Laser vision correction: everything you need to know about the operation

I have vision problems, do I really need surgery?

Eye problems are a very broad concept. There are conditions in which surgical intervention can not be avoided, such as cataracts. With many problems with eye optics, you can live without surgery.

Myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism (together they are called refractive disorders) are conditions that are corrected with glasses or contact lenses, if they suit you. But to many people they bring a lot of inconvenience: glasses change the appearance, their lenses fog and distort the space, the rims need to be changed and selected for clothing, they interfere with sports. Finally, quality glasses and lenses are not cheap and require constant care and attention.

At the same time, laser correction is a great way to correct vision. The laser is a tool, you can use it in different ways and carry out operations that are very different from each other. And if you consider that lasers are also different, it becomes clear: for almost every case, you can choose a technique that is better than others.

What is the difference between laser correction methods?

There are three generations of methods for laser vision correction. Let’s start with the most modern and most sparing for the eyes.


With laser correction using the ReLEX SMILE method, a femtosecond laser forms a small lens (lenticular) in the cornea. Three-dimensional modeling of the lens takes 26 seconds, then the lenticular is pulled through a minimal (only 2 mm) tunnel in the cornea. After that, the eye begins to correctly refract and focus the image on the retina.

SMILE – the most gentle microinvasive procedure, after which the surface of the cornea is not injuredLaser eye surgery and lens surgery. , its biomechanical properties are preserved and the probability of dry eye syndrome decreases. Sometimes this is the only possible way of laser vision correction for people with thin corneas, as well as for those who play sports and lead an active lifestyle.

LASIK (LASIK) or a variant of Femto-LASIK (femto-LASIK)

This is an operation during which a flap is formed in the form of a “lid” from the superficial layers of the cornea using a microkeratome (mechanical device with blades) or a femtosecond laser. This flap is raised, and then by another type of laser – excimer – the necessary volume of corneal tissue is evaporated to obtain new optical properties of the eye. Then the “lid” returns to its original place.

Femtolaser helps to perform all manipulations with high accuracy. Technologies with a cap-flap appeared more than 20 years agoA Patients’ Guide to Excimer Laser Refractive Surgery. and before the development of the SMILE method were the most common type of laser correction.


One of the old methods of correction. With it, remove the epithelium (the outer layer of the eye) to get to the cornea and evaporate the necessary tissue volume with an excimer laserPhotorefractive Keratectomy Eye Surgery. . There are several varieties of such an operation: trans-PRK, epilAsIC or LASEK. The only difference is how to remove the epithelium – laser or manually.

Previously, these methods were used in patients with a thin cornea. But the removal of the epithelium is a painful and unsafe procedure, it damages a large number of nerve endings and destroys the outer border membrane of the cornea. Plus, only that you do not need to form a “lid”, so the cornea retains its biomechanical strength. To date, the ReLEX SMILE technology is preferable: the same benefits are achieved with less traumatism.

It is safe?

ReLEX SMILE technology appeared in 2007, today more than one million patients have operated on this method in the whole world, and their number is growing.

Operations using the LASIK method have been done for more than twenty years, with the help of more than 15 million people. This is a proven technique, although it has its own contraindicationsPhotorefractive (laser) surgery for the correction of refractive errors. . Femto-LASIK is a method that LASIK has improved, and ReLEX SMILE allowed to perform eye correction in the most gentle way. Based on the results of the first long-term studiesFive-year results of Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. , it is safe and effective.

It’s hard for me to decide on an operation, I’m afraid

Many people do not tolerate even the idea of ​​touching the eye or doing something with it. Because of this, fears are refused to wear contact lenses, even if they are in some cases more necessary than glasses. Therefore, the fact of the operation is especially frightening. But laser correction with such fear is one of the best ways to regain vision.

First, the operations are carried out quickly. It depends on the technique, but usually the whole process takes no more than 20 minutes (the time of the person’s stay in the operating room).

