ReLEx (FLEx / SMILE)
ReLEx or Refractive Lenticule Extraction is a completely new technique for laser vision correction. Refractive Lenticule Extraction or ReLEx is performed with the Carl Zeiss Meditec VisuMax femtosecond laser. The VisuMax is a new type of femtosecond laser which is a generation ahead of older femtosecond lasers like the Intralase. ReLEx is an all in one femtosecond laser vision correction procedure, which does need an excimer laser to complete the refractive correction procedure. Refractive surgery will never be the same again. There are two types of ReLEx procedures-FLEx and SMILE.
FLEx (Femtosecond Lenticule Extraction)
FLEx is similar to LASIK, in that a flap is created, and lifted to a side. However, instead of the standard blade less LASIK where a flap is made with the femtosecond laser, and the refractive correction done with the excimer laser, FLEx involves using the femtosecond laser to cut a refractive lenticule in the same step as the flap creation. The refractive lenticule is peeled off the corneal bed, rather than being ablated (i.e., being converted into a gas) with the excimer laser. FLEx offers all the safety of no blade LASIK, with a more elegant work flow and more stable results than with standard blade free LASIK.
Click on the link below to see a video of ReLEx-FLEx
SMILE: Small Incision Lenticule Extraction
SMILE takes FLEx even further. Instead of creating and lifting a flap, a refractive lenticule is carved within the cornea, and removed through a small incison. SMILE is the culmination of the ReLEx technique. It offers many advantages to both the patient and the doctor. It is quick, extremely safe, gives predictable and stable results, and causes least patient discomfort.
Click on the link below to see a video of ReLEx-SMILE
Dr. Rupal Shah is the clinical investigator for Carl Zeiss Meditec for the ReLEx procedure. She has the highest experience in the world in these new techniques. While FLEx is now available commercially, and you can undergo the FLEx procedure, SMILE is still an investigational procedure, and can only be offered if you are willing to undergo several follow-up visits.