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Relex Smile in Turkey

ReLEx SMILE is an advanced, state-of-the-art refractive eye surgery used to correct myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. ReLEx SMILE is a refractive method using a laser. ReLEx SMILE is a minimally invasive surgery, which means that a very small incision is made.

This minimally invasive surgery is performed using a femtosecond laser to create a lenticule, a small piece of tissue on the cornea of the eye. This created lenticule is removed and the cornea is reshaped, eliminating the visual impairment in the eye. ReLEx SMILE is a procedure that allows individuals with myopia and astigmatism to see comfortably and well without wearing glasses.

ReLEx SMILE surgery has been available internationally since 2011 and according to sources on the internet, up to 5 million ReLEx SMILE surgeries have been performed to date (American Council of Refractive Surgery, National Library of Medicine, Stanford Medicine).

ReLEx SMILE surgery is very successful in Turkey, with a success rate of 96% to 99%. The cost of ReLEx SMILE surgery in Turkey is relatively lower compared to the prices in the USA, UK, and Europe, making it an attractive option for many patients.

ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a modern and minimally invasive form of refractive eye surgery designed to correct vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. This procedure uses a femtosecond laser to create a small, precise incision in the cornea, forming a lenticule (a small, lens-shaped piece of tissue) within the cornea. The surgeon then removes this lenticule through the incision, altering the cornea’s shape and effectively correcting the refractive error. ReLEx SMILE is known for its precision, quick recovery times, and reduced discomfort compared to some other types of laser eye surgeries.

Relex Smile Surgery in Turkey: A Comprehensive Guide to Laser Vision Correction


In recent years, advancements in laser eye surgery have revolutionized the field of vision correction. Relex Smile, also known as Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, is a cutting-edge procedure that offers a minimally invasive alternative to traditional methods like LASIK. This article serves as a comprehensive guide to Relex Smile surgery in Turkey, exploring its benefits, cost, procedure, and comparing it with LASIK.

Understanding Laser Vision Correction

Laser eye surgery, including refractive surgery and Relex Smile, has become increasingly popular as a safe and effective solution for various vision problems. These procedures aim to correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism, offering patients improved visual acuity and reduced dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

Relex Smile: The Minimally Invasive Solution

Relex Smile is an advanced laser eye surgery technique that involves creating a small incision within the cornea using femtosecond laser technology. Unlike LASIK, Relex Smile does not require the creation of a corneal flap, making it a less invasive option. The surgeon removes a lenticule, a tiny piece of tissue, to reshape the cornea and correct the refractive error. This innovative approach offers several advantages, including faster recovery times, reduced risk of dry eyes, and increased corneal stability.

Choosing Turkey for Relex Smile Surgery

Turkey has emerged as a leading destination for medical tourism, particularly for vision correction procedures. The country boasts state-of-the-art facilities, experienced ophthalmologists, and competitive pricing. Relex Smile surgery in Turkey combines affordability with high-quality healthcare, attracting patients from around the world who seek reliable and cost-effective solutions for their vision needs.

Procedure and Cost Considerations

Relex Smile surgery in Turkey typically begins with a comprehensive eye examination to assess the patient’s eligibility for the procedure. The surgery itself is performed under local anesthesia and usually takes around 15-20 minutes per eye. The cost of Relex Smile surgery in Turkey can vary depending on factors such as the clinic, surgeon’s expertise, and additional services provided.

While specific pricing details may vary, the average cost of Relex Smile surgery in Turkey ranges from $1,000 to $2,500 per eye. This cost generally covers the surgical procedure, pre-operative assessments, post-operative care, and follow-up visits. It is important to note that accommodation, transportation, and other incidental expenses should also be considered when planning for the surgery.

Relex Smile vs. LASIK

Both Relex Smile and LASIK offer effective solutions for vision correction. However, there are some differences to consider. While LASIK involves creating a corneal flap, Relex Smile follows a minimally invasive approach without the need for a flap. This makes Relex Smile potentially suitable for patients with thinner corneas or those involved in contact sports. Additionally, Relex Smile has the advantage of faster recovery and reduced risk of dry eyes.


Relex Smile surgery in Turkey provides individuals with an advanced and cost-effective solution for their vision correction needs. With its minimally invasive nature, high success rates, and shorter recovery times, Relex Smile is gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional LASIK surgery. By choosing Turkey as a destination, patients can access top-notch healthcare facilities, experienced surgeons, and competitive pricing. Before proceeding with the surgery, it is essential to consult with a qualified ophthalmologist and consider all aspects, including cost, procedure details, and post-operative care.

ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) and LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) are refractive eye surgery procedures to correct vision problems such as myopia and astigmatism. Both procedures are highly successful and have different approaches. ReLEx SMILE is a newer method and is a technology with a much faster healing process than LASIK.