Secondly, in the case of experiences, it is worth paying attention to SMILE: it is even faster, the intervention itself is only 26 seconds, it is completely painless and has the shortest recovery period. After correction in the eye, for some time, unpleasant sensations may appear, but after SMILE operation they pass through a couple of hours. The patient returns to his habitual life the very next day. It is worth fighting your fear for a few minutes to see well again.

How does it go? What if I blink?

Technologies of operations on the eyes have long been worked out so that patients could not hurt themselves. Of course, no one forces you to keep your eyes open by force of will: for this, there are special devices that fix eyelids. No sharp tools: everything is neat and comfortable. In addition, if you are experiencing, at the SMILE EYES clinic 🙂 Augenklinik Moskau during the preparation for the operation you will be offered soft sedatives, as well as the newest NuCalm gadgetNuCalm. to relieve stress.

Specialists of the clinic SMILE EYES 🙂 Professor Tatiana Shilova and Professor Walter Secundo

All necessary examinations are conducted before the appointment of laser correction, changes in lifestyle before the operation is not needed (except that you may be asked to remove contact lenses a week or two before the operation), and the postoperative period is short and easy.

It is said that after these operations many side-effects of optical effects

This was important for lasers 15-20 years ago. Their principle of work has long been outdated, and modern methods of correction make it possible to obtain a high quality of vision. Recommendations are always individual: before the operation the patient undergoes a comprehensive diagnostic examination and discusses the risks with the surgeon. In most cases, optical effects go away by themselves in a few weeks or monthsShort-sightedness (myopia) .Treatment. .

In SMILE operation, high quality of vision is noticeable immediately after correction, and gradually it improves.

The laser almost does not injure the cornea – because the incision is very small, the overall effect on the stability of the corneal tissues is minimal. This means that, after the intervention, the skin of the eye will heal quickly, the patient will not have to worry because of the possible dislocation of the flap, which is formed with LASIK and Femto-LASIK technologies, and the risk of developing keratectasia (this is a condition in which the cornea changes shape).

Another plus correction of ReLEX SMILE is a reduction in the likelihood of developing dry eye syndrome compared to other methods, because with this technology nerve endings in the cornea are not damagedSmall Incision Lenticule Extraction. .

But suddenly I can not do such an operation?

Any medical intervention has contraindicationsShort-sightedness (myopia) .Treatment. , even at such sparing as SMILE. The main contraindication for any type of laser correction is a diseased cornea in latent or explicit form, the so-called keratoconus. In this case, other correction methods are used.

Other common contraindications:

  • Laser correction is not recommended to do until age 18, because at this time the eye can grow.
  • Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, immunodeficiencies, a number of other diseases (with exacerbation).
  • Pregnancy and lactation – temporary contraindications, that is, after the birth of a child and the completion of feeding, women can undergo correction.
  • Some eye diseases, such as cataracts, require a different kind of intervention.

Even if the anatomical features of the eye do not allow laser correction of vision, then there are other effective and accurate techniques that will allow you to get rid of glasses and contact lenses. To know exactly which method is right for you, experts of the SMILE EYES clinic will help 🙂 Augenklinik Moskau after a comprehensive diagnosis.

Why the clinic SMILE EYES :)?

Because in SMILE EYES 🙂 Augenklinik Moskau – the Moscow branch of SMILE EYES Holding 🙂 – at the moment the biggest experience of operations performed using the ReLEX SMILE technology. Patients have the opportunity to perform a vision correction from Professor Walter Secundo, the creator and developer of the SMILE technique, who first performed such a laser correction. See how Professor Secundo himself talks about the benefits of the operation:

The ophthalmology center is part of the international holding SMILE EYES :), which consists of 12 branches in Germany, Austria and Moscow. All the centers operate according to German standards and technologies. The main operating surgeon is Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Shilova Tatyana Yurievna. The annual number of operated patients is more than 4,000 people with different ophthalmologic pathologies.

Each eye is unique, therefore at SMILE EYES clinic 🙂 Augenklinik Moskau use an individual approach to patients and carefully choose the method that is best suited for the treatment of a particular case.


Methods have contraindications. Consult with an expert.