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Press Release

St. Luke’s is the first hospital in the Philippines to offer latest laser vision correction procedure

St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) is the first hospital in the country to offer the SMILE laser vision correction procedure.

SLMC Eye Surgeons (L-R standing) Drs. Jessica Marie Abano, Winston Valentine Villar, Maria Christina Manas, (seated) Ruben Lim Bon Siong, and (2nd from right) Irwin Cua with (3rd from right) St. Luke's - GC Eye Institute Head Dr. Noel Chua and (1st from right) Carl Zeiss SE Asia Application Specialist Ralph Rafa.

The Eye Institute-Vision Laser Service (EI-VLS) of St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City (SLMC-GC) now offers in its portfolio of services cutting-edge vision correction surgery. The Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) is the latest generation premium refractive surgery procedure for patients with myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. Being ahead of the curve in modern medical technology and treatment, St. Luke’s acquires the country’s first VisuMax and Refractive Lenticule Extraction (ReLEx)-SMILE system.

Unlike laser vision correction treatments such as Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) where a corneal flap is created, the SMILE procedure is performed using the Carl Zeiss VisuMax® femtosecond system without creating a corneal flap.

"The VisuMax® femtosecond laser machine makes highly precise and ultra-fine cuts at different levels of the cornea creating a lenticule, which corresponds to the amount of myopia and astigmatism you intend to correct," explains Dr. Ruben Lim Bon Siong, VLS head in SLMC-GC. "This piece of lenticule is separated from the overlying and underlying tissue layer of the cornea using a blunt dissector and is eventually extracted through a 4 millimeter laser-created smile-shaped incision at the side of the cornea."

Because SMILE is a flapless procedure, corneal flap-related complications—wrinkling, button holes, displacement, dislocation and dislodging—are eliminated and dry eye symptoms are reduced. Moreover, the structural integrity of the cornea is maintained and prevents it from weakening.

SMILE is performed on an outpatient basis, and the procedure for both eyes takes approximately 15 minutes or less. Delayed visual recovery and discomfort are issues associated with Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). In SMILE, however, visual recovery is fast and pain-free according to Dr. Lim Bon Siong. A comprehensive assessment and pre-op eye examination is mandatory to determine if a patient is qualified to undergo refractive laser surgery.

Also, a team of refractive eye surgeons from the EI-VLS at St. Luke’s Medical Center - Global City and Quezon City successfully performed the first Small Incision Lenticule Extraction or SMILE procedure on 38 eyes of 19 patients since February. The core group of doctors are Dr. Lim Bon Siong; Dr. Winston Valentine L. Villar, VLS head in St. Luke’s Medical Center-Quezon City; Dr. Jessica Marie R. Abano; Dr. Irwin Y. Cua; and Dr. Maria Christina T. Manas.

For more information, please call the St. Luke’s Vision Laser Service at (632) 789-7700 ext. 2020 (Global City) and (632) 723-0101/0301 ext. 4142 (Quezon City).

To know the latest news, events, promos and medical treatments, visit www.stlukesmedicalcenter.com.ph and like us on www.facebook.com/StLukesMedicalCenterOfficial.

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