ReLEx SMILE (Refractive Lenticule Extraction, Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is one of the alternative oflaservision correction surgery in Singapore. ReLEx SMILE is a bladeless, gentle and flapless laser vision correction using one femtosecond laser for the entire procedure. Here are some of the common questions people ask about ReLEx SMILE in Singapore.
1. Does the ReLEx SMILE procedure hurt?
ReLEx SMILE like any other corrective eye surgery is a painless process. Before the procedure, anaesthetic eye drops will be applied to numb your eyes. You shouldn’t be able to feel any kind of pain during the procedure. However, you might feel some discomfort after the surgery when the anaesthesia wears off. It is slight discomfort but there should not be any extreme pain. The eyes after the surgery may feel hypersensitive, uncomfortable, and/or teary. These issues can be easily resolved by resting your eyes for a few days.
2. How much does a ReLEx SMILE procedure cost in Singapore?
In Singapore, the price of ReLEx SMILE procedureis on the pricier side as compared to other laser vision correction procedures in Singapore. The cost of ReLEx SMILE ranges from $5,000 to $8,000 for both eyes and that cost is nearly twice as much as the conventional Lasik eye surgery. The cost of ReLEx SMILE consists of factors like pre-surgery evaluation, the surgery itself, medications, and post-surgery reviews. You can also check with the clinics on what the cost of the surgery entails to be sure of what you are paying for.
3. How long does the ReLEx SMILE procedure take?
The actual duration for the ReLEx SMILE procedure takes around 20-30 minutes for both eyes. However, the entire process will take longer due to preparations and post-surgery care instructions and briefing. With all that taken into considerations, you may need to set aside 2 to 3 hours on the surgery day. After the surgery, you shouldn’t be rushing back to work immediately as you will have to take a full day off to rest your eyes as much as possible. In general, you will be given a 3-5 days of MC. However, the majority of ReLEx SMILE patients return to work the next 2-3 day as the recovery is relatively fast.
4. Is ReLEx SMILE permanent?
The result of the ReLEx SMILE surgery is very permanent. The surgery cannot be reversed. The laser permanently cuts a lenticule in the cornea and the surgeon removes the lenticule. Therefore, the procedure is permanent. However, as you age, there will be changes in your vision that take places like your eyes naturally ages. The eyes gradually lose their elasticity to a condition called presbyopia. The results are still long term and you will still be able to enjoy a perfect vision for a good portion of your life until old age.
5. Can ReLEx SMILE cause dry eye?
With any type of eye surgery, including laser correction surgery, there will be a risk of dry eyes. Certain procedures carry a lower risk of dry eyes while some have a higher risk. The risk of dry eyes is lower in ReLEx SMILE patients as compared to Lasik patients. However, there is no need to worry as dry eyes are only a temporary experience. During the few weeks of recovery, the dry eyes should go away.
6. Can ReLEx SMILE be done more than once on one eye?
No, ReLEx SMILE cannot be done more than once on one eye. There are limitations in error corrections which does not allow it to be done twice. During the surgery, a lens-shaped piece of corneal tissue is cut and repetition of the process would not be recommended as there will be complications. Patients who had done ReLEx SMILE might be able to go for enhancement surgery by undergoing other type of laser vision correction procedure that are surface based such as epi-LASIK or TransPRK.