Relex smile, a truly minimally invasive technique
Each patient has a completely subjective perception of the outcome of the surgical treatment undergone. Your pre-surgery expectations, the view of our professionals and the operation itself, its progression and recovery after surgery create this picture…
With this post, we aim at summarise the experiences of one of our patients who said goodbye forever to glasses with the help of RELEX smile, a technique performed at the premises of Hospital Ochoa in Marbella.
Even if you don’t know in detail the characteristics of this laser surgery for refractive correction, you will get a clear and precise idea through our patient of its nature and advantages. His name is Javier Villalba Cruz, married, 31 years old and an avowed sports lover. He is an economist from Marbella, he works as an accountant consultant for a company based in Equatorial Guinea.
Myopia has been with him throughout his life.
How long have you had myopia and what did it entail for your daily habits?
From early age, they detected it at school when I was about 10 or 12. It’s not a major issue for my daily life as from 16 I used to wear contact lenses. The truth is that I did not care to use them, neither was I uncomfortable.
However, everything started to change 3 or 4 years ago. My eyes could not bear them and became sore. Therefore, I had to reduce their use. For a person like me who likes sports and being active after work, it is almost impossible to do anything with glasses and 7 diopters. So I decided to have surgery.
Did this condition make you feel limited in any specific aspect?
While I could use contact lenses without problems, I was ok. Once I had to start wearing glasses most of the day, I felt limited for almost everything. I guess a person with a pair of diopters could bear this situation, but someone like me with 7 … changing from glasses to lenses was brutal, and to practice any activity almost impossible.
Glasses or contact lenses were slavery to me. Obviously, after surgery I felt so much more relaxed and I’m really thankful for the result. It’s very comfortable not to need glasses or contacts any longer, especially on trips or transfers, being released from the usual “Did I take the liquid, glasses, with me? and so on…”.
How and when did you decide to have the surgery to remove this refractive problem?
When my eyes finally rejected the contacts, I looked for a solution and found out that RELEX smile actually was a minimally invasive technique.
Was it hard for you to opt for surgery? Were you afraid to enter an operating room?
In my case, I was rather “afraid” of not being fully satisfied if I did not recover 100% of vision or if the issue reappeared after a while. However, the fact of being treated with Femtolasik if this happened gave me peace of mind.
I was never scared of going into an operating room and this particular surgery does not hurt plus is very quick, one 1 minute per eye. Moreover, I would say that preoperative preparations performed by nurses takes longer than the surgery.
Why did you choose Clinica Ochoa for your intervention?
Because I had exclusivity with ReLEx smile in my area, Marbella. Also, I have always trusted this medical center.
Why did you choose and how did you hear about ReLEx smile?
I noticed the clinic’s outdoor advertising around Marbella about this technique. So, I looked for more information. I started to gather opinions from different ophthalmologists, to see what clinics performed this kind of surgery, pros and cons, I also visited forums to find out about the experiences of other patients … etc.
Actually, I had not heard of it before. In fact, I didn’t have the operation before because being an extension of the usual techniques I had to think about it. I enquired about it and found that many patients already had this surgery without incident and that there was a long waiting list, at least for the pre-operative tests.
As I said, my main concern was that being a novel technique, there were no records of results from long-term patients to see if with time it was as reliable as the other options.
Was there a final factor in this technique that made you chose it?
Yes. Because my eyes were getting quite sore, for me the final factor has been the minimal incision (2 mm) versus the total cut of the traditional flap or scraping used in other techniques. In fact, discomfort following surgery has been minimal.
Did you perform your own research about ReLEx? What were your conclusions?
Yes, I did because in a clinic that provides this kind of service, they will usually be very open to explain all the pros and cons. My conclusion was that my eyes were specifically suited for this type of minimally invasive surgery and that it caused less eye dryness afterwards.
Were you familiar with LASIK, FEMTO-LASIK, LASEK and PRK? Why did you not chose any of these techniques?
Yes, I knew the different techniques. I did not choose them because I considered that recovery would be slower and complications could occur more easily. At least this was my impression after seeking information and opinions.
Which were the diagnostic tests before the intervention?
I cannot quote the technical name because I don’t know it, but they were the typical tests performed in an eye examination (measurement of diopters, eye strain and fundus or expansion). There were other more specific such as measuring the extent of my cornea, etc. In total about 20 to 30 minutes of tests.
Do you remember how was your surgery and what did you feel during the intervention?
Yes, I do. Five minutes before the operation, Dr. Cabrerizo explained to me how the surgery would be performed. I must say that the operation was as he described.
Nurses prepare the eye so it does not close and dry it out by applying a few drops, and other anesthetics. The laser equipment approaches the eye, a countdown of 20 seconds begins in which vision is lost (as the doctor told me). Then, the doctor intervenes to remove the cut lenticule.
I think the whole process took under a minute for the right eye and slightly over for the left one. There was no pain at ll. I just noticed “some” movement when the doctor intervened. I walked out of the operating room by myself.
Dr. Cabrerizo gave me the impression from the first beginning of everything being perfectly under control. As I said, the operation went exactly as he told me, so I ended up quite happy with him.
What is your assessment of the professionalism of the specialist who operated on you and of the facilities of CLINICA OCHOA?
Very good care at all times and with the doctor all fantastic.
How was the recovery process and how do you feel at present regarding the condition you treated with ReLEx smile?
When I got up, I was surprised to see “pretty” well and to have no discomfort. The day after the operation I got up without any discomfort in the eyes (looking at my mobile was slightly uncomfortable for example). Despite that, I had the impression of being able to see perfectly.
In consultation with the ophthalmologist that afternoon, we confirmed that I could see 100% and that the incision had almost healed. However, the following days I noticed some dryness especially when I woke up.
What is your final conclusion regarding the experience with the technique and with CLINICA OCHOA?
I would recommend this type of myopia surgery to anyone without a doubt. It is quick, painless and with very bearable postoperative and an almost immediate recovery.
My final assessment is that due to the conditions of my eye (soreness, etc.), I think ReLEx smile is the ideal technique. I don’t know if it would be convenient to someone with a more tolerant eye to choose another technique based on other criteria such as price.
In my case I tried to have my health prevail. This is why I chose this technique. My experience with Clinica Ochoa has been positive. I have no negative comments in this regard. Moreover, I had been told that Dr. Cabrerizo was the “flagship” of Clinica Ochoa. A guarantee in the department of ophthalmology. Quite honestly, I think they were right, he is indeed a humble man, he instils calmness and peace, and he is in full control of the situation.