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Relief with the ****** Probe

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  • Relief with the ****** Probe

    Over four years ago, I was diagnosed with dry eye due to meibomian gland dysfunction. I have been taking evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, or Theratears Omega-3 caps, etc. ever since. I tried plugs (and smart plugs) for 4 yrs. and all the over the counter drops out there as well as 2 1/2 yrs. on Restasis, all with no relief. The only drop I found that helped at all is DWELL, which I would use maybe 6-8 drops every day starting around 10am till bedtime..

    During that period, I consulted seven opthamologists. I was desperate to relieve the pain and about a year ago I met with Dr. Assil to see if IPL treatments might help. These involve using a laser (originally used to treat rosacea) to help unclog the oil glands. He told me my oil glands were clogged and what oil he could see was the consistency of toothpaste. Not good.
    I was a good candidate for IPL. Although it sounded like it 'might' help, the price floored me and I was at a loss what to do next.

    Dr. Jay Gross, who'd fitted me with plugs (and helped my mom with her macular degeneration)
    suggested we try the ****** Probe. It is an hand held tool with a tiny needle at the end which the doctor inserts
    into as many of the 30 top-of-the-lid oil glands and 20 bottom-of-the-lid glands as he can access.

    About a week after the first treatment, I noticed I did not even think about putting in drops until about 4pm!
    That is big! I maybe use DWELL only 3 times a day now, down from 6-8. There was also oil collecting on my eyeball. It looked like a grease spot. The idea my glands might be secreting oil for the first time in 4-5 years thrilled me.

    After the 2nd visit (about a month later) people started saying my eyes looked whiter & generally healthier. The pain & discomfort had definitely subsided.

    I just had my 3rd treatment yesterday and am waiting to see the results. Although the improvement so far is significant in terms of alleviating discomfort and helping me feel more normal, I'd welcome any further gain. I felt I had to share something that actually has helped me with others who might be suffering too. If you're interested in trying the ****** Probe, Dr. Gross is in Santa Monica.
    Last edited by Rebecca Petris; 21-Apr-2011, 19:47.

  • #2
    Just curious... how long did the an individual treatment session take? Also wondering what you'd rate the treatment in terms of discomfort during the procedure...

    Thanks for posting your story here!


    • #3
      I am actually scheduled to have this procedure done next week (NOT with Dr. Akpek) but I am a bit scared to have it done since I am worried about trauma to my delicated Meibomian Glands. I'm afraid there will be scarring in the glands and then they will never be normal again.

      Any thoughts?
      Last edited by Rebecca Petris; 21-Apr-2011, 19:22. Reason: Removed pricing discussion


      • #4
        Dr. Spagnolo at Baltimore Washington Eye Center

        Thanks for the information TARYN. Yes, Dr. Spagnolo is the doctor I am going to see to get the probing.... I plan to file with my insurance and see if they will cover it. I have VERY good insurance, so I am betting they will.

        I have seen him once. He is a nice guy and I am impressed with his willingness to try new things - especially in the dry eye arena.

        I mentioned that I would like him to heat my glands after the probing with a warm compress and then try to express them using the Mastrota Expression paddle. He thought it was a great idea and really wanted to try it. So, I do think I have found a good eye doctor to perform this procedure.

        And by the way - to those of you concerned about the risks of the procedure, I specifically asked him how traumatic the procedure would be to the glands. He said no trauma to the glands at all. He said the probes are VERY flimsy and bend very easily. Also, he said that he would only use the 2 mm probes instead of the longer 4 or 6 mm probes.

        So, it sounds good to me I guess. I'm just not sure about it. I don't think I have the fibrovascular stuff in my glands since I haven't had it for very long.

        Honestly I just can't decide what to do - I'm worried about the risks and really not concerned about the cost or the pain or any of that stuff. I REALLY need something done about my glands and I am afraid I am getting a risky procedure just because I am desperate.


        • #5
          RE: experiment with probing?

          I'm like you... Because I'm desperate, I do anything, regardless of cost, just to see if it works.

          But I did conduct my own experiment with probing...

          I went to ****** and had one eye (both upper and lower MGs) probed with steroids injected (aka "treatment group"). The untreated eye is my "control group". I'm about 2 months out and I can compare eyes.

          You could try this...


          • #6
            Hate to break this up but...

            I've edited and removed some posts in this thread... I'm so sorry but I really don't want this board used to compare prices for services of named doctors, for a whole host of reasons. I know quite well you all mean very well and I most certainly sympathize with the need for the information! (Found it pretty disturbing actually. But it's a bit like plugs - I've heard anything from two to four digits being charged depending on who's pushing them in and how many.) It's just that this level of detail about specific doctors being posted publicly can lead to some problems. So please, if you want to exchange that kind of information do it in private messages. Appreciate your understanding Sometimes just a descriptive phrase (e.g. "It was surprisingly affordable") can get the point across.

            Eugenie, I am so glad your eyes are doing better. I think you are probably the first person I've heard from who had uniformly good things to say about it. Personally I find the concept scary. But it is good that there are more MG treatments of various sorts emerging.
            Rebecca Petris
            The Dry Eye Foundation


            • #7
              Hi, Eugenie, I just sent you a private message about the probing. Can you please check your private messages?

              Thanks, NME