LipiFlow

Lipiflow®

side view of an eye with blocked meibomian glands shown inside the semi transparent eyelids
photo of blocked meibomian glands on an eyelid

Lipiflow thermal pulsation is truly an advanced treatment option for MGD/evaporative dry eye patients and can effectively and safely treat meibomian gland obstruction in both upper and lower eyelids simultaneously as an in-office procedure, taking only 12 minutes total for both eyes. The Lipiflow® device is intended to compress and heat the eyelids in order to help improve meibomian gland function. Lipiflow treats the root cause of meibomian gland dysfunction, but current data supports that a repeat treatment will be needed at least annually to maintain the initial treatment effect. All of the management options listed above can be used in different combinations and at different times at Dr. Jackson’s discretion to reduce or eliminate the problems associated with chronic blepharitis/ meibomian gland dysfunction.

 

What is the Lipiflow Procedure?

The Lipiflow procedure is a curative procedure where a device that produces heat and mild lid pressure is applied to the patient’s eyelids (most patients state it feels like an eyelid massage), so that the blocked lipids will flow back normally into the tear film. Patients who need to undergo this treatment will first have their eyes screened by a formal eyelid examination and lipiview tear film analysis to verify any blocked glands which are often associated with this specific dry eye problem and if diagnosed, the most appropriate eye treatment prescribed is Lipiflow.

Woman narrator:

The burning question for millions… Is it a dry eye or MGD? Have you ever been told you have dry eye with symptoms like tired, red, burning, scratchy or watery eyes? Here’s a fact. Roughly 90% of all those who have been diagnosed with dry eye have a condition called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Most refer to it as mgd and it’s treatable.

What is MGD? Let’s take a look. Your eyes produce tears from glands called lacrimal glands. This is the watery layer on our eyes. Your eyes also produce essential oils from the meibomian glands, located in the eyelids. The oil protects the watery layer in our eyes. If there is a lack of oil, the watery layer evaporates and your eyes are left unprotected. Simply put, your tear production may be healthy but blocked meibomian glands lead to a lack of oil production causing the tears to evaporate. If left untreated, these blocked glands can begin to shrink and can eventually deteriorate making the damage irreparable. This is why addressing MGD sooner rather than later is your best option.

Good news! Through groundbreaking innovations in eye care MGD can be treated with LipiFlow. LipiFlow is a proven, in office FDA-cleared treatment that unblocks the meibomian glands and restores natural oil production in your eyes. During treatment you’ll feel therapeutic heat and gentle massaging with little to no discomfort. Now millions diagnosed with dry eye can get back to enjoying everyday activities. Finally an answer. A real solution and real relief. Ask your eye care professional – Is it a dry eye or MGD? Ask if you’re a candidate for LipiFlow. Ask us about LipiFlow and MGD today.

Cross section of an eye with lipiflow procedure being performed.Cross section of an eye during LipiFlow procedure

  • Eyelid
  • Eyelid gland (meibomian gland)
  • Heat. Liquifies contents in eyelid glands.
  • Pressure. Removes blockage from eyelid glands.

 

The LipiFlow system uses heat and a 12-minute pressure profile to remove blockages in the meibomian glands by heating the glands from the inside. Blockages are liquefied, gentle pressure is applied from outside the lid from the base of the gland to the gland opening, removing blockage and flushing dead cells from the gland. The LipiFlow activator insulates on its inner surface and vaults the cornea to protect it from heat. Therapeutic heat of 42.5 degrees is accurately controlled and directed outward away from the cornea to the lids. The device never lets the cornea exceed a safe thirty nine point five degrees unlike chemical heat packs that have been shown to overheat. Also unlike manual lid massage LipiFlow safely applies pressure to the lids not to the cornea or the globe.

What to expect during a Lipiflow treatment?

Woman taking LipiFlow procedure with computer screen in the background

  • Patient will be asked to either sit comfortably on a reclined chair or lie down.
  • 1 to 2 drops of mild anesthetic are put into the affected eye(s). Both eyes are treated simultaneously.
  • Lipiflow disposable eyepiece with lid warmer is put under your eyelids and there is a built-in eye shield to protect the eyeball while the treatment is occurring.
  • Patient will be requested to close his/her eyes around the eyelid device.
  • The device will be then activated where the patient will feel minor eyelid pressure and a warming temperature on the eyelids.
  • The eyelid pressure will have varied modes which may include slow increasing pressure and pulsation for several stages for the full 12 minute treatment is completed to assure the removal of the blockages from the glands.

Man narrator: The heat is applied in very close proximity to the glands for the entire canal for a few minutes. It will not get too hot and the eyeball itself only increases by 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit. So the eye itself is not getting that heat the back of the lid is. Activators in close proximity to the gland and in various stages of the procedure will be various amounts of pressure and pulsation. It doesn’t get too hot and the pulsation doesn’t get uncomfortable.

Woman patient: It feels great! I mean my eyes… The lids are moving smoothly. Whereas before they felt kind of like, not totally sandpaper, but pretty tough to open and close. So it feels better.