Retrograde Dilation of Postsaccal Lacrimal Stenosis

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The causes of nasolacrimal duct stenosis in adults can vary greatly. In general, the symptoms can also vary, but most cases share a tendency toward recurring inflammations in the prestenotic area. The treatment of these disorders is limited to either conservative therapy to control inflammation or surgically invasive measures. By using balloon catheters, usually applied in percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), dilation of the relative postsaccal stenosis can be performed under radiographic control. An exact diagnosis using various testing methods, including digital dacryocystography for detailed localization and documentation of any pathologic changes, is decisive to success. Only in cases of incomplete postsaccal stenosis is retrograde balloon dilation of the distal nasolacrimal duct indicated. A guide wire, designed for the PTCA balloon catheter set, is introduced via the canaliculus to the nasal cavity antegradely and caught with a thin hook and pulled from the naris, under visual control with an image converter. The balloon catheter is retrogradely threaded over the guide wire. The balloon is then placed at the site of the pathologic stenosis under radiographic control and dilated with high pressure. To ensure the permeability of the system, monocanalicular silicone intubation has to be performed immediately afterwards. This procedure has been performed successfully on 6 patients with a follow-up of 6 to 27 months. These initial results give rise to the hope that this minimally invasive, interdisciplinary technique represents a new alternative in the treatment of incomplete postsaccal lacrimal stenosis.

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