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Lipiflow & IPL Success Rates (Pros/Cons?)

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  • Lipiflow & IPL Success Rates (Pros/Cons?)

    Hi all,

    Considering Lipiflow or IPL. Already read the article explaining both. My doctor recommended Lipiflow specifically- I wonder why. She didnít mention IPL, I learned about that procedure here.

    Any way that I can find out more information? Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Hi, if you search the forums I think you'll find lots of discussion and comparisons between the two procedures. The most likely reason your doctor recommended Lipiflow is because it's more widely available in general practice, is FDA approved, and has benefited from more aggressive marketing. By contrast, IPL to treat MGD is an off-label use and is typically found in academic dry eye clinics. However, from what I understand IPL can work better than Lipiflow for some patients but it also takes several months to complete the treatment regime. However I doubt so many dry eye specialists would be performing IPL over Lipiflow if they did not feel their patients were seeing results. I did Lipiflow because it was quick and available (but expensive...) but once I have a better idea of what city I'll be living for a while I'll look into doing IPL.

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    • #3
      I suppose I find myself wondering what to do. To opt for Lipiflow or find someone who does IPL. (Or is there anything even better?)

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      • #4
        I have not done either procedure, so let me preface with that. But I have MGD and EBMD...so my next steps would be lipiflow, Ipl or probing...so I've thought about them all. I am disqualified from lipiflow because of the dystrophy, however if I weren't, this would be my first choice because it seems least invasive AND hot compresses work really well for me. Next would be ill because it's less invasive, however, finding someone who knows how to do this is important. Finally proving, and the same goes for that, you gotta find someone experienced to do this.

        Good luck.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dowork123 View Post
          I have not done either procedure, so let me preface with that. But I have MGD and EBMD...so my next steps would be lipiflow, Ipl or probing...so I've thought about them all. I am disqualified from lipiflow because of the dystrophy, however if I weren't, this would be my first choice because it seems least invasive AND hot compresses work really well for me. Next would be ill because it's less invasive, however, finding someone who knows how to do this is important. Finally proving, and the same goes for that, you gotta find someone experienced to do this.

          Good luck.
          Thanks! So do you guys all agree Lipiflow is better due to being less invasive? (Less invasive than IPL for example?)

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          • #6
            My Dr does both and says that he prefers IPL because he feels he gets better results with it than lipiflow. He said that if it were not for the fact that he has some people who swear by Lipiflow he would discontinue that treatment and stick with IPL. This goes to show that we are all different and we respond differently to different things.

            It was not at all invasive but the expression part was not what you would call comfortable, rather it was something to be tolerated. I have gone for one treatment but am scheduled for 4. He said that probing shouldn't be necessary with IPL because it softens the oils so well and they only do it if there are glands that refuse to express after several treatments. The cost is about $500 per treatment in Canada at this office.

            The only contraindication that I am aware of is you cannot do it to dark skinned people but I am not sure how dark is 'dark'. They have you fill out a form to determine your skin type and then they go from there.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by farmgirl View Post
              My Dr does both and says that he prefers IPL because he feels he gets better results with it than lipiflow. He said that if it were not for the fact that he has some people who swear by Lipiflow he would discontinue that treatment and stick with IPL. This goes to show that we are all different and we respond differently to different things.

              It was not at all invasive but the expression part was not what you would call comfortable, rather it was something to be tolerated. I have gone for one treatment but am scheduled for 4. He said that probing shouldn't be necessary with IPL because it softens the oils so well and they only do it if there are glands that refuse to express after several treatments. The cost is about $500 per treatment in Canada at this office.

              The only contraindication that I am aware of is you cannot do it to dark skinned people but I am not sure how dark is 'dark'. They have you fill out a form to determine your skin type and then they go from there.
              So if Iím not mistaken, it sounds like IPL or Lipiflow could be equally good going in and itís impossible to know ahead of time which will work better? Are they pretty much equally good choices?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kabuto View Post

                So if Iím not mistaken, it sounds like IPL or Lipiflow could be equally good going in and itís impossible to know ahead of time which will work better? Are they pretty much equally good choices?
                Do warm compresses help you at all? If you're doing them correctly and they don't offer relief, I don't see how lipiflow would offer relief.

                I had a lipview done. I know the status of my glands, all are in tact except two, they are dilated and sluggish and produce a foamy meibum. I also don't blink fully.

                Knowing these things will help you decide which avenue to pursue.

                I really want to do lipiflow because I feel I could get a "deeper cleaning" of the gland. Because the machine heats and expresses at the same time. I don't think IPL or proving would benefit me. On the contrary, they may do more harm for me personally. I will not even think about IPL or probing until I've exhausted all other options. I'm disqualified from lipiflow because of my dystrophy...my next step would be doxycycline. You could say I'm lucky in that sense.

