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Long-term Success Rate of Perforated Punctal Plugs in the Management of Acquired Punctal Stenosis

Konuk, Onur M.D.; Urgancioglu, Berrak M.D.; Unal, Mehmet M.D.

Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: September-October 2008 - Volume 24 - Issue 5 - p 399-402
doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e318185a9ca

Purpose: To give the long-term success rates of punctal dilatation with insertion of perforated punctal plugs (PPP) for the management of acquired punctal stenosis.

Methods: A series of 44 eyes of 26 patients who underwent PPP implantation for the management of acquired punctal stenosis were retrospectively evaluated in terms of the severity of acquired punctal stenosis, associated eyelid disorders, implantation technique of PPP, and long-term success rate of PPP for the treatment of epiphora. In all patients, punctal dilation was performed prior to the insertion of plugs. Patients demonstrating moderate or severe horizontal eyelid laxity underwent a lateral tarsal strip procedure before PPP implantation. Complete stenosis of the punctum was treated with the radiofrequency unit before PPP implantation. The plugs were extracted at 2 months in every patient.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 63.6 ± 10.5 years. The median interval between the onset of epiphora and PPP implantation was 15 months. There were 14 complete stenoses, 29 partial punctal stenoses, and 1 squamous papilloma involving the inferior punctum causing epiphora. Associated eyelid laxity was detected in 14 of 44 eyes (31.8%), and 8 eyes underwent a lateral tarsal strip procedure before PPP implantation. The mean follow-up time was 19.0 ± 13.4 months. Success was achieved in 37 of 44 eyes (84.1%), with relief of epiphora. Of the 7 eyes with continued epiphora, 3 eyes demonstrated recurrent punctal stenosis and 4 eyes demonstrated mild horizontal eyelid laxity.

Conclusions: The long-term success rate of PPP implantation for the treatment of acquired punctal stenosis is satisfactory. Associated eyelid pathologies should be evaluated for their contribution to epiphora and be treated before PPP implantation.

Punctal dilation and insertion of perforated punctal plugs demonstrate good long-term results for management of acquired punctal stenosis.

Deptartment of Ophthalmology, Gazi University Medical School, Ankara, Turkey

Accepted for publication April 11, 2008.

None of the authors has a financial or proprietary interest in any method or material mentioned in this manuscript.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Onur Konuk, 441. cadde 437. sokak, No. 3-3, Birlik Mah., TR-06610, Çankaya, Ankara, Turkey. E-mail:

©2008The American Society of Opthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc.