Upon investigating the effects of administering Lipiflow (Johnson & Johnson) prior to cataract surgery, researchers recently found that preoperative treatment may be a safe and effective intervention for relieving MGD and DED induced by surgery.

This prospective randomized controlled study assessed 124 eyes scheduled for surgery for senile cataract. Participants were randomly allocated into control and Lipiflow groups, with the treatment cohort receiving Lipiflow three weeks prior to cataract surgery. The team evaluated meibomian gland atrophy, gland expressibility and gland secretion quality at baseline and one and three months postoperatively. They also took tear film break-up time (TBUT), Oxford corneal staining score and tear film lipid layer thickness (LLT) measurements at each visit, in addition to Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) and Dry Eye Questionnaire (DEQ) scores.

The investigators reported a significant decrease in meibomian gland expressibility, meibum quality, LLT, corneal staining and dry eye symptoms in controls following cataract surgery. Conversely, the Lipiflow group showed significantly improved meibomian gland patency, meibum quality, TBUT and corneal staining. This group also reported better subjective outcomes on both OSDI and DEQ.

The improvement of each parameter in the Lipiflow group showed a linear correlation with baseline MGD grade. Patients without baseline MGD also showed improved MGD and DED induced by surgery with preoperative Lipiflow.

“[This treatment] might be recommended not only for the patients with preoperative MGD, but also for those without baseline MGD to prevent the development of MGD and dry eye induced by ocular surgeries,” the study authors concluded in their paper.

Park J, Yoo YS, Shin K, et al. Effects of Lipiflow treatment prior to cataract surgery: a prospective, randomized, controlled study. Am J Ophthalmol. May 13, 2021. [Epub ahead of print].