What Is LipiFlow® Dry Eye Treatment?
LipiFlow® is an FDA-approved treatment for Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) — the leading cause of dry eye. LipiFlow® treats MGD by warming and massaging the inside of the eyelids to restore healthy oil production and improve tear quality.
Patients are evaluated to determine whether they suffer from MGD using LipiView®, an imaging device specifically designed to view the Meibomian glands. If it is determined that a patient is a candidate for LipiFlow®, treatment can be administered the very same day.
How Does LipiFlow® Work?
- Prior to the procedure, the staff at the Dean McGee Eye Institute will place anesthetic drops in your eyes.
- When your eyes are fully numb, your doctor will place the LipiFlow® sterile, single-use activators under and over your eyelids without actually touching the surface of the eye.
- Once the activators are in place, the procedure takes about 12 minutes. The process begins with the activators exerting a constant pressure for the first two minutes as they warm to a temperature that begins to dissolve the gland obstructions.
- Over the next 10 minutes, the activators cycle through differing levels of pressure, providing the massage that starts the natural flow of oil.
What Are the Benefits of LipiFlow®?
After a LipiFlow® treatment, the Meibomian glands begin normal production of oils that are necessary for maintaining high-quality tears. These oils keep the tears from evaporating too quickly, thus improving the overall health of the surface of the eye.
In addition, a reduction in dry eye may improve visual clarity. It usually takes about six to eight weeks to achieve optimal results, but relief can last up to 12 months.
What Is the Recovery Time After LipiFlow®?
Typically, there is no downtime associated with LipiFlow®. Patients can return to regular activities immediately following the procedure.
Is LipiFlow® Covered by Insurance?
LipiView® and LipiFlow® are not covered by Medicare or other insurance plans. The out-of-pocket expense for an evaluation is $50, plus a patient’s standard insurance office visit copay or deductible.
The out-of-pocket expense for the LipiFlow® treatment is $470 per eye.