Since the mid-2000s, Meibomian Gland Probing has served as an office-based procedure to treat the leading of dry eye disease, a condition called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). MGD occurs when the Meibomian glands (or oil glands) within the eyelids become blocked or dysfunctional, leading to dry eyes, inflammation, and other symptoms. There are commonly two types of unhealthy obstruction: dynamic and fixed. Dynamic obstructions, cloudy or toothpaste-like, may be unblocked with thermal expression devices such as Lipiflow, iLux, TearCare, and RadioFrequency. On the other hand, fixed, focal, firm and unyielding obstructions require a different technique called Meibomian Gland Probing (MGP).
MGP involves using a specialized tool to gently relieve fibrotic tissue that causes damage to the glands. After removal of the fibrotic (or scar) tissue, the gland structures and function commonly improve.
The 30 to 45-minute procedure is typically performed in-office with the use of topical anesthesia (including drops and ointments). The procedure involves inserting a small, sterile probe into the opening of each Meibomian gland and gently applying pressure to relieve the scar tissue so the glands may properly express oils. The procedure may need to be repeated at several depths to achieve optimal results. Each patient has approximately 25-30 glands per eyelids so the doctor will attempt to probe all or as many glands as possible. After the procedure is completed, patients may be prescribed a topical eye drop or ointment to be used.
The literature demonstrates Meibomian gland probing to be a safe and effective treatment for MGD. In fact, upwards of 75% of patients with MGD may benefit from gland probing. It can improve patient symptoms such as dry eyes, burning, itching, lid tenderness, eye pain, and redness. It may also help to prevent long-term complications associated with MGD, such as corneal damage.
Many our patients have shared their satisfaction with this novel treatment, which often provides relief within days to weeks. To read more details about MGP and review patient testimonials, feel free to check out this link.