In LASIK, the doctor creates a thin flap on the front surface of the eye, which is opened and the laser corrects the tissues inside the eye. The flap is then closed in place.

In ReLEx SMILE, no flap is created inside the eye. With just a microscopic incision, the laser removes a piece of tissue inside the eye.

In other words, in LASIK the lid is opened and closed, in ReLEx SMILE no lid is created, only a small incision is made. ReLEx SMILE is therefore considered less invasive.

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How does ReLEx SMILE work?

Step-by-Step Guide:

Before eye treatment, your doctor will perform a thorough examination of your eyes to determine your refractive error.

Using a femtosecond laser, a small piece of tissue called a “lenticule” is created, located exactly in the center of the cornea.

The doctor makes a very small incision in your eye to access the lenticule.

With the help of a laser, the lenticule created through the incision is removed. This step corrects your refractive error by changing the shape of your cornea.

Fast Recovery 

ReLEx SMILE does not use a corneal flap as in LASIK, leading to faster recovery times.

Who is suitable for ReLEx SMILE?

Several factors are considered for ReLEx SMILE surgery, including the individual’s eye health, medical history and lifestyle:

  1. Candidates must have a stable prescription for at least one year before surgery.
  2. This treatment is generally recommended for individuals who are at least 22 years old. This is because younger individuals may still experience changes in their vision.
  1. Myopia values should be below -10.00 degrees and astigmatism values should be below -5.00 degrees.
  2. People without conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts or corneal diseases.
  3. Non-pregnant and non-breastfeeding candidates for women.
  4. The candidate must have the appropriate corneal thickness.
  5. Individuals with certain autoimmune diseases may not be suitable candidates.
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eye laser treatment costs in turkey

How much does ReLEx SMILE cost?

ReLEx SMILE surgery is a newly emerging eye laser surgery technique and the equipment used for the surgery is high in terms of hardware.

This makes it a little more expensive than other eye laser surgeries. If you are asking how much ReLEx SMILE surgery costs in Turkey, the answer varies between $1,250 – $2,750.

Compared to European prices, the cost of ReLEx SMILE surgery in Turkey is 3 or 4 times cheaper. Ophthalmologists in Turkey are well-trained and specialized. Therefore, there is no need to worry about having ReLEx SMILE surgery in Turkey.

Turkey offers many perks and benefits to foreigners coming for medical treatments. Here are the top reasons why Turkey is a good catch for dental treatments and other medical treatments:

Turkey stands out in attracting thousands of foreigners for eye treatments. The eye surgeons in the field are certified by the board and highly experienced. They undergo rigorous evaluations through numerous assessment tests before joining the industry. Among the well-known hospitals for eye treatments in Turkey are Dunya Goz, Avicenna Hospital, Memorial Hospital, Medical Park Hospital, Liv Hospital, and others.

One of the advantages of coming to Turkey for medical treatment is that you don’t have to deal with long visa queues. Most foreigners, especially Europeans, can enter Turkey visa-free with just a valid ID card. This saves you a lot of time and allows you to plan your travel with less hassle.

The Ministry of Health announced the VAT exemption for foreigners visiting Turkey for medical treatment in 2018. This is a government incentive to boost medical tourism in Turkey and provide convenience to foreign patients. Therefore, if you are a foreigner coming to Turkey for medical treatment, medical services are exempt from VAT. The total profit generated by the medical tourism sector so far this year is $1,033,942.

A notable advantage of opting for Turkey is the swift appointment process, sparing you the ordeal of waiting for months or even years. Despite catering to hundreds and thousands of patients each season, every individual receives consistent attention and care. The appointment procedures are streamlined, ensuring a prompt and hassle-free experience.

Istanbul, Turkey’s bustling metropolis, serves as a major transit hub with a multitude of daily flights. Securing flight connections to virtually any global destination from Istanbul is remarkably convenient. Additionally, most flights from European countries to Istanbul boast a mere 3-hour duration. Consequently, international visitors can enjoy the seamless accessibility of traveling to Turkey.

A paramount advantage of selecting Turkey for medical treatments lies in its cost-efficiency. Medical procedures in Turkey are priced at approximately 70% to 80% lower than those in other countries like the US or the UK. Furthermore, those interested can explore comprehensive medical tourism packages covering everything from flights to treatment and accommodation, enhancing the overall affordability.

Relex Smile in Istanbul

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How to visit Turkey for ReLEx SMILE Surgery?

If you are considering Turkey for ReLEx SMILE surgery, here is the process of booking an appointment for your treatment. The process is as follows:

Step 1: Get in touch with our representative and share your details

The first primary step to start the process is reaching out to us and sharing your information.

One of our team members will take down your details including your contact details and medical history.

