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Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013 Jan-Feb;29(1):18-20. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e31826e4bed.

Electronically assisted nasolacrimal duct silicone intubation.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Jones Eye Institute, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.



Nasolacrimal duct intubation (NLDI) with silicone stents is a common procedure used by general ophthalmologists, oculoplastic surgeons, and otolaryngologists, among others. The procedure can be difficult to teach and to master. The authors investigated the usefulness and safety of an electronic device to aid endonasal retrieval of the lacrimal stent used in NLDI.


A prospective interventional surgical technique case series was designed and executed with institutional review board approval. Twelve adult patients who were scheduled to undergo NLDI were enrolled. The audible alarm device was used during endonasal retrieval of the probe in each patient. Each patient underwent intraoperative rigid nasal endoscopy at the conclusion of the case.


The electronic device successfully localized the endonasal probe in each patient. Nasal endoscopy revealed healthy mucosa with no evidence of thermal or electrical injury.


Electronically assisted NLDI with audible feedback is a small technological advance with potential to improve the safety and efficacy of NLDI. The technique is safe and effective in localizing the intranasal portion of a metal lacrimal probe. Further testing will assess its usefulness in complex cases and as a teaching tool.

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