ReLEx® SMILE (Refractive Lenticule Extraction, Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a bladeless, gentle and flapless laser vision correction using only one femtosecond laser for the entire procedure. It is an alternative to LASIK and is able to correct myopia (short-sightedness) and astigmatism (“san guang”). ReLEx® SMILE is often beneficial for patients with high myopia (500-1000 degrees), astigmatism (up to 500 degrees), dry eyes and intolerance to contact lenses.

The entire procedure is performed with gentle, low suction so that vision is preserved with no “black out” phenomenon, unlike other laser refractive procedures.

How does ReLEx® SMILE work?

  • In a single step of less than 30 seconds, a low energy laser creates a tiny piece of refractive lenticule and a small incision of less than 4mm on the cornea surface.
  • The eye surgeon then removes the refractive lenticule through the small pocket incision.
  • Removing the refractive lenticule changes the shape of the cornea and the way light bends into the eye, and this corrects the refractive errors.

Typically, visual recovery occurs in the first week following surgery and the eye may feel irritated for a day or so. There is minimal downtime after ReLEx® SMILE and patients are able to return to their daily activities after a day of rest.

Benefits of ReLEx® SMILE

  1. Minimally invasive
    Compared to LASIK, the incision is up to 80% smaller. Previously, an incision of roughly 20 mm had to be created, whereas a small incision of less than 4 mm is now sufficient.
  2. Shorter procedure time with greater comfort
    ReLEx® SMILE does not require the patient to change positions from one laser platform to the other, thus providing more comfort and quicker procedure time – just about 20 minutes.
  3. Shorter recovery time
    Being a flapless procedure, ReLEx® SMILE has a shorter healing time.
  4. No LASIK-like flap
    No flap complications such as displacement or dislodgement.
  5. Preserve upper corneal structure
    As no corneal flap is created, the upper corneal structure remains practically untouched and the structural stability of the cornea is largely unaffected.
  6. Reduced post-surgery dry-eye discomfort
    Since majority of the upper corneal structure remains untouched during the treatment, there is less post-operative discomfort resulting from dry eyes.
  7. Night Vision
    Since no corneal flap is created, there is less induction of optical aberrations, reducing visual complaints like halos, glares, and starbursts.

Is ReLEx® SMILE suitable for me?

An ideal candidate for ReLEx® SMILE would be:

  • Active lifestyle (Athletes engaged in contact sports)
  • Flight Crews
  • Dry eyes
  • Myopia between 100 to 1000 degrees
  • Astigmatism of up to 500 degrees
  • 18 years old and above
  • Not pregnant
  • No significant past medical history
  • No family history of eye disease
  • No significant change in spectacle prescription within the past 12 months
ReLEx® SMILE Surgery Candidates

How Is ReLEx® SMILE Different From Other Refractive Surgery Options?

ReLEx® SMILE Procedure Steps

Creation of Lenticule

1. Creation of lenticule and small incision (< 4mm)

Removal of the Lenticule

2. Removal of the lenticule

Refractive Error is Corrected

3. Refractive error is corrected

LASIK Procedure Steps

Creation of Corneal Flap

1. Creation of corneal flap

Change to Excimer Laser

2. Change to excimer laser

Flap Opened

3. Flap opened

Point-by-Point Ablation of the Corneal Tissue using an Excimer Laser

4. Point-by-point ablation of the corneal tissue using an excimer laser

Flap is Repositioned (adheres subsequently in the original place), Refractive Error is Corrected

5. Flap is repositioned. Refractive error is corrected

Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) Procedure Steps


1. Cool fluid is applied to the cornea


2. Surface layer of corneal tissue is removed

Removal of the Lenticule

3. Preparing to remove the very outer layer of corneal cells


4. Point-by-point ablation of the corneal tissue using an excimer laser


5. Bandage contact lens protects the eye and aids in healing and comfort

Comparing Your Laser Vision Correction Options

Flap Procedure No
(4mm Micro Incision)
Yes No
(Cornea Skin Removed)
Up to 1000
Up to 1500 Up to 500
Up to 500 Up to 500 Up to 300
Cornea Thickness Thick Thick Thin
Post-Surgery Discomfort X X XXX
Post-Surgery Temporary Side Effects
(Eg. Dry Eyes)
Price $5,659 from $3,198 from $3,626

Our Technology

At LSC Eye Clinic, our eye surgeons perform ReLEx® SMILE using the high-precision ZEISS VisuMax® device. This advanced laser system employs high-performance femtosecond laser technology and is characterized by its precision, high speed and gentle treatment technique. With this technology, ReLEx® SMILE becomes a minimally-invasive, single-step, all-in-one laser procedure without any ablation or flap creation.


Take your first step towards better vision

  • Make an appointment for a consultation and eye assessment with us to find out if you are a suitable candidate for ReLEx® SMILE.
  • The comprehensive eye tests with our team of experienced optometrists will take about 2 to 3 hours.
  • Some of the tests to be carried out include the measurement of your eye degree, eye pressure, corneal curvature, corneal thickness, dilation of your eyes and to also look out for any other eye abnormalities.
  • Our eye specialist in Singapore will discuss your suitability for ReLEx® SMILE as well as the risks and benefits based on your eye assessment results.

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    If you are eligible, you may choose to have your surgery done on the same day, subjected to the availability of your eye surgeon. Our clinic is also open for a full day on Saturdays should you wish to schedule your surgery then.


    Eye Assessment For patients aged 18-49 $27
    For patients aged 50 & above
    (The eye test aims to detect age-related eye conditions before assessing your suitability for refractive surgery)
    ReLEx® SMILE $5,659*

    *Treatment includes:

    • Surgery for two eyes
    • 3 post-op reviews (LASIK/ReLEx® SMILE) / 4 post-op reviews (Advanced Surface Ablation)

    Medication of $97 is not included.

    Other Laser Vision Correction Procedures

    Specialist Caring For You

    Dr Marc Tay

    Dr Marc Tay
    Senior Consultant
    MBBS (Singapore), FRCS (Glasgow),
    FRCOphth (United Kingdom), FAMS (Ophthalmology)

    Subspecialty: Refractive Surgery, Corneal Collagen Crosslinking, Cataract & Comprehensive Ophthalmology