Can Lipiflow treatment mitigate surgery-induced dry eye?

Can Lipiflow treatment mitigate surgery-induced dry eye?

Cataract/Anterior Segment, Cornea/External Disease, Refractive Mgmt/Intervention

This study assessed the effects of preoperative Lipiflow (Johnson & Johnson) thermal pulsation prior to cataract surgery on alleviating surgery-induced meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and dry eye.

Study design

Researchers enrolled 124 patients (ages 50–70 years) with senile cataract and randomized them to either Lipiflow or control treatment prior to cataract surgery.


Eyes treated with Lipiflow had significant improvement in meibomian gland patency and quality, increased tear break up time and reduced corneal staining compared with controls. Patients also reported improvements in dry eye symptoms.


Note that the actual cataract outcomes were not reported in this study, likely because the authors felt it important to treat both eyes prior to cataract surgery for the best outcome. It would have been interesting to look at the outcome of keratometry measurements as that is often the challenge when managing ocular surface disease.

Clinical significance

This is an excellent randomized study of thermal pulse treatment for patients with senile cataracts. Based on these findings, preoperative management with Lipiflow may improve ocular surface parameters and meibomian gland parameters.