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Br J Ophthalmol. 2009 Nov;93(11):1438-43. doi: 10.1136/bjo.2008.149393. Epub 2009 May 4.

A simple and evolutional approach proven to recanalise the nasolacrimal duct obstruction.

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  • 1Department of ENT, First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510060, PR China.



To evaluate a new approach of recanalisation of nasolacrimal duct obstruction (RC-NLDO) in the treatment of the nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO) and chronic dacryocystitis.


583 patients with 641 eyes suffering from NLDO and chronic dacryocystitis were enrolled in this study. The RC-NLDO was performed in 506 eyes, with 135 eyes undergoing external dacryocystorhinostomy (EX-DCR) as controls. Patient follow-up for 54 months was evaluated by symptoms, dye disappearance test, lacrimal irrigation and digital subtraction dacryocystogram. The RC-NLDO was also performed in 12 rhesus monkeys for histopathological examination.


The clinical success rates were 93.1% in 506 cases of RC-NLDO and 91.11% in 135 cases of EX-DCR. The success rates for second surgery were achieved in 85.19% on RC-NLDO and 40.0% on EX-DCR. No major intra- or postoperative complications were observed in the RC-NLDO group. The mean operative duration was 12.5 min for RC-NLDO and 40.3 min for EX-DCR (p<0.001). A pathological study in rhesus monkeys demonstrated that the RC-NLDO wounded epithelium in nasolacrimal duct healed completely within 1 month without granulation tissue formation.


The findings demonstrate that the RC-NLDO is a simple and effective approach proven to recanalise the obstructed nasolacrimal duct with a comparable success rate to EX-DCR.

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