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LipiFlow device - what the????

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  • #31
    I just returned from my Lipiflow treatment in Toronto Canada at the Herzig Eye Institute, so here is the report from that trip:

    Just a tip: Toronto has a pretty good public trasportation system and you can get anywhere for $2.50. So instead of the $65 cab rib to downtown, just take the subway, rail car, bus system.

    Herzig Eye is located on Bloor Street West just between the University of Toronto and the Yorkville area. It is across the street from the Chanel store, in the same building as Mont Blanc, a block away from the Hugo Boss store ... you get the idea. It is in a VERY nice part of town and on the way in, I got the impression that the fee I was going to pay was in part to pay the expensive rent of the area.

    When I was checking in, they asked me to pay the full fee upfront (this is unusual in US medicine and I was a little put off by it). They charge you a small fee for the initial Lipiview consultation and a much larger fee for the Lipiflow treatment. They charge on a per eye basis. Each eye is more than a single IPL session. So it added up to what I thought was a moderate to large fee. PM me for exact details.

    Dr. Ritesh Patel OD is the optometrist doing the Lipiflow. He is a really nice guy actually and spent maybe an hour and a half with me examining me, doing the Lipiview, the Lipiflow and then answering all of my many questions. He also told me places to visit, eat, etc. while I was in Toronto and was otherwise very helpful overall.


    So lipiview is an interferometer that watches you blink and then measures the lipid film in your tears. the scales goes from 0-240 I think and "lipid deficiency" is <70. I measured 45 or 50 in both eyes, so I am lipid deficient.

    Also, he showed me a few examples of his previous patients and their followup results. One guy started at Lipiview score of 35 (very low) and improved to 115 after 5 weeks from his Lipiflow treatment. He said he had several other examples like that.

    Slit lamp:

    Then he did a slit lamp examination on me and looked for open glands in the lower lid. I had 4 open on the left and 6 open on the right.

    So, this is what I am starting with. Then I am supposed to return in a month and Dr. Patel will check for progress in these 2 things.


    So, then the treatment. Dr. Patel put this device on me that has a rubber contact that fits over most of the front of the sclera. Then they slip your eyelids in the outer part of the device, the part that compresses your eyelids.

    Lipiflow does one eye at a time. It took 12 minutes per eye. First, you only feel the heating from the inside of your eyelids. It gets up to 43 degrees C according to Dr. Patel. It did get pretty warm. In all my days of warm compresses, I'm not sure I ever got my inner eyelids this warm, so I think it does an effective job of this.

    Then after a few minutes, it starts the compression part of the treatment. The compression is very gentle at first. Then towards the end of the treatment, it was a little more rigorous, but still pretty gentle, I thought.

    Actually, to be honest I was a little disappointed with how gentle the compression part was. I think I have a lot of gunk in my glands and I really wanted it all to get squeezed out.

    Also, depending upon the shape of your eye, the compression part may or may not be very effective. The contact didn't exactly fit my eye very well, so I felt the compression mostly on my upper eyelids and not very much on my lowers. I told him about it and he tried to reposition the contact and he tried to press down harder to make the compression better. I have no idea if that helped, but I left thinking my lower lids were not going to be as good as my upper lids.

    Well, so that was it. Dr. Patel had some other recommendations for me regarding dry eye - most of which I have heard before because I have seen so many eye doctors in the last year.


    • blessings
      blessings commented
      Editing a comment
      This message is for Chemia.
      Did you find any relief from lipiflow at Duke by Dr. Carlson?

    • Becky
      Becky commented
      Editing a comment
      I guess that depends on how much value you put on your health. I spent $1700 and I would have paid twice that to get my life back. It is only money. I had the Lipiflow 2 weeks ago and already see improvement every day and my eys are really bad. Eventually the Insurance will cover this as it is better then cataract surgery and Insurance pays that. I had both and no improvement after cataract surgery as it wasn't the cataracts causing the problems I was having.Becky

    • hasan
      hasan commented
      Editing a comment
      thanks for sharing this good story, more like a serie.
      any newer update?

  • #33
    I just wanted to let people know that Lipiflow is now in western Canada... Abbotsford, British Columbia to be specific.

    The device is located at the Valley Laser Eye Centre (


    • #35
      Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer


      A small medical-device company in Morrisville has won regulatory approval for its system to diagnose and treat a common form of dry-eye disease.

      TearScience will announce today that it received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its LipiFlow system. Company officials hail it as a big breakthrough for millions of patients who suffer from the ailment and rely mostly on eye drops for relief.

