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What is ReLEx® Smile?

ReLEx® Smile is a new technique of laser vision correction. Unlike conventional LASIK, this procedure creates no flap and involves the use of only one laser (the femtosecond laser). Instead of vaporising cornea tissue to correct the underlying short-sightedness and astigmatism, ReLEx® Smile removes a small piece of corneal tissue called a lenticule through a small keyhole incision (about 2.5 to 4mm only). This single-step, all-in-one-laser operation is a day surgery procedure that takes about 25 minutes for both eyes.

ReLEx® Smile is able to treat short-sightedness between -1.00 diopters to -10.00 diopters (100 degrees to 1,000 degrees), and astigmatism of up to -5.00 diopters (500 degrees). There are certain cornea thickness requirements for the refractive error being treated. Your eye doctor will advise you accordingly.

The experience is relatively painless. There is no frightening blackout, no bleeding (no red eye) during the procedure or swelling of the eye after. Foreign body sensations and mild discomfort may be experienced by some patients after the procedure, but this usually lasts for about 4 to 6 hours. The procedure is fast, and the laser odourless and silent.

Due to the smaller wound by minimally invasive surgery, ReLEx® Smile results in a much stronger eye and less immediate post-operative discomfort and tearing. The use of a small incision also means that fewer corneal nerves are severed during the procedure, which also means less dry eye. With no flap created, flap displacement or dislodgement is not an issue, and so you will be less susceptible to trauma. ReLEx® Smile is a good option for those who are involved in contact sports.

Most patients will experience a dramatic improvement in their vision a day after the surgery, but attaining full visual potential may take some time. ReLEx® Smile patients will notice their vision improving over time, with full restoration of their eyesight 3 to 6 months after the surgery.
Who is suitable?

You will need an initial evaluation by your eye doctor to determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment. Your eligibility will depend on the amount and type of refractive error, the curvature and thickness of the cornea and a number of other factors. Your eye doctor will advise you, but these are some general guidelines:
  • You must have healthy eyes — no glaucoma, infection, cataracts, severe dry eyes or any other condition that would affect postoperative healing.
  • You must be an adult: age 21 or older.
  • Your vision / degree must be stable for at least 12 months before surgery.
  • You must not be pregnant or breastfeeding.
What are the advantages?

The smaller wound in ReLEx® smile helps to retain more tectonic strength for the cornea and there is less post-operative discomfort and tearing. The use of a small incision also preserves more corneal nerves from the procedure, resulting in less dry eye discomfort. In this flapless procedure, traumatic flap displacement or dislodgement is not an issue. Therefore, ReLEx® smile is an option for those who are involved in contact sports.

The ReLEx® Smile Process

PREPARING FOR YOUR ReLEx® Smile CONSULTATION
In this straightforward exercise in getting you prepared, our qualified and experienced paramedical staff will put your mind at ease. Your pre-operative examination at SNEC will include:
  • A comprehensive eye examination
  • An assessment of your refractive error
  • A computerized mapping of the shape of your cornea and
  • A personal consultation with one of SNECs Refractive Surgeons
Please check with your doctor with regards to the expected benefits as well as the potential risks and side effects that may occur.

Please also remember these pointers:
  • If you are currently using contact lenses, please abstain from wearing them for 2 weeks for hard/rigid gas permeable lens and 1 week for soft lens prior to the consultation
  • Please bring your most recent pair of eyeglasses for the consultation
  • Your consultation will take approximately 3 hours, as it will include a series of comprehensive tests. Kindly take this into consideration when you make plans for the day
  • Please do not plan to drive immediately after the consultation as you may experience blurred vision due to dilation of your pupils. You might want to consider bringing a pair of sunglasses to help shield your eyes from excessive glare
  • Kindly bring along your identification card for registration and verification purposes
ON THE DAY OF YOUR SURGERY
You are only human, so it’s not uncommon to feel anxious about your surgery. On your arrival at the SNEC Laser Vision Centre at the SNEC, every effort will be made to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. Our nursing staff will then familiarize you with the procedure.

The whole process from registration through to surgery and final discharge takes approximately 2 hours.

Checklist for your surgery appointment with us:
  1. Abstain from wearing soft contact lenses for 3 days or hard/rigid gas permeable contact lenses for 1 week on the eye to be operated on prior to the surgery date.
  2. On the day of the surgery, please:
    - Do not use any make-up, perfume or hair care products
    - Bring extra warm clothing as the laser suite can be cold
    - Bring along the Laser Request Form
  3. Continue to take any medication you require for medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
  4. Fasting is not required and you can have your normal meals.
  5. If possible, arrange for someone to accompany you home after the procedure as you may be sedated.
  6. Do not drive immediately after the procedure. Please arrange for private transport or take a taxi home.
ReLEx® Smile surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure with no need for admission afterwards. You will be ushered to the preparation room in the laser suite. You may be given a mild sedative or you may ask for one to help you relax. The nurse will then clean your eye and administer the anaesthetic eye drops to prepare you for the procedure. All the information required to correct your refractive error is programmed into the computer controlling the femtosecond laser by the surgeon.

You will be positioned on a bed under the operating microscope where the procedure will take place. Throughout the procedure, your surgeon will be constantly talking to you, explaining every step so that you will know what to expect. The procedure is painless, though you might feel some tightness in the eye during the procedure.

ReLEx® Smile procedures are usually completed within 30 minutes.

