To evaluate the efficacy of self-retaining bicanaliculus stents when used as an adjunct to 3-snip punctoplasty in comparison with standard 3-snip procedure between fellow eyes.
Prospective, randomized, comparative study. Thirty-two eyes of 16 consecutive patients with acquired, nontraumatic stenosis of the proximal lacrimal duct were randomly distributed into 2 equal study groups. Lower punctal stenosis was a standard prerequisite. Group A (16 eyes) received a simple 3-snip punctoplasty, while group B (16 fellow eyes) underwent a modified 3-snip punctoplasty combined with insertion of self-retaining bicanaliculus stents. Duration of follow ups: 6 months. Anatomical, functional, and subjective parameters were evaluated.
A statistically significant difference in anatomical success rates was observed in favor of group B (p = 0.011) 6 months postoperatively. Complete relief from epiphora was noted in 8 eyes of group B compared with 2 eyes of group A (p = 0.057). In regard to mixed (absolute and partial) functional success rates, group B exceeded with statistically significant difference (15 eyes group B vs. 6 eyes group A; p = 0.002). A nasolacrimal duct obstruction was subsequently diagnosed in 3 of the nonpatient eyes. Reintroduction of silicone tubes was required in 4 eyes of group B.
The use of self-retaining bicanaliculus stents seems to improve anatomical, functional, and subjective scores when combined with standard 3-snip punctoplasty in patients with acquired upper lacrimal duct stenosis.