      It's also a major milestone for the company, which plans to hire up to a dozen more people to handle sales and customer service. While the Triangle is home to many small companies developing experimental drugs or devices, there are few that have received FDA approval to start selling their products.

      The process took more than three years, about twice as long as initially expected, said TearScience co-founder and CEO Tim Willis.

      "It was very exhaustive," he said. "The positive thing is that we know without a shadow of a doubt that our product works, that it's safe."

      Now the real work begins. TearScience needs to shift from a development stage company to making its LipiFlow system and marketing it to eye doctors across the country.

      "Companies that don't do it right, they can have major hiccups," said Willis, 56, aserial entrepreneur who has helped start six medical-device businesses during his career.

      The company hasn't determined LipiFlow's final price, which will be based partly on each eye clinic's volume. But the system is likely to cost $100,000 or more. It has four or more components, including a handheld scanner and a device resembling a desktop computer with connections that attach to patients' eyes.

      For patients, the treatment isn't yet covered by insurance, which is another potential obstacle, said Alan Carlson, professor of ophthalmology and chief of the corneal and refractory surgery service at Duke Eye Center in Durham.

      Regardless, he hails TearScience's device as a huge improvement over eye drops and other existing therapies that are often ineffective or cumbersome for patients.

      "This is a procedure that improves the function of the eye and restores the ocular surface to a much healthier state," he said. "We see patients on a daily basis who will benefit from this."

      Carlson is a scientific advisor for TearScience but said he has put stock options he received from the private company into a charitable trust to avoid any conflict of interest.

      Another challenge is that TearScience now needs to make more of its system. It's on back order for customers in Canada, where it is already approved by regulators. A large eye clinic in Toronto began using the system this month.

      It's likely to be six months before the company and its contract manufacturers have more ready for clinics in this country. That means it could be next year before local patients will see them.

      "You can't just turn the switch and have product pop out the next day," Willis said. "The good news is we have a lot of work to do."

      The company already employs 32 people and recently moved into larger offices in anticipation of expanding its marketing efforts.

      65 million affected

      The company's device is designed to treat so-called evaporative dry eye by warming oil glands in the eyelids to clear any obstructions.

      If the glands don't produce enough oil, it can lead to symptoms such as itching and burning eyes.

      TearScience estimates that the disease effects 65 million people worldwide. Carlson said an aging population that spends too much time staring at computer screens will increase the number of patients who need treatment for dry eye.

      The company expects to convince ophthalmologists that its technology is better than what's already on the market.

      "They're not happy with the treatment options for patients," said Jeff O'Hara, TearScience's vice president of sales for North America. "But it does take an education process because we are truly changing the mindset of doctors."

      On the business side, Willis declined to comment on when TearScience might break even or start making money.

      The private company has raised $70 million in venture-capital financing since it started in 2005.

      At this point, TearScience doesn't need more money, Willis said.

      That's not to say he would refuse additional financing at the right price.

      "I'm a country boy and I never turn down cash," he added. or 919-829-4572

      Read more:


      • NeedMyEyes
        NeedMyEyes commented
        Editing a comment
        I have to say Lipiflow opened up the glands VERY effectively and got normal oil flowing in tons of them. Now I am about 2 months out and though I haven't had any symptomatic improvement as far as I can tell, I know it was effective at opening many glands.

        I haven't gone for follow up yet, but I can only assume that my lipid layer has improved.

        Also, I have to point out that some of my glands in my right eye have clearly closed.

        I think you should try it. Everyone responds differently and I think you have to open the glands periodically to get them flowing or they will atrophy.

      • Anthony16
        Anthony16 commented
        Editing a comment
        That sounds good man,im happy it helped u.6 months of warm compress and massage have increased my oil production from 0 to a 2 (on a scale of 0-10),though no glands are atrophied.I think i might look into this lipiflow a bit more as i need symptomatic relief.i have ocular rosacea also.

        Originally posted by NeedMyEyes View Post
        I have to say Lipiflow opened up the glands VERY effectively and got normal oil flowing in tons of them. Now I am about 2 months out and though I haven't had any symptomatic improvement as far as I can tell, I know it was effective at opening many glands.

        I haven't gone for follow up yet, but I can only assume that my lipid layer has improved.

        Also, I have to point out that some of my glands in my right eye have clearly closed.

        I think you should try it. Everyone responds differently and I think you have to open the glands periodically to get them flowing or they will atrophy.

      • boston
        boston commented
        Editing a comment
        View this link, in the Conclusion :

    • #37
      If so, what have been your results?



