The Medical Technology business group of Zeiss announced that doctors performing laser vision correction surgery using its SMILE refractive technology have now surpassed 1 million procedures worldwide. ReLEx SMILE is now being performed around the world by more than 1,300 surgeons in over 65 countries with patients reporting high satisfaction with the efficacy and results of this minimally invasive procedure, according to a company news release.
SMILE, using the VisuMax femtosecond laser, has proven its clinical effectiveness and demonstrates a variety of clinical advantages, according to Zeiss. As an FDA-approved procedure, SMILE provides surgeons an additional proven laser vision correction option to offer their patients.
“We are thrilled that SMILE, the first major advancement in laser vision correction since the 1990’s, has reached this important milestone and that Zeiss has played an integral role in ushering in a new era in refractive surgery with this proven technology,” James V. Mazzo, Global President Ophthalmic Devices at Carl Zeiss Meditec, said in the news release. “We are honored to see SMILE, our latest refractive procedure, so widely accepted by doctors and their patients, and that SMILE has helped doctors restore and improve the vision for so many people around the world.”
SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction) was first performed in 2007 by Prof. Dr. med Walter Sekundo on a sighted patient and became commercially available with the launch of ReLEx SMILE in 2011.
During a ReLEx SMILE minimally invasive eye surgery procedure, doctors correct patients’ refractive errors using the VisuMax femtosecond laser. With the laser, surgeons create a thin disc-shaped lenticule within the cornea which is then removed through a small incision on the surface of the cornea, also created by the laser, thereby achieving the desired vision correction. SMILE is a minimally invasive procedure, adding to the great choices for laser vision correction that surgeons already have. It requires only one laser to perform the entire treatment, and due to the small incision it leaves the outer corneal layer largely intact, thus potentially contributing to the cornea’s stability after surgery – both biomechanical and refractive – and to fast visual recovery.
“This one-millionth SMILE procedure represents not only a major milestone for refractive technology, it represents the dedication of surgeons around the world in advancing ophthalmic care for their patients,” Dr. Ludwin Monz, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss Meditec, said in the news release. “We are pleased that so many patients around the world have been able to benefit from Zeiss’ technology and that Zeiss continues to support doctors with innovations to help them improve their patients’ vision and quality of life.”