To compare the efficacy of two surgical techniques-lateral tarsal strip (canthoplasty) alone, and lateral tarsal strip with three-snip punctoplasty-in reducing epiphora arising from involutional ectropion with partial punctal stenosis.
Fourty patients with involutional ectropion and partial stenosis of the lacrimal punctum were randomly allocated to two treatment groups. Group 1 patients received lateral tarsal strip alone with only non-invasive stenting of the punctum, and group 2 patients received tarsal strip plus three-snip punctoplasty. Subjective assessment of epiphora was achieved via completion of a quality of life (QoL) questionnaire preoperatively and at postoperative month 3. Eyelid position, adverse outcomes and corneal dryness (via Oxford grading scheme) were also assessed postoperatively. Only patients with unilateral problems were included in the study.
Forty eyes of 40 patients were included: 20 in each group. The mean ages of group 1 and group 2 patients were 79±11 and 80±9 years, respectively. All patients reported significantly reduced eye watering after surgery, with no significant intergroup difference in subjective outcomes, except that computer usage and night driving (P<0.05), improved in a more significant way in group 2. Eyelid malposition was corrected in all cases, there were no cases of postoperative punctal eversion, and no significant adverse events or complications occurred. Finally, the mean improvements in the dryness/keratitis score (using the Oxford scheme) were comparable between the 2 groups (P=0.34).
The study findings indicate that treatment of involutional ectropion with partial punctal stenosis by lateral tarsal strip with three snip punctoplasty does not provide greater reduction in discomfort secondary to epiphora than conventional lateral tarsal strip alone, except for specific situations such as night driving or computer use.