The latest innovation in laser eye surgery to shake up the healthcare industry

One of our dearest senses has to be the gift of sight. For starters, you wouldn’t be reading this article without it. But as any eyeglass wearer will tell you, how nice it would be if you didn’t always worry about making sure you have two heavy glass-filled rims hanging off your face all day. Then there is the added worry of leaving them behind when you have had to remove them for some reason.

These are all things that haunted me as a wearer of glasses. I had only found out that I needed to wear them when I was 26 (about four years ago) after trying on a friend’s spec pair as a joke, and hastily realized that I could see the world in HD. Truly.

While I didn’t really mind wearing my glasses in terms of how they looked, I found it irritating having to keep them on my face to watch TV at night after wearing them all day. My nose was aching badly on time around 7pm, and whenever I wanted to exercise I would just leave them in the gym locker room, making sure I was at the front of the class. exercise so I can see everything. the instructor was doing.


Contact lenses are the only real alternative to wearing glasses. These, for me, weren’t really an option, as I had tried them several times without success. Most likely because I was pretty squeamish when it came to getting close to my real eyeball (which is needed more than once a day when wearing contact lenses, ergh) and felt sick every time I put them on. My natural reaction was to flinch and pull away when my finger came close to my face. As you can imagine, therefore, for me lenses were not a suitable alternative to wearing glasses.

The only other option, therefore, was laser eye surgery. Sip. And that’s probably not a good idea for someone who is squeamish about the eyes.

Laser eye surgery has been around for a while now and has become a low risk, relatively easy to perform procedure that can be done relatively quickly and recovery is limited to about a month. However, if you look around you will usually find that the procedure is still quite invasive. The most common practice – LASIK, or “laser-assisted keratomileusis in situ” – involves having laser scraps cut out of each eye and changing the shape of the cornea to “correct” your poor vision. This is not an option for those who are a bit fussy when it comes to touching the eye area. And for this rather horrific reason, many eyeglass wearers are put off to go under the laser to get rid of their glasses for life.

And then there are also a lot of myths surrounding the procedure that still exist from yesteryear, which doesn’t help people’s perceptions even now. As Professor Reinstein pointed out, here are 16 of the most common myths associated with laser eye surgery in general:’s still very new and the domain is still in development so it’s worth the wait

2. It doesn’t work very well; you still need glasses after the procedure

3. It cannot correct presbyopia

4. It cannot correct astigmatism

5. It cannot correct the need for reading glasses as you get older – Presbyopia

6. You could go blind

7. It hurts

8. If you blink or move during the procedure, it may go wrong.

9. If something is wrong, there is nothing to be done.

10. It doesn’t last very long and needs to be redone

11. We don’t know long term security

12. The prescription must be stable

13. If you have a cataract later in life, you can’t have it anymore.

14. Contact lenses are safer than laser eye surgery

15. Night vision is impaired by laser eye surgery (it can be corrected by laser eye surgery)

16. My prescription is too high to be corrected (98% of all prescriptions can be corrected)

And guess what. None of these are true.

SMILE technology

However, there is one innovation that is shaking up the laser eye surgery industry and changing all that; a new type of less invasive surgery that means it’s over in minutes and recovery is faster and less painful than ever. And I know it, because I did it myself. The innovation I’m talking about is ReLEx SMILE surgery, which stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. Also known as “keyhole” laser eye surgery, it is the latest innovation to emerge from the eye care industry. Launched by Carl Zeiss Meditec, it is touted as “the next generation” in laser eye surgery. The state-of-the-art procedure is much less invasive than traditional methods and it also corrects even higher myopic prescriptions than before.

I had my SMILE consultation and surgery at London Vision Clinic in Harley Street, by Professor Dan Reinstein, one of the leading eye care specialists in the UK who also consults for Carl Zeiss Meditec.

London Vision Clinic

During the procedure, eye anesthetic drops are used to completely numb the eye, and the state-of-the-art Carl Zeiss VisuMax laser places a series of precise pulses in the center of the cornea with extraordinary 3D placement precision. These pulses form bubbles that are less than a hundredth the width of a human hair and which outline the tissue that must be removed to effectively change the shape of the cornea.

The laser then creates a tiny connection tunnel through which the surgeon sucks this tissue. No flap is created like in conventional laser eye surgery, so the healing time is much faster and therefore safer, with the procedure taking only a few minutes.

My experience

My SMILE surgery finished in about 13 minutes, and it was with a break in the middle due to my panicking a bit when my vision turned white after the first eye. Reinstein did a great job of calming me down when I panicked that my vision was gone for a few seconds after he quickly reshaped my cornea. This is completely normal, but since I had asked not to know what exactly he would do during the procedure (so as not to think too much about it), I was a little taken by surprise, which made me wonder. almost led to me passing out. (So ​​I would recommend knowing what your surgeon will do step by step if you ever decide to have the operation done, for this very reason.) Anyway, after a little orange juice and a few words Gentiles of Reinstein, I was feeling confident again and ready to have my next eye ‘fixed’.

All in all the procedure ended in a flash and I didn’t feel a thing.

London Vision Clinic

ReLEx SMILE is able to achieve this as there is no need to switch between instruments during the procedure. The patient does not need to change position and therefore this is the main reason why it only takes a few minutes.

“Not only is the patient experience greatly improved, as there is less surgical manipulation of the eye – which makes it less invasive than traditional laser eye surgery – but it also makes vision correction available to the eye. people who would previously have been informed that they were not suitable candidates. This is a major development, ”explains Professor Reinstein.

So there really is nothing to worry about. You are not given sedatives at London Vision Clinic, because the surgeon wants you to be more alert during the procedure so that you can follow his orders. You do, however, get a neck massage, which is a huge help in relaxing before entering the operating room.

Post-operative pop

Although the surgery is painless and finished before you even know it, the usual recovery still applies. Although it is much less strenuous than after regular laser eye surgery procedures without SMILE, and you will be back to normal within days, not weeks.

Most patients’ vision is 80 percent better instantly and reaches 100 percent within a few days. This is what gives SMILE its great appreciation, as it helps people overcome fears associated with the procedure because – depending on your prescription and vision – some could literally be back in the office the day after surgery. .

My case was a little different because my prescription was not that high. I had been warned before that my vision would actually be worse than it was before without glasses right after the operation, and my vision would correct itself in the following days. For the first four hours after surgery, you cannot open your eyes, you just need to rest, except when applying two different types of drops, which should be every 30 minutes. After these four hours, you can open your eyes again and apply drops every hour for the rest of the day. Two drops of anesthetic should be applied four times a day for the following week, and protective goggles that prevent you from causing damage to your eyes while sleeping, should be worn every night. Nonetheless, I was at the movies the night of my surgery, watching a movie from the middle rows.

London Vision Clinic

During my month-long exam, my vision was absolutely perfect. Life changes as well. My astigmatism was gone, my myopia (myopia) had completely disappeared and I had 20/20 vision.

So I can vouch for the SMILE laser eye surgery because in my experience the healing process is definitely very fast especially compared to what I have heard from eye surgery patients ordinary laser. After the first few days I could see better than without glasses and after the first week I no longer needed to keep applying drops, I no longer needed to wear the glasses to bed and my eyesight was liberating and bright . I could even go for a swim and get water in my eyes, so soon after the operation. But best of all, due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, I was able to overcome the nausea I was having with my eyes and no longer need to massage my face at dinner after a day of wearing. glasses. It is truly life changing and is sure to shape the industry for years to come as it gains in popularity. Eyeglass stores; watch your back!

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