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Until now, removing both distance and reading glasses at an older age with the ReLEx Smile laser surgery was impossible. Last week, the Gemini Eye Clinic team in Zlín succeeded in a unique operation. It was the first ReLEx Smile surgery to eliminate presbyopia worldwide. Czech ophthalmology thus once again contributed to the progress of eye medicine.

Presbyopia is one of the most common vision defects. It often manifests between the ages of 40 and 45 with impaired close focus. The lens becomes less flexible with age and loses its ability to accommodate. Until now, the only solution was the replacement of intraocular lenses or the implantation of the microlens. Last week, the surgeons of the Gemini Eye Clinic in Zlín, together with their chief surgeon Pavel Stodůlka, operated on the first patient with presbyopia using a new laser method. Czech ophthalmology can thus be credited with another world first.

The Zeiss company are the developer of the ReLEx Smile operation. In 2014, the first myopic patient was operated on using this method at the Zlín Gemini Eye Clinic. Since 2017, the ophthalmologists here are the only ones in the Czech Republic to operate on farsightedness with a laser by a German manufacturer. In December 2022, the first presbyopia surgery using the ReLEx Smile method was part of a medical study. This type of laser eye surgery is one of the most gentle. “Until now, with the ReLEx Smile laser surgery, it was impossible to remove the need for both distance and reading glasses at an older age. The only solution was the implantation of intraocular lenses or microlenses, but that has now changed. Last week, the Gemini Eye Clinic team and I performed the world’s first ReLEx Smile presbyopia surgery, developed by Zeiss. The laser only makes a small incision in the cornea, which is significantly smaller than other methods. This brings several advantages, such as minimal mechanical disruption of the cornea and a reduced risk of dry eye syndrome. The risk of infection is also very low,” explained Pavel Stodůlka.

The first patient is a 46-year-old doctor from Brno. On the first day after the operation, the patient could already see his mobile phone, watch, and even read the smallest letters without his glasses. He will no longer need glasses for reading and middle distance.


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