have to fill in. Before the beginning of the operation, at your own request, you may also get an anti-anxiety drug.

The next step will be directly the operation, which will be performed on an outpatient basis and will last only about 20 minutes for both eyes. First of all, you will be welcomed by our surgeon, who will once again make certain of the correctness of your personal data before the anesthetic eye drops are applied to the surface of your cornea. In order to prevent eye blinking during the operation, special eyelids opening (and fixing) device will be used. Another eye will be kept closed during the operation.

The following procedure is the preparation of the cornea lenticle in the cornea with  the  use of «VisuMax» femtosecond laser.  A contact  glass  adapted  to  the  shape  of the cornea is used for fixing the eye. You will see a bright spot in the course of these procedures, but you will hardly perceive anything. Upon completion of the procedure for the preparation of the cornea lenticle, the surgeon, using the laser, will make a small, no more than four millimeters long, incision, through which he will separate and gently extract cornea lenticle. This small operation area will close by itself after the correction has been completed, so there is no necessity in the suturing procedure. In addition, there is no need to comply with any special postoperative precautionary measures. You, and most probably, the majority of the patients, will apparently be amazed by the short duration of the operation, as well as by the fact that in this case you almost feel nothing. Eye-bandage will not be required, a pair of sunglasses will be recommended instead. You will not be allowed to climb behind the wheel of a car Immediately after the operation.

4. Period following the operation conducted in accordance with «ReLEx» technology

After the operation, you should not rub your eyes. You will also receive antibiotic eye drops, which will be five times a day for a week to bury his eyes, and - if necessary - even eye drops "artificial tears." Under normal conditions, you can in two - three days to start working again. Resume sports you can also about three days. At the same time, to reduce the risk of infection, it is necessary to avoid visiting the swimming pool and sauna for about two weeks.



Medical examinations are conducted in one day, one week and one month. You will be able to get back to driving only upon the receipt of the doctor's permission, which, as a rule, is issued after the medical examination,   within one week after the operation.

Worth Knowing

Femtosecond laser: Technical aspects


The femtosecond laser should be understood as an infrared laser, which, in comparison with other lasers, treats the tissues, such as corneal tissue, not only with high precision but also under a considerably lower heat load. The femtosecond demonstrates shows its decisive advantages, in particular, in the field of eye surgery. The principle of the femtosecond laser is based on the ultra-short light pulse. Their duration of the light pulse is calculated in billionths of a second, and the spot size is only 1/100 mm.


 VisuMax femtosecond laser


To deliver the treatment in accordanxce with  ReLEx technology, a specifically developed laser system - VisuMax femtosecond laser, manufactured by Carl Zeiss Company. The operations conducted with the use of this system have demonstrated its potential – high technology, high precision and high reliability. Nowadays, thanks to the appropriate improvements, this is the first system that allows preparation of the cornea lenticle in the unaffected ( intact ) cornea with a precision of one millimeter, thus eliminating the necessity for the large incision in the process of formation of the cornea flap. The use of this laser system allows minimizing the negative impact on the surrounding tissues of the cornea, providing meanwhile a targeted correction of the visual impairment. One particular advantage of the femtosecond technology is high precision implied by this technology: it is largely reproducible, and the results of its use are sufficiently predictable when it comes to a high degree of laser correction.

To avoid an excessive compression of the cornea, the contact glass is used, manufactured with due consideration of the individual anatomic features of the eye, which allows delivery of an individual treatment. The use of this glass also allows avoiding short-term visual field defects ( scotomas ), which may be caused by the excessively high intraocular pressure.


Alongside with the use of the state-of-the-art laser technologies, a functionally designed and well-thought-out ergonomic patient chair for «ReLEx» operations has been manufactured, which guarantees a maximum comfortable and relaxed position of the patient in the process of the operation. The position of the patient in the process of the operation is under constant supervision and can be adjusted automatically if such a necessity arises.

"ReLEx smile" technology is a gentle form of laser eye surgery.

"ReLEx smile" is a technology a safe and scarless laser surgery. 

«Femto-LASIK» technology that has been applied over a number of years, has established itself as a scientifically recognized procedure for the correction of refractive errors. Nowadays, the treatment using ReLEx smile technology has been expanding its capabilities thank to a very gentle and sparing correction of refractive errors and significantly greater comfort. Furthermore, ReLEx smile technology significantly reduces any risks. This procedure is especially suitable for patients with a higher degree of ametropia.



  Rapid eyesight recovery, reduction of risks of complications

As ReLEx smile technology involves applying a miniature incision of the corneal tissue, performed by means of a laser, there is no need to put any load on the cornea. Until recently, the application of a 20 mm long incision was required for the formation of a corneal flap. With a laser surgery that does not require the formation of the corneal flap, quick healing process will be an obvious advantage for the patient. Numerous studies have demonstrated that, thank to the minimal invasiveness and high overall safety of the procedure of ReLEx smile technology, the risks of eye dryness are decreased substantially. Thanks to the laser surgery that does not require the formation of corneal envelope (flap), the risks of complications associated with the formation of the flap, infection, as well as epithelial ingrowths, are significantly reduced.

A short list of the benefits of treatment with the use of "ReLExsmile" technology in comparison with the treatment with the use of «Femto-LASIK» technology


«ReLEx smile» technology with  «VisuMax» laser Preparation of a flap with the use of the femtosecond laser
  • Opportunity to conduct laser vision correction without the formation of the cornea flap  
  • Much lower load on the cornea 
  • Preparation of the cornea lenticle in the unaffected ( intact ) cornea
  • Implementation of the treatment procedure in one step
  • Absence of necessity to change the equipment in the process of the operation
  • Actually complete painlessness of the operation
  • Short duration of the operation and rapid eyesight recovery
  • Reduced risks of side effects (adverse events) and complications
  • Absence of the visual field defects ( scotomas ) in the process of the operation
  • Necessity of application of an approximately 20 mm long incision for the formation of a corneal flap 
  • Longer  duration of the operation
  • A longer healing process due to a more serious surgical intervention
  • Necessity to change the equipment after the formation of the cornea flap 
  • High risks of violation of lacrimation and eye dryness

Characteristics of the procedures

Comparison between ReLEx, (Femto-) LASIK and PRK / LASEK

Treatment of myopia of 0 to -3 D X X X 
Treatment of myopia of -3 to -6 D  X X X
Treatment of myopia of > -6 D  X X  
Procedure without flap incision in cornea  X   X 
Minimally invasive access X    
Treatment exclusively with femtosecond laser  X    
Preservation of the corneal epithelium  X X   
Practically painless during the procedure  X X X
Practically painless after the procedure  X X  
Stabilization of visual acuity within 14 days  X X  
Treatment of hyperopia to +3 D    X  

Frequently Asked Questions about ReLEx smile