Relex Smile is latest vision correction technology available in India. However, Laser eye surgery using Femto LASIK is most used procedure today. We will help you decide which technology is best for you by listing advantages and disadvantages and costs of these three eye surgery procedures in India.
Understanding Blade Lasik, Femto Lasik and Relex Smile Technology
There are three generations of LASIK. Each generation improves upon efficacy and safety of procedure.
First and Second Generation LASIK
PRK was the first generation eye surgery using laser. Currently second generation LASIK is widely used. SECOND GENERATION LASIK is of two types, low cost blade LASIK and more advanced Bladeless Femto lasik . Relex SMILE Is latest and third generation laser eye correction treatment. We will guide you about difference between lasik techniques to help you choosing among second and third generation techniques.
Regular Blade LASIK is a two-step procedure. First, the surgeon creates a small flap in the cornea using microkeratome blade to prepare the eye for the next step, the vision correction.
Femtolasik is a similar procedure like regular blade LASIK but it uses lasers only instead of blade. FemtoLasik is also called bladeless LASIK. In bladeless LASIK you have the options Like standard Femto LASIK (common for all) and customized or zypoterix LASIK. In customised LASIK wavefront guided treatment is done. which help guide lasers as per individual patient eye, resulting in better results in many patients.
Third Generation LASIK
In ReLex smile the two steps are different. The first step is to create a “lenticule” . In ReLEx SMILE, a corneal lenticule is cut with a femtosecond laser and then removed via a small incision. ReLEX SMILE was born was to address the complication of LASIK which is corneal ectasia and some other possible complications due to flap dislocation. Hence the answer came with the flapless method using ReLEX smile for vision correction.
Pro And Cons of Lasik Surgery
Relex smile has some advantages over LASIK Surgery.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Regular Blade Lasik
Cost of blade LASIK in india range from rupees 25000 to 50000 for both eyes depending on the city and institute. Some places cost of blade Lasik is as cheap as 25000 rupees only.
If the thickness of the cornea is healthy, usually at least 500 microns thick, regular blade LASIK will be sufficient because of low cost.
Regular Blade LASIK offer no additional advantage over FemtoLASIK and Relex Smile except easy availability and low cost.
However if eye have low strength cornea or some complication and doctors advice for more advanced procedure go for femto LASIK or Relex Smile.
Some examples where regular Blade LASIK is not advised are
• Thin corneas (average is 480-550 microns thick)
• Very steep or flat corneal shape (normal range is 41-46 D)
• Large amount of nearsightedness
• Dry eyes and contact lens intolerance
• Patient is involved or intend to involve in physical games and other strenuous activity
Also even if you have healthy cornea and budget is not a factor then go for more advanced procedures.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Femto LASIK
FemtoLasik in india may cost 75 thousand rupees to upwards of 1 lakh for both eyes depending on the city and institute . Zyopterix or wavefront guided Customized Femto Lasik may cost upwards of rupees 1 lakh. Femto LASIK technology is available more easily than ReLex Smile.
FemtoLasik Can correct hyperopia up to +4D or so with good accuracy and predictability. This is not possible with ReLEx, which is used to treat myopia/shortsightedness and astigmatism only.
FemtoLasik Can do wavefront customized (whether corneal wavefront or whole eye wavefront guided) treatments. With customized treatment minor abberations of eye are better treated and results are better than standard LASIK treatments.
With both type of LASIK there are Some risk of flap complications, especially for those who are engaged in physical activities. Need to be careful for first few months.
Dry eyes symptoms are also more than Relex Smile till eyes heal properly.
Advantages and Disadvantages of ReLex smile
ReLex Smile in india may cost 1 lakh rupees to upwards of 1 lakh for both eyes depending on the city and institute .
ReLex Smile Pros
Safety: Relex smile is for those where a flap is to be avoided or those people who want a less invasive technology. It also retains strength in the cornea as the flap is replaced by a cap.
Comfort: A minimally invasive procedure performed in a matter of minutes. no significant healing needs to take place and you have an incredibly swift recovery. SMILE offers approximately half the amount and duration of dry eye over the recovery period.
Suitability: Due to their being less surgical manipulation of the eye, many patients who are told they are unsuitable for other treatments are surprised to discover they are candidates for SMILE.
After few months patient can do more strenuous activities like swimming, kick boxing etc without the fear of flap dislocation , like with normal eye.
ReLex Smile Cons
Availability: At the moment ReLEx SMILE is only available for myopia vision spectacle removal and astigmatism. The treatment of hyperopia has been developed and is to be released in the near future.
In few cases (esp those who work seriously long hours on the computers) is that they may take slightly longer to adjust to the new vision as compared to LASIK cases, and also those in a slightly higher age group like 45 years and above have been seen to heal comparatively slowly
Risk of ectasia is not completely eliminated, there is an possibility of ectasia if the residual stroma is less than 250 microns or if ReLEx is done on forme fruste keratoconus eyes.
What to expect after both LASIK and ReLex Smile treatment
A. Both Relex smile and LASIK procedure patients will be symptomatic on the day of the laser treatment , like watery eyes , itchiness, pricking , heavy eye lids etc. This usually settles down within a day.
B. Both Relex smile and LASIK procedure patients will need to use antibiotic eye drops for a week to 10 days, and lubricating eye drops for few weeks post the procedure.
C. Both Relex smile and LASIK procedure patients will be allowed to use computers, watch TV etc for sometime from one to two days onwards, drive after a week or so.
D. ReLex smile cases can be more active after two three days, there is no risk of flap dislocation if you rub the eyes , sports, swimming, outdoors activity etc as there is no flap in Relex smile. LASIK cases need to be more careful for a month or so.
Treatment Options in The marketplace for LASIK are many and swamped with offers and variations. This can make it difficult to know what you’re getting and to make the right decision. So make sure you choose reliable and transparent place.
Know your parameters like cornea thickness and flatness before surgery if you opt for blade LASIK, so you can make an informed decision. Because practically speaking, some unethical person may suggest you the technology available with him, which may or may not suite your best interests.