      • Hopeful2
        Hopeful2 commented
        Editing a comment

        I was just wondering what your most recent thoughts were on your Lipiflow experience? I don't know if I will need to go this route at some point (7 weeks post lasik), but it would be good to know wether or not it is a feasible route. I wonder my sooo many post lasik sufferers go on to develop MGD issuses. I try eye scrubs with water because I am afraid of irritating my eyes with a cleaner. Also when I do warm compresses, I feel that immediately afterwards my eyes are more dry. I will have to buy a magnifying mirror and see if anything actually comes out of the glands.

      • NeedMyEyes
        NeedMyEyes commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi, bella_girl,

        I really hope the Lasik-induced dry eye gets better and since you are only 7 weeks out, it sounds like there is still a good chance it will resolve.

        I found Lipiflow to be the single most effective thing at opening up my glands of all the things I've tried - doxy, omega-3s, warm compresses, probing, IPL, etc. I have only had it once, think I will probably eventually have it done again and probably again and again throughout my life...

        However, I haven't received any symptomatic relief - from Lipiflow or anything else. My eyes are just as red (or more so) and just as dry and burning as they were before.

        Except now I have punctal plugs, which honestly have helped quite a bit.

        So Lipiflow was very good at opening many glands and getting normal oil (in my eyelids).
        Last edited by NeedMyEyes; 13-Jul-2011, 19:26. Reason: grammar

      • pbeinetti
        pbeinetti commented
        Editing a comment
        Need my eyes:

        How are you doing now? Has the Lipiflow helped your symptoms?

    • #39
      I just started reading about lipiflow... i had MG Probing done a year ago or so 3 x and my glands got just as clogged up within a month as they did with regular expression by the corneal specialist.. i was just curious if anyone has had lipiflow and had had probing done previously?? if so, does anyone know if probing didnt help too much would lipiflow??? just curious..thanks


      • NeedMyEyes
        NeedMyEyes commented
        Editing a comment
        My impression of probing and Lipiflow...

        I had the probing approximately 3 weeks prior to Lipiflow. Here is my experience with both:

        the probing didn't seem to provide me any "relief" of symptoms. I had all glands probed by someone who knew what they were doing. i was given steroids and antibiotic drops to reduce inflammation in the glands and get rid of the bacteria that was in there.

        I also emailed Dr. ****** (not my doctor) and asked him how I should be feeling. He said I "should be feeeling better and better each day". This never happened for me.

        In the mirror I noticed that the "pimples" I saw on my eyelids were gone after the probing - all of them uppers and lowers. I was able to express quite a few of my glands = both uppers and lowers. I think they began closing over the next couple weeks. Dr. ****** in an email told me I should be using warm compresses after the probing but I didn't because I thought my eyelids were inflamed. Maybe that's why mine closed up.

        Then 3 weeks later I got Lipiflow. I counted all my glands meticulously in the mirror before I went. Then everyday I counted after that and a week later, I had many, many glands open. I really didn't feel any better, but I'm sure that Lipiflow was very effective at getting glands open. Here is the recount of my experience:

        but in short, I found Lipiflow more effective at opening glands and keeping them open than the probing.

        Good luck!


    • #41
      I am so thoroughly frustrated with the doctors in my area.. western MA. I called 5 different offices to ask if they intended to use the Lipiflow system. Most had never heard of it.. Aren't dr's supposed to keep up with medical journals? My doctor's response was quote "It's just a fancy hot compress and doing the compresses yourself will accomplish the same thing." I am so angry right now. I sometimes wish that he could experience what my eye feels like for 24 hours. I also asked him about serum drops a while back because regular tears don't really help me and actually over time make it worse. His response.. My eyes aren't that dry and serum tears can cause infections. Sometimes I just want to give up... Anyway.. I'm angry enough right now to pursue this because of his comment. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the clinical trials? I want to mail it to him with a couple of comments about his comment to me. I googled it but couldn't find anything.


      • #42
        I went to the Herzig eye institute on Sat for a consultation regarding their lipiflow treatment. At this point if my benefits will cover it (1400.00), I will give it a try but if not I think I will pass on it. Dr. Patel seemed to rely heavily on other treatments in combination with this one for results. I wasn't sure how then lipiflow could be measured accurately for results, if I started restasis and went back to puntal plugs (at his prompting and no I won't do either). He was not sure of the desired effect I would get if I just try this procedure on it's own. He informed me that my right eye glands have attrified (sp?) and my left would soon follow if I didn't take evasive action. I found this to be a bit of fear mongering (sp?) and thought it odd that the visit I had with Dr. Caffery but a few days ago had none of these tactics. In fact she was okay with me continuing on my current regimen of the natural route (preservative free eye drops, omega 3's and antioxidants).
        As I was preparing to leave the receptionists/eye technician tried to get me to try the procedure anyway and see if my benefits would cover any of it after the fact.
        After the year I've had with negligent treatment from [deleted] and the terrible results from my eye surgery I have become wary of private health care vs, public. Lipiflow at Herzig is definately private and I will be careful as to how I proceed from here (and only if my benefits will cover it).
        Last edited by Rebecca Petris; 23-Aug-2011, 17:22. Reason: Removed name of laser center.


