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Treatment of obstructive epiphora in adults by balloon dacryocystoplasty
  1. Zeynep Yazicia,
  2. Bulent Yazicib,
  3. Mufit Parlaka,
  4. Haluk Erturkb,
  5. Gursel Savcia
  1. aUludag University, Department of Radiology, Bursa, Turkey, bUludag University, Department of Ophthalmology, Bursa, Turkey
  1. Zeynep Yazici, MD, Department of Radiology, Uludag University, School of Medicine, Gorukle Campus, 16059, Gorukle, Bursa, Turkey.


AIMS To determine the efficacy of dacryocystoplasty with balloon dilatation in the treatment of complete and partial obstruction of the lacrimal drainage system.

METHODS The procedure was performed on 26 patients with epiphora due to complete (n=16) or partial (n=10) obstruction of the lacrimal drainage system. A flexible tipped guide wire was introduced through the superior canaliculus into the inferior meatus and manipulated out of the nasal cavity. A 3 mm balloon was then introduced in a retrograde direction over the guide wire and dilated at the obstruction site.

RESULTS The procedure was technically successful in all patients with partial obstruction, but unsuccessful in four of 16 cases with complete obstruction. Reobstruction occurred in eight of 12 patients with complete obstruction, and in five of 10 patients with partial obstruction. The overall success rate was 25% for complete and 50% for partial obstructions. The mean follow up was 14 months (8–37 months).

CONCLUSION Although the balloon dacryocystoplasty is a simple and minimally invasive technique, the outcome from our study indicates that it is not advisable for treatment of complete obstruction of the lacrimal drainage system. Balloon dilatation may prove suitable for the treatment of patients with partial obstruction below the level of the lacrimal sac, especially in those who are poor candidates for surgery, or who do not wish to undertake dacryocystorhinostomy. Even in the partial obstruction group the success rate was only 50%, so that further modification to the technique and controlled studies are likely to be required before it could be recommended for general use.

  • lacrimal gland
  • lacrimal duct
  • epiphora
  • dacryocystoplasty

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