Here are the tests our representative will ask you to share with them via WhatsApp or email:

  1. Eye Examination and Consultation
  2. Medical History Review (if needed)
  3. Discussion of Expectations

Step 2: Travelling to Turkey and Hospitalization

Once our doctors are satisfied with your test results, we will help you sort out your flight to Turkey and your itinerary.

It doesn’t matter which airport you land at we will be there to pick you up and take you to the hotel.

We will arrange your hotel transfers as well to make sure you are sorted throughout your trip.

Step 3: Pre-surgery Check-up

Once you arrive at the hotel, our doctors will welcome you and prepare you for certain tests.

Although we have asked you for certain tests before, our doctors run another set of tests to be safe.

The following tests will be performed before the surgery:

  1. Refraction measurement
  2. Corneal thickness measurement
  3. Retinal examination
  4. Pupil Testing
  5. Blood sugar test (if needed)

Step 4: Surgery

If the doctors are satisfied with your test results, they prepare you for the surgery.

On the day of the surgery, you are transferred to the hospital and welcomed by the staff at the hospital.

Step 5: Recovery

After the surgery, you may have to stay in the hospital for a short while for doctors to monitor your condition.

This is just a preventative step to make sure you are recovering fine.

You may have to revisit after a few days for a follow-up appointment with the doctor.

Once your doctor gives the go-ahead, we will transfer you to your designated hotel.

The hotel provides a wide range of amenities and luxuries to make sure you are comfortable throughout your stay.

What services does our package include?

Here is a complete list of services our treatment package includes:

  1. Preliminary Tests
  2. Initial Examination
  3. ReLEx SMILE Surgery Procedure
  4. Post-procedure clinic stay (if needed)
  5. VIP hotel and hospital transfers
  6. 2-3 days hotel accommodation

How long does the recovery process take after the Smile laser?

The recovery process after SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) laser eye surgery is usually faster compared to some other procedures such as LASIK.

However, the exact time may vary from person to person. You may wonder what happens after the ReLEx SMILE procedure. Immediately after the procedure, you may experience some discomfort, tearing and light sensitivity.

You are advised to rest for a few hours and your vision may be slightly blurred. The patient can return to normal life the day after SMILE surgery. In this process, you can have a very comfortable recovery period if you follow your doctor’s recommendations.

What should I do after SMILE surgery?

After ReLEx SMILE surgery, you can follow these instructions if you want to recover quickly and smoothly:

  1. Do not rub your operated eye or squeeze your eyelids hard immediately after surgery.
  2. It is recommended that you go directly to your accommodation to rest immediately after surgery, it is best to rest and keep your eyes covered for the first few hours.
  3. For 1 day, do not apply makeup or cream to your eyes.
  4. For 1 week, avoid swimming, hot water or activities that may irritate your eyes.
  5. If you are a sports person, it will be useful to wear protective glasses for 1 week.
  6. Avoid smoky or dusty rooms or areas with chemical vapors for two weeks after ReLEx SMILE surgery.
  7. Follow the eye drop medication instructions given by your doctor.
  8. You can return to your routine work the day after surgery, but be sensitive to your eye.

Who is not suitable for this surgery?

People with autoimmune, uncontrolled diabetes, unstable eye number, thin cornea, severe dry eye, glaucoma, cataract, slow healing and collagen vascular disorders are not suitable for SMILE surgery.

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FAQs Relex Smile

ReLEx SMILE surgery is typically considered to be a minimally painful procedure. Most patients report minimal discomfort or pain during and after the surgery.

Yes, ReLEx SMILE is a safe and effective laser eye surgery procedure for the correction of myopia and astigmatism. It also has a very fast recovery process, with 75% of patients reporting improved vision one day after surgery.

Yes, SMILE surgery can usually be performed for both eyes in the same session. Treating both eyes in the same session speeds up the healing process of patients.

The result of ReLEx SMILE surgery is largely permanent and satisfaction rates are high. Therefore, a second ReLEx SMILE surgery has been observed very rarely. Special conditions are required for a second procedure and can be evaluated according to each person’s situation.

It is expected that the eyes will be sensitive for the first day after surgery and this is normal. You may feel slight discomfort when looking at light and screens such as television and telephone. However, there is a rapid healing process after surgery and you can look at the screen as soon as you feel well.

Yes, ReLEx SMILE is an effective surgery to treat astigmatism. The procedure is approved by the FDA for the treatment of myopic astigmatism up to 3.00 diopters (D).

While ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is considered a safe and effective procedure for many individuals, like any surgery, it carries certain risks. It’s crucial to be aware of potential complications. Here are some of the risks associated with ReLEx SMILE:

  • Dry eyes
  • Temporary visual disturbances
  • Infection
  • Temporary night vision issues
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