Mass. Eye and Ear ophthalmologists offer new type of minimally-invasive laser vision correction

Ophthalmologists at Massachusetts Eye and Ear are now offering a new type of minimally-invasive laser vision correction, the ReLEx SMILE procedure. FDA-approved in 2016, and with more than 750,000 procedures performed worldwide each year, SMILE is a proven laser procedure for the treatment of myopia (nearsightedness). Mass. Eye and Ear specialists are among the most experienced with the SMILE approach nationwide, and the first in New England to offer the procedure. Mass. Eye and Ear will offer the SMILE procedures at its Waltham location.

"SMILE embraces the latest in ultra-precise laser technology to gently correct vision and gives laser vision correction patients' an alternative to LASIK," said Kathryn M. Hatch, M.D., a cornea and refractive surgeon at Mass. Eye and Ear, Waltham. "Both SMILE and LASIK can help create clearer vision and reduce or eliminate the need for eye glasses and contacts."

SMILE is the latest advancement in laser vision correction for the treatment of nearsightedness, providing LASIK-like outcomes in a minimally-invasive, flapless surgery. Developed by ZEISS, the procedure uses a highly focused laser light -; the VisuMax femtosecond laser -; to create a thin, disc-shaped lenticule within the cornea and a small incision on the surface of the cornea through which the lenticule is subsequently removed by the surgeon.

The procedure is FDA-approved for patients who are 22 years of age or older with stable vision for the past year.

From start to finish, the procedure takes about five minutes per eye. Most patients feel no pain during and after the surgery, and typically they are able to resume normal daily activities the next day. SMILE may also help those with dry eyes.

"Offering the most advanced technology and procedures to patients is paramount to our mission of providing premier clinical care," said Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chief of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital and the Henry Willard Williams Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. "We are pleased to lead the region in bringing this latest surgical advancement in laser vision correction to our patients."

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