[Lacrimal duct probing in young children with a congenital lacrimal duct obstruction at the Utrecht University Medical Center: generally an effective treatment].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2003 Apr 19; 147(16):764-8.NT
To assess the results of lacrimal duct probing in young children with epiphora, due to a congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction.
Data were collected from medical dossiers on the results of lacrimal duct probing in children (0-48 months) with epiphora that was done in the period from January 1, 1997 to December 31, 2001 at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The percentage of eyes that showed complete resolution of symptoms three months after the final probing was calculated.
Of the 89 children who had undergone lacrimal duct probing, seven were excluded and in three children (six eyes) the data could not be retrieved. In 96 of the remaining 116 eyes (83%), the symptoms disappeared: this included 96% of the age group 0-12 months (n = 25), 85% of the 13-24 months-olds (n = 55), 77% of the 25-36 months-olds (n = 22) and 57% of the 37-48 months-olds (n = 14). No complications of probing were seen.
In most children in the various age groups, epiphora disappeared. Thus, children do not need to be probed in the first year of life out of fear of failure at an older age. Whether or not probing shortens the duration of epiphora cannot be determined on the basis of either this study or the literature.