Dr. Christopher Shelby Performs First ReLEx SMILE Procedure on Local Patient

Apr 18, 2017

Willis-Knighton Eye Surgery Center Offers Latest Laser Vision Correction Technology

Christopher ShelbyThe first minimally invasive laser vision correction surgery using ReLEx® SMILE was performed Thursday, April 13, by Christopher L. Shelby, MD, at the WK Refractive Surgery Center located in the Willis-Knighton Eye Institute. This procedure is a proven procedure for treatment of nearsightedness (myopia). While more than 600,000 SMILE procedures have been performed worldwide, the technology has only recently been approved for the United States. The FDA approval indications for use are for people 22 or older whose prescription has remained stable for one year and whose prescription correction is listed between -1.00 D to -8.00 D. 

Abby Benzinger, recruiting, transition, and retention coordinator for Bossier Parish Community College was the first patient to undergo the procedure. 

“I was actually able to wake up (the next morning) and see significantly more clearly than I have since probably 25 years, which is really exciting,” Benzinger said, indicating that the procedure was easy and painless. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.” 

ReLEx SMILE is the first minimally invasive laser vision correction procedure available anywhere in the world. This procedure developed by ZEISS utilizes the VisuMax® femtosecond laser to create a thin, disc-shaped lenticule (disc of corneal material), which is extracted through a small incision on the surface of the cornea. This adjusts the curvature of the eye, correcting the vision. The VisuMax femtosecond laser, acquired by Willis-Knighton earlier this year, is the only laser that can currently perform the ReLEx SMILE procedure, and Dr. Shelby and Wyche T. Coleman, III, MD, are the only eye surgeons in our area who are trained to use this technology.

“This is an exciting development that advances laser vision correction,” said Dr. Shelby. “The procedure is fast and patients have reported little discomfort. Dr. Coleman and I are pleased to offer this advancement here at Willis-Knighton, where we are always seeking the most advanced vision correction available for our patients.”

To learn more about ReLEx® SMILE please click here.