ReLEx SMILE

Smile at SMILE! The revolutionary third generation of laser vision correction: a single painless laser.

The Future of Vision Correction Is Now

ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is at the forefront of technological innovation in refractive surgery as it is based on a single laser treatment. Unlike FemtoLASIK and PRK, ReLEx SMILE does not require the creation of a corneal flap or surface ablation respectively. Thanks to this fast non-invasive procedure based on a single Zeiss VisuMax® painless femtosecond laser, the surgeon is able to make one or two small lateral incisions of 2 to 4 mm (0.08″ to 0.16″) in less than 28 seconds. The surgeon then extracts a tiny disc of tissue of up to 7 mm (0.27″), known as lenticule, which has been sculpted by the laser to the desired correction. The procedure takes less than 2 minutes per eye and relieves the stress associated with switching lasers. No injections are required. Local anesthetic eye drops numb the eyes.

ReLEx SMILE is recommended for the treatment of  myopia and myopic astigmatism. It is a safe and effective procedure that guarantees rapid recovery. 

ReLEx SMILE Procedure Steps

Step 1
Lenticule Creation

The VisuMax® femtosecond laser creates the refractive lenticule (a tiny disc of tissue) in the cornea and then makes a small incision of less than 3 mm (0.12″), all in a single surgical step.

Step 2
Lenticule Extraction

The lenticule is removed through the less than 3 mm-long (0.12″) incision made at the end of the first step, with minimum impact on the corneal biomechanics.

Step 3
Error Correction

Removing the lenticule reshapes the cornea and allows for the desired vision correction.

ReLEx Smile

The Hands Take Center Stage Again

ReLEx SMILE is the revolutionary third generation of laser vision correction. Despite being minimally invasive, this procedure cannot be performed just by any surgeon. Experience and manual dexterity are fundamental to quickly and smoothly extract the lenticule through the small lateral incision and ensure excellent visual outcomes.

A skilled eye surgeon can determine whether ReLEx SMILE is the best laser treatment for the correction of their patient’s vision problem or if other procedures are to be preferred. With over 30 years of experience at the forefront of laser vision correction for athletes and other patients, Dr. Angelo Appiotti embodies the state-of-the-art of refractive surgery in Europe. In Italy he ranks among the eye surgeons with the highest number of ReLEx SMILE laser treatments performed. He has honed the technique by designing two precision surgical instruments that are now manufactured and distributed by ASICO, a market leader in research and development of innovative instruments in ocular microsurgery and refractive surgery.

The Best Candidate

⦁ 22 years old and above
⦁ Myopia between 1.00 to -10.00 diopters
⦁ Astigmatism up to -5.00 diopters
⦁ Stable eyeglass prescription in the 12 months prior to surgery
⦁ Corneal topography, pachymetry and pupillometry within the reference range
⦁ Good overall eye health and no history of previous eye diseases
⦁ Not pregnant

The Benefits

⦁ Shorter procedure time with greater patient comfort
⦁ Can be performed on thin or flat corneas and on deep-set eyes
⦁ Excellent postoperative corneal tensile strength
⦁ No problem with any sport including contact sports or those inducing intraocular pressure increases
⦁ Rare risk of dry eye after surgery
⦁ Excellent vision correction outcomes
⦁ Rapid recovery time
⦁ No postoperative pain or discomfort
⦁ No corneal opacities

Visual Recovery and Risks

Visual Recovery

⦁ No intraoperative or postoperative pain
⦁ Visual recovery on the day after surgery (patients can resume normal activities with no mechanical, traumatic or visual restrictions)
⦁ Quality of vision keeps improving in the days following surgery

Potential Risks and Complications

ReLEx SMILE is the least invasive laser eye surgery procedure of all. Although innovative technology reduces the risk of complications, under and/or overcorrection may still occur as in all other procedures.

Some patients mention a postoperative foreign body sensation, which usually goes away shortly after surgery.

This is a relatively new technology (7-year follow-up) and no long-term studies exist. However, the procedure is practically risk-free and produces excellent outcomes when it is carried out by an experienced laser eye surgeon with manual skills honed in a wide range of laser treatments at state-of-the-art clinics with the highest quality standards and thorough control procedures.

Athletes Who Underwent Treatment with ReLEx SMILE

Countless top Italian and international athletes have relied on Dr. Appiotti’s professionalism and 30 years’ experience in laser surgery for the correction of their vision problem with ReLEx SMILE.

Make an appointment now

Dr. Appiotti performs laser eye surgery in state-of-the-art eye clinics such as Vista Vision in Milan or Verona and Villa Richeldi in Modena. To make an appointment and determine whether you are a good candidate for the laser treatment available for your vision problem, please contact our number

Alternatively, please fill out the contact form below. We will get in touch with you as soon as possible.