To present our experience with the use of preserved human amniotic membrane on patients with epiphora caused by conjunctivochalasis.
Twelve patients, seven women and five men, ages ranging from 56 to 72 years (mean, 61 years) were referred to our Cornea Service with chronic epiphora. In all patients, no punctal ectropion was present, the lacrimal pathway was patent, and the dye disappearance test was abnormal. All patients had already undergone various therapies including multiple irrigations of the lacrimal system, antibiotic drops, steroid drops, and artificial tear drops. In all patients, conjunctivochalasis, which was not previously diagnosed, was evident on slit-lamp examination. After surgical removal of the excess conjunctiva, preserved human amniotic membrane was placed over and sutured with 10-0 nylon continuous suture to the free conjunctival edges. During the postoperative period, artificial tear drops and steroid/antibiotic drops were applied.
Improvement of the epiphora was evident from the first postoperative day. After removal of the suture 10 to 15 days (mean, 12 days) after surgery, no patient complained of epiphora. The dye disappearance test was normal. During the follow-up period, which ranged from 6 to 11 months (mean, 8 months), no patient complained of epiphora and no conjunctivochalasis was detected in the area in which human amniotic membrane was transplanted.
In our experience, transplantation of preserved human amniotic membrane greatly improved symptoms of epiphora caused by conjunctivochalasis. Continued education of the general ophthalmologists concerning this condition is required.