First US Navy personnel undergo ReLEx SMILE procedure

The first small incision lenticule extraction procedures have been performed on U.S. Navy personnel in California, according to a Zeiss press release.

ReLEx SMILE, a minimally invasive laser eye surgery, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of myopia, and U.S. Department of Defense refractive surgeons are now able to offer it to service members.

Cmdr. John B. Cason, MD, performed the procedures at the Navy Refractive Surgery Center in San Diego, which was the first military medical center to adopt PRK and LASIK vision correction. Cason will also be part of the Tri-Service study, which will examine SMILE in patients who work “in extreme environments and dynamic roles unique to service members and first responders,” the release said.

“The collaboration between the DoD and Zeiss marks a new milestone for SMILE, the latest advancement in laser vision correction. Overcoming dependence on eyeglasses or contacts can enhance quality of life, but it is also critical to the safety and performance of active duty personnel,” Jim Mazzo, global president ophthalmic devices at Zeiss, said in the release.