How long will ReLEx SMILE results last?

One of the most important things that we do when we treat patients, is to make sure that their prescription is stable. Because when patients ask how long is my laser eye surgery going to work, the effect of the laser surgery on the eye is permanent.

Why we only perform SMILE on people with a stable prescription.

If the vision changes, it’s because the prescription of the eye is progressive and changing. So, for example, this is why we don’t treat young people in their teens, because it’s in the teens when short-sighted people become progressively more short-sighted, and their prescription is changing year on year.

So, the most important thing is that we don’t treat people who are young, under the age of 20 or 21 who have a changing prescription.

If we treat people who have a stable prescription, the effects of a SMILE procedure, which is always performed on short-sighted people, who may or may not have astigmatism, the effects of surgery will be permanent.

What will happen eventually, as people reach middle age, is that they may then need reading glasses. And as middle age progresses, the need for reading glasses may improve.

But of course, if you’ve had SMILE, it doesn’t preclude you from having a further procedure in middle age to address the reading glasses issue.

So, in short, ReLEx SMILE is permanent, the effect of surgery is permanent, but the eyes will change as we become older, and reading glasses may be required.

About the Author

Mr Robert Morris

BSc(Hons), MB BS (Hons), MRCP, FRCS, FRCOphth
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Robert Morris trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital part of the University of London. He graduated with Honours in his final examinations. Robert completed his post-graduate ophthalmic training at the renowned units in Oxford Eye Hospital and London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. Within the NHS, he has had a high volume cataract surgery practice and performed over 12,000 cataract procedures. He has an interest in squint surgery and is a national expert in this field. In addition to his NHS work, Robert manages a successful independent private practice. He continualy updates his training to keep abreast with the latest technology and techniques in refractive surgery.