Following your surgery, please remember these pointers:
  • Use the antibiotic eye drops every 2 hours until bedtime. On the following day, continue using the eye drops every 4 hours (4 times a day) for 1 week or till further instructions from your doctor.
  • Apply the eye lubricants (Bion Tears/ Cellufresh/ Refresh/ Tears Naturale Free) once every hour until bedtime on the first day. Thereafter, you may use these lubricants as much as you need to manage the dry eyes.
  • Use the protective eye wear for the first 24 hours after the procedure. Thereafter, for the first week, wear it when sleeping to prevent rubbing and accidental injury to the eye.
  • Do not rub the operated eye.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright sunlight when necessary.
  • Do not wear eye make-up for the first week.
  • Do not swim or take part in water sports for 2 weeks after your procedure. All other activities may be resumed after 1 week.
  • Avoid getting water, soap or shampoo in the operated eye for the first week.
  • If you play contact sports or racquet games, wear protective eyewear for 1 month after surgery.
  • You are advised to rest 1 to 2 days after the procedure (Medical leave can be granted by your doctor if required)
  • If you have any queries or need urgent medical attention, please call
    - (65) 6322 8891 during office hours
    - (65) 6532 4865 after office hours (answering service) or
    - Email: laservisioncentre@snec.com.sg
  • For medical attention after office hours, go to the A & E Department of the Singapore General Hospital.
It is normal for you to experience some discomfort and tearing but that usually diminishes within the first day. Your doctor will want to examine your eye the day after your procedure. You may then be able to return to work.

It is imperative on your part to keep all scheduled appointments and to use the eye drops as instructed in order to reduce the chances of any postoperative complications from occurring.

The refractive power of your treated eye and your vision may vary for the first few weeks as part of the normal healing process. Your vision should progressively improve as your eye heals and stable vision is usually attained within the first 3 months.

Once your vision is stable, the treatment is permanent.
FAQs

What is ReLEx® Smile eye surgery?
ReLEx® Smile is a new technique of laser vision correction. Unlike conventional LASIK, this procedure creates no flap and involves the use of only one laser (the femtosecond laser). Instead of vaporising cornea tissue to correct the underlying short-sightedness and astigmatism, ReLEx® Smile removes a small piece of corneal tissue called a lenticule through a small key-hole incision (about 2.5 to 4mm only). This single-step, all-in-one-laser operation is a day surgery procedure that takes about 20 minutes for both eyes.

Is it painful? What extent of discomfort should I expect to feel?
The experience is relatively painless. There is no frightening blackout, no bleeding (no red eye) during the procedure or swelling of the eye after. Foreign body sensations and mild discomfort may be experienced by some patients after the procedure, but this usually lasts for about 4 to 6 hours. The procedure is fast, and the laser odourless and silent.

What is the treatment range for ReLEx® Smile?
ReLEx® Smile is able to treat short-sightedness between -1.00 diopters to -10.00 diopters (100 degrees to 1,000 degrees), and astigmatism of up to -5.00 diopters (500 degrees) There are certain cornea thickness requirements for the refractive error being treated. Your eye doctor will advise you accordingly.

What are the benefits of ReLEx® Smile treatment over other laser vision correction procedures?
The smaller wound in ReLEx® Smile helps to retain more tectonic strength for the cornea and there is less post-operative discomfort and tearing. The use of a small incision also preserves more corneal nerves from the procedure, resulting in less dry eye discomfort. In this flapless procedure, traumatic flap displacement or dislodgement is not an issue. Therefore, ReLEx® Smile is an option for those who are involved in contact sports.

Are there any side effects for ReLEx® Smile treatment?
ReLEx® Smile is generally a safe and highly accurate procedure with no major side effects. Minor side effects similar to other laser vision correction procedures are to be expected, and this will be discussed with your eye doctor.

What follow-up treatment may be necessary?
After surgery, you will receive medicated eye drops and artificial tears together with a post-operative care instruction leaflet. The eye drops are generally prescribed for 2 weeks, and artificial tears for about 1 month. The first follow-up check is normally carried out the day after surgery. Further checks should follow at intervals of several weeks until you have regained stable vision. Your eye doctor will advise you.

How long will it take for my eyesight to be restored after ReLEx® Smile treatment?
Most patients will experience a dramatic improvement in their vision a day after the surgery, but attaining full visual potential may take some time. ReLEx® Smile patients notice their vision improving over time, with full restoration of their eyesight 3 to 6 months after the surgery.

Are the results achieved from ReLEx® Smile surgery permanent?
Yes, in the vast majority of patients, the correction achieved from ReLEx® Smile surgery is permanent.
Price

At the SNEC Laser Vision Centre, we are committed to providing quality and accessible ophthalmic eye care. Our rates are deliberated with the patient in mind.

For more information on financial options, please call 6322 8891.

We accept payment by Cash, NETS (Subject to daily limit), debit and credit cards.

Description Price with 7%GST (per eye)
Pre-Consultation S$109.14
(Consultant)
S$123.05
(Senior Consultant)

ReLEx® Smile Suitability Assessment

S$85.60

ReLEx® Smile Procedure

S$2,341
(Consultant)
S$2,448
(Senior Consultant)

NOTE:
  • Pricing for ReLEx® Smile procedure is inclusive of 1st day post-operative consultation and enhancement surgery (if recommended by primary surgeon within 2 years).
  • Prices indicated are correct as of 23rd June 2014 and may be subject to change without prior notice.
  • Price applicable for Singaporean, Permanent Resident and Employment Pass/Work Permit Holder, Dependent Pass Holder or Long Term Visit Pass - Plus Holder.
  • A surcharge is applicable for Social Visit Pass Holder, Student Pass Holder, Long Term Visit Pass Holder and Tourists.
 

Singapore National Eye Centre
11 Third Hospital Avenue
Singapore 168751
Mondays - Fridays 8.30am to 5.30pm
Saturdays 8.30am to 12.30pm
Sundays & Public Holidays - No clinic Session


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