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1. Formerly the only laser procedure was ‘PRK’: a surface treatment with no flap, yet a lot of pain and slow recovery
2. After that came ‘LASIK’: with flap, no pain, quick recovery; Yet mechanical and with a surgical blade.
3. The next entrant was ‘FEMTO LASIK’: again with flap, no pain, quick recovery and performed by a computer operated laser, therefore not mechanical. Yet still with a flap.
4. The latest step is ‘ReLEX SMILE’–procedure by Carl Zeiss Meditec : no flap, no pain, quick recovery, and fully computer operated by the femtosecond laser.
‘Smile’ is short for ‘Small Incision Lenticular Extraction’. This new technique, that is only possible with the Visumax femotsecond laser by Carl Zeiss, is the least invasive therapy possible these days.
The disadvantages of the older treatments have been removed and the advantages have remained. The fact that we now finally do not have to make a flap, drastically lowers the chances of weakness of the cornea and possibility of dry eyes and improves the stability of the cornea tremendously when compared to LASIK.