ReLEx smile European reference centre for laser eye surgery

06 February 2018

Medifocus was asked to become the ReLEx smile expertise centre in Europe, which means that we, in collaboration with Carl Zeiss Meditec, will play an important role in the further development of laser eye surgery technology. There are only ten such reference centres in the world, and we are especially proud that our work in recent years has led to this recognition.

For over 30 years now, people have enjoyed sharp eyesight once again without glasses, thanks to laser eye surgery. This occurs because non-conformities in the eye are corrected with an extremely accurate intervention. There is no treatment in medicine that is as precise and successful as laser eye surgery. Around 2012, it was widely believed that the existing laser techniques (such as LASIK) had attained an unsurpassable technological level.

Pathbreaking technology

ReLEx smile was developed to go beyond the limits as they existed in 2012. ReLEx smile immediately appeared to be a new technology that made innovative optimisations on multiple points. Shortly after its introduction, Medifocus became one of the first in Europe to practice this form of eye surgery. So we were there at the start of this cutting-edge technology’s development.   

“We quickly understood that ReLEx smile is less invasive and therefore also safer”, says Dr Van Cleynenbreugel, an ophthalmologist at Medifocus. “Moreover, it enables us to offer better treatment to patients with dry eyes. ReLEx smile´s technology is much more accurate than the older working method.”

The number of ReLEx smile treatments performed is growing exponentially. Over one million treatments have already been performed worldwide, and the centres that are currently applying ReLEx smile are increasingly abandoning the older techniques. This is also the case at Medifocus. In the meantime, we can easily treat 90% of our patients with ReLEx smile.


It is expected that more and more surgeons will switch over to this innovative technology, and Medifocus will play a central role in this development in Europe, since we wish to disseminate the expertise we have built up as widely as possible. We will be organising training days that surgeons from different European countries can attend to learn how we apply ReLEx smile. Dr Van Cleynenbreugel: “Over the course of two days, eye surgeons are immersed in the theory of laser eye surgery. Moreover, they will also get a look at our internal operations. That is at least as important as discussing statistics.”

Right from the start we worked together very closely with Carl Zeiss Meditec. We are therefore honoured for this opportunity to play an even bigger role in the global development of this cutting-edge technology. “That´s how you achieve progress more quickly in medicine”, says Dr Van Cleynenbreugel. “A few surgeons lead the way in the initial phase of such developments: they’re called the “early adopters”.  They do trailblazing work, as it were. Then follows a second generation, and they are the people that we now want to train as well as possible.”

  • medifocus