                I think you need more more information about your condition before you can decide. Maybe I missed it though...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kabuto View Post

                  Thanks! So do you guys all agree Lipiflow is better due to being less invasive? (Less invasive than IPL for example?)
                  I try to think what could happen worst case scenario...for me, it would be a corneal abrasion with lipiflow because of the cups that go on your eyeball. So that's not great but not a big deal. IPL can cause a burn and permenant damage. Probing you could damage the gland permenantly. That's why I personally rank them like that.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kabuto View Post

                    So if Iím not mistaken, it sounds like IPL or Lipiflow could be equally good going in and itís impossible to know ahead of time which will work better? Are they pretty much equally good choices?
                    Kinda but I'd put my money on IPL first if both are available based on what my Dr said. It is technically possible to get a skin burn from IPL but if your skin type is properly assessed that shouldn't be an issue.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dowork123 View Post

                      Do warm compresses help you at all? If you're doing them correctly and they don't offer relief, I don't see how lipiflow would offer relief.

                      I had a lipview done. I know the status of my glands, all are in tact except two, they are dilated and sluggish and produce a foamy meibum. I also don't blink fully.

                      Knowing these things will help you decide which avenue to pursue.

                      I really want to do lipiflow because I feel I could get a "deeper cleaning" of the gland. Because the machine heats and expresses at the same time. I don't think IPL or proving would benefit me. On the contrary, they may do more harm for me personally. I will not even think about IPL or probing until I've exhausted all other options. I'm disqualified from lipiflow because of my dystrophy...my next step would be doxycycline. You could say I'm lucky in that sense.

                      I think you need more more information about your condition before you can decide. Maybe I missed it though...
                      They 'ved 'sort of' helped. As in, they've provided temporary relief but haven't healed the condition thus far.

                      Originally posted by Dowork123 View Post

                      I try to think what could happen worst case scenario...for me, it would be a corneal abrasion with lipiflow because of the cups that go on your eyeball. So that's not great but not a big deal. IPL can cause a burn and permenant damage. Probing you could damage the gland permenantly. That's why I personally rank them like that.
                      Is the corneal abrasion a problem in comparison to the potential benefits?

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                      • #12
                        You cannot heal this condition, you have to use compresses forever and I would suggest manual expression after the heat. I would also suggest using a mask like the ones you heat up in the microwave...then check the temperature. You want it around 45C for it to be effective. Then, wash eyelids with avenova right after compress. I would do that for two months before I tried lipiflow.

                        You dont want a corneal abrasion, but they heal. If you burn your eye/skin with IPL or damage your glands with probing, there's no coming back from that. Do not get so obsessed with a cure you end up causing more damage.

                        haveyou had a lipiview? What's the status of your glands?

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                        • #13
                          I did LipiFlow x4 times and doing monthly-IPL. LipiFlow costs around 1k CAD in Toronto, and monthly-IPL costs less than 1k/year (12 treatments in a year, monthly).

                          I recommend you to do both. IPL somehow has the ability to reduce inflammation, I recommend you to do monthly-IPL to reduce inflammation until it is gone. LipiFlow can remove any internal blockage inside the glands. Both are needed. If you reduce blockages with LipiFlow without reducing inflammation, it will get blocked again. IPL without LipiFlow may also not work if there is internal blockages.

                          I also recommend you to ask your Dr on Xiidra and Restasis. Both drugs work to reduce inflammation and worked quite well for me. I am currently on both Xiidra and Restasis BID as well.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by deep_dry_eye View Post
                            I did LipiFlow x4 times and doing monthly-IPL. LipiFlow costs around 1k CAD in Toronto, and monthly-IPL costs less than 1k/year (12 treatments in a year, monthly).

                            I recommend you to do both. IPL somehow has the ability to reduce inflammation, I recommend you to do monthly-IPL to reduce inflammation until it is gone. LipiFlow can remove any internal blockage inside the glands. Both are needed. If you reduce blockages with LipiFlow without reducing inflammation, it will get blocked again. IPL without LipiFlow may also not work if there is internal blockages.

                            I also recommend you to ask your Dr on Xiidra and Restasis. Both drugs work to reduce inflammation and worked quite well for me. I am currently on both Xiidra and Restasis BID as well.
                            HiĀCwhere did you do lipiflow in Toronto. I want to do lipiflow in Toronto but I do not know where to go

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                            • #15
                              Hyzlt, below LipiFlow has a website where you can search for providers near you, but always great to get a recommendation from someone in this forum like youí are doing on who they went to.

                              https://dryeyeandmgd.com/find-a-doctor/

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