1. Non-binding, personal consultation
During a non-binding, personal consultation, your doctor will first clarify with you whether your eyes are basically suitable for ReLEx smile treatment. For this purpose, all relevant eye parameters will be measured.
2. Comprehensive preliminary examination
Before the operation, a comprehensive medical examination will follow. Before this examination, you should in any case refrain from wearing contact lenses, as they also change the shape of the cornea in the long term. You should not wear soft contact lenses for at least one week before the examination. For hard contact lenses, the interval should be at least two weeks. Lenses should then also not be worn in the same time window before the operation.
On the day before the treatment as well as on the day of the treatment itself, you should refrain from using cosmetic products such as face creams, lotions, and also make-up and perfume. They can increase the risk of infection or contamination of the surgical field. You should clean your eye area particularly thoroughly on the morning of the treatment day.
3. The ReLEx treatment
On the day of the operation, you should wear comfortable clothes if possible. You can eat and drink normally, but should not smoke. For reasons of hygiene, you should wash your face thoroughly once again and completely remove any make-up residue. Before the procedure, you will also be given a sedative tablet if you wish.
Then the actual procedure takes place, which is performed on an outpatient basis and takes only about 20 minutes for both eyes. First, the surgeon will greet you and once again match your personal data before your corneal surface is anesthetized with drops. To prevent blinking during the surgery, you will be fitted with what is called an eyelid opener. The other eye will be covered during the procedure.
Next comes the preparation of the lenticle in the cornea using the VisuMax femtosecond laser. A contact lens adapted to the shape of the cornea is used to fix the eye. You will see a bright spot during these steps, but hardly feel anything. Once the surgeon has prepared the lenticule, he or she uses the laser to cut a small opening of no more than four millimeters, through which he or she releases the lenticule and carefully pulls it out. The small incision closes by itself after the correction, so it does not need to be sutured. No separate postoperative precautions are required. You will probably be amazed – as well as most other patients – at how quickly the procedure is over and that you hardly felt a thing. An eye bandage is not necessary, but sunglasses are recommended. No driving is allowed immediately after the treatment.
4. After the ReLEx treatment
After the procedure, you should not rub your eyes. You will also receive antibiotic eye drops, which must be instilled into the eye five times a day for a week, as well as artificial tears – as needed. Normally, you can return to work after two to three days. You should also wait about three days before engaging in sporting activities. Swimming and sauna visits, on the other hand, should be avoided for about two weeks to reduce the risk of infection.
Medical checks take place after one day, one week and one month. Driving is allowed again only after medical permission, which can usually be given at the weekly check-up.