        • #43
          Good morning. I want to tell everyone about my experience last week with Valley Eye Clinic in Abbotsford, BC, Canada. They offer the Lipiflow procedure for dry eye sufferers. But before I tell my story, I want to thank Rebecca for highlighting this procedure as no one knows about it where I live. So thank you again, Rebecca for all that you do for all of us. After I read about Lipiflow, I contacted Valley Eye Center and made an appointment. The Center is very professional, the staff courteous and knowledgeable and caring - I felt very comfortable while in their care. The first test was done on a Tear Science machine that video taped each eye for 15-20 seconds. And during tha taping, it monitored the blinking motion and it tested for dry eye. I learned that my left eye does not close during blinking and that my Lipid oil content was on the low end. This is evaluated on a scale - white being low and blue being good - I was a solid white in both eyes. Not good. After that test, I saw the Doctor who did several tests like normal ones we've all had and then she did another manual test for dry eyes. Once again she came up with a score of 1 on my left eye and 2 on my right eye, out of a score of 10 - not good. But also really good for at long last, I know what causes my dry eyes. Yahoo!! Therefore I qualify for the Lipiflow procedure and I am scheduled for Oct 14th. I can hardly wait. I will post a review on my return. Stewart


          • Storm
            Storm commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm happy to hear such good results

            I'm pleased for you for the success.

          • Becky
            Becky commented
            Editing a comment
            I just had the Lipiflow treatment done about two weeks ago and it cost $1700. There is a lot of tests before the treatment and a follow-up which is all part of the price. Worth every penny. I can already see improvement in my tears. I was told that it depends on how long you have had the condition and how bad your eyes were before Lipiflow will depend on how long it takes before your eyes totally function normally, but I see little improvements everyday. My story is long and I want to share it here, but I'm waiting until I reach the end of my destination so I have all good positive news to tell. My biggest symptom is sensitivity to light that has gotten so bad I had to stop driving a year ago. I cannot stand any kind of light and wear sun glasses even in my house. I can't wait to get my life back and thanks to Lipiflow that is becoming more of a reality.Becky

          • Becky
            Becky commented
            Editing a comment
            If you return to your old ways it will surely come back but I have since been introduced to Omega Benefits for Dry eys which I take 4 a day and Flaxseed oil 2-3 a day. You need to take Omega's amd breaks from computers etc. Wear sunglasses out door all the time even if it is a cloudy day as they will protect your eyes from the air, wind etc. The best kind of sunglasses would be the Solar Shields Polarized through Opticare. You can buy them online and someone will help you chooses size and style. If you wear glasses they fit over your glasses. I plan on taking a lot more precautions and not take my eyes for granite anymore. Regardless of what causes the glands to do this thank God they have found a way to treat it with Lipiflow. Becky
            Last edited by Becky; 29-Mar-2013, 16:50. Reason: Spelling errors

        • #44
          Finally Lipiflow is in U.S

          I am sure it will bring smile on many of faces. I spoke to Lipiflow customer service representative today and they told me currently it is available only at

          Carolina Vision Center - Fayetteville,NC

          I browsed the website, but Lipiflow is not mentioned anywhere. Perhaps it is not updated yet.
          But you can call them and check it out....

          I wish this brings relief to at least some of us............


          • poppy
            poppy commented
            Editing a comment
            Hooray! Now just another few decades before this treatment is offered in Australia, and another 50 years before eye docs offer it routinely here. If I'm really lucky, I might even be alive when an eye doc in my home city offers this treatment.

            Sorry just frustrated how it's like I live in a third world country when it comes to getting access to treatments

          • Philipp_from_Germany
            Philipp_from_Germany commented
            Editing a comment
            Don't be frustrated. This treatment did nothing for me and I am more or less the regular MGD patient... I PERSONALLY (IMHO) doubt that it provides more benefit than your standard warm compress and massage... From an objective perspective, there are presently no studies which prove this device's superiority over warm compresses and massages... IPL and probing, I think, have at least a different effect due to their unique mechanism of action..