Meibomian Gland Probing
1. Probing consists of anesthetizing the lid, then inserting a thin, stainless steel probe into blocked glands in the hope of unblocking them. It is a relatively nontraumatic method to relieve the symptoms of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, which mechanically opens and dilates the natural orifices (opening) and ducts of the meibomian glands to remove abnormal meibum secretions and blockage.
2. After anesthesia drops the probe is passed through the orifices of the meibomian glands.
3. It is reported that most cases have immediate post probing relief of symptoms, and almost all find relief by 4 weeks after probing. This may be due to the reestablishment of orifice and central ducts by probing. In addition, orifice penetration and intraductal probing could remove abnormal secretions to relieve the lid congestion and inflammation.
4. Some patients report variable discomfort and orifice hemorrhage during the procedure, which resolved with the additional application of anesthesia drops.
5. Another approach is to squeeze the meibomian gland, expressing the opaque, inspissated, infected material. Most patients experience discomfort for about 24 hours afterwards, with extensive pus production and stinging of the lids. This can be treated by regularly irrigating the lids with eye wash for the first day and applying a drop for 72 hours.
6. For female patients undergoing this procedure it would be better if you didn’t wear makeup. If you must, please remove as much as you can before getting started.
7. Your vision may be blurry after the procedure, although you will not be dilated. It would be best to bring a driver.
8. If you are considering whether or not to have the procedure, bear in mind that with the passage of time, the meibomian glands will often become so blocked that they cannot be opened, even with probing.