ReLEx SmILE now available at Moorfields

Consultant Eye Surgeon Vincenzo Maurino is pleased to announce the introduction of ReLEx SmILE laser eye surgery to the list of available treatment options he is able to offer at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, thanks to the arrival of the Zeiss Visumax femtosecond laser. Moorfields is a flagship laser refractive eye centre establishment for laser equipment and it is the only centre in the UK to benefit from:

  • Two state-of-the-art excimer wavefront lasers, including the Schwind Amaris 750S excimer laser platform.
  • Three femtosecond laser refractive platforms, including the Zeiss Visumax and the Intralase FS 150.
  • Two femtosecond laser cataract surgery platforms.

Thus, Mr Maurino offers unprecedented choice of procedures to choose what is best for his patients. Laser eye surgery is very safe and successful and represents the most common elective procedure in the world with well over 22 million treatments carried out to date. ReLEx SmILE is the next-generation procedure in laser vision correction.

ReLEx Smile is a femtosecond only, single laser vision correction procedure and it stand for:

ReLEx = Refractive Lenticule Extraction

SmILE = Small Incision Lenticule Extraction

ZEISS Meditec is a German-based company that leads the world in developing technology for eye surgery and laser vision correction surgery. The ReLEx Smile procedure is performed using the ZEISS VisuMax, the latest generation femtosecond laser. The laser is able to cut through the corneal surface in to the deeper corneal stroma in three dimensions and with absolute accuracy measured in microns – to put this in perspective, a single micron is invisible to the naked eye and it is 1/1000 of a millimetre.

How does ReLEx SmILE works?

ReLex SmILE lenticule extractionThe Visumax laser creates a series of micropulses within the cornea. These laser pulses perform an internal incision of a disc-shaped segment of corneal tissue (the refractive lenticule) to correct myopia. Mr Maurino is then able to remove the lenticule through a superficial keyhole incision. This picture illustrates the SmILE procedure:

How does ReLEx SmILE differ from LASIK?

There are two key points of difference: firstly, ReLEx SmILE is performed entirely using one device – the Zeiss Visumax femtosecond platform – whereas LASIK requires two lasers, a femtosecond laser for flap creation and an excimer laser to correct the vision. Secondly, LASIK is performed by creating a flap in the cornea; this flap is then lifted up to treat the cornea underneath with an excimer laser. In a ReLEx SmILE procedure, we alter the shape of the cornea without creating a flap thus retaining the integrity and strength of the cornea.

What are the ReLEx SmILE advantages?

  • No flap creation compared with LASIK. This means that the patient’s cornea is biomechanically stronger after ReLEX SmILE than after LASIK
  • Less chance of developing dry eyes, as there is limited corneal nerve damage compared with a LASIK procedure where a flap is cut into the cornea
  • Faster surgery times compared to LASIK since only one laser is used
  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Higher levels of short-sightedness are treatable due to the stronger corneal biomechanics

Is ReLEX SmILE as safe as LASIK?

Yes. Several studies have been published to show that ReLEx SmILE is as safe and effective as LASIK when treating short sight up to -10D, and over 200,000 patients worldwide have undergone the treatment. ReLEx Smile is a corneal procedure and, as such, we strongly believe must be performed by surgeons with corneal surgery expertise (that are able to perform corneal graft surgery) to be safe.


Leading London eye surgeon introduces new technologyMr Maurino has been the first Moorfields Consultant Eye Surgeon to have personally performed SmILE procedures successfully in human eyes and treated up to -10.00 myopia.



Please see a video illustrating the ZEISS Visumax ReLEX SmILE procedure:

If you would like to speak to us about the ReLEX SmILE procedure and establish whether you are a suitable candidate, please click here to book a consultation.

Please note that the current indication range for ReLEx SmILE is: myopia and astigmatism (from -4.00 to -10.00 myopia and up to -5.00 astigmatism).