PURPOSE: Balloon dilation of the lacrimal canaliculi has been considered contraindicated because of possible damage to the canaliculi. The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and effectiveness of balloon dilation in treatment of obstruction of the lacrimal canaliculus. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fluoroscopically guided balloon dilation was performed in 26 eyes of 21 consecutive patients with epiphora due to lacrimal canalicular obstruction confirmed at dacryocystography. Nine of 26 eyes had complete obstruction and 17 eyes had incomplete obstruction. RESULTS: Technical failure occurred in one eye. Only one acute complication (punctal slitting) and no late complications occurred. At 7 days after balloon dilation, 14 of 17 eyes (82%) with incomplete obstruction and five of nine eyes (56%) with complete obstruction showed complete or partial resolution of epiphora with patency of the lacrimal drainage system. At 6-month follow-up, that improvement was maintained in seven of 17 eyes (41%) with incomplete obstruction and three of nine eyes (33%) with complete obstruction. CONCLUSIONS: Although the 6-month recurrence rate is rather high, balloon dilation seems to be safe and valuable as an initial therapy for patients with obstruction of the lacrimal canaliculus.
- Lacrimal gland and duct, interventional procedure, 223.129
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine