Endonasal dacryocystorhinostomy with mucosal flaps

Am J Ophthalmol. 2003 Jan;135(1):76-83. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(02)01830-5.


Purpose: To describe a new endonasal dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) technique and assess its efficacy.

Design: Prospective nonrandomized interventional case series.

Methods: A prospective series of 44 consecutive endonasal DCRs performed from January 1999 to December 2000 was entered into the study. The new technique involved creation of a large bony ostium and mucosal flaps to create an anastamosis between the lacrimal sac mucosa and nasal mucosa. Patients presenting with naso-lacrimal duct obstruction based on symptomatic, clinical, and radiologic grounds were included in the study. Patients who had undergone previous lacrimal surgery were excluded. Surgery was performed by two surgeons (A.T., P.J.W.) using a standardized operative technique. Patient demographics, presentation, examination findings, surgical and anesthetic data, postoperative success, complications, and follow-up were evaluated. Success was defined as anatomic patency as well as relief of symptoms as assessed by fluorescein flow on nasendoscopy, lacrimal syringing, and patient examination. Intubation of the lacrimal apparatus was performed in all operations and the tubes usually removed at 4 to 6 weeks postoperatively. After removal of the tubes follow-up was 13 months (mean, 12.9 months; range, 9-28 months; standard deviation [SD], 6.1 months).

Results: There were 36 patients (12 male/24 female) who underwent 44 endonasal DCRs. The average age of the patients was 62.9 years old (range, 15-86 years old; SD, 19.1 years) and the main presentation was with epiphora (93%) and/or mucocoele (33%). In 13 operations (30%) a septoplasty was required at the time of surgery, and in 10 operations (23%) further endoscopic sinus surgery was performed in conjunction with the DCR. Anatomic success with a patent nasolacrimal system was achieved in 40 of 44 operations (91%). Symptomatic and anatomic success was seen in 39 of 44 operations (89%). Five of the DCRs were classified as failures. In one DCR the patient was symptomatic despite a patent nasolacrimal system and well-healed ostium. In two DCRs preoperative medial canalicular problems were noted. In two DCRs scarring and fibrosis of ostium were noted.

Conclusions: This new technique of endonasal DCR involves creation of a large ostium and construction of nasal and lacrimal sac mucosal flaps. Its anatomic success rate (91% or 40 of 44 DCRs) compares favorably with the success rate of other techniques for endonasal DCR and is also similar to the success of external DCR. Experience in endoscopic nasal surgery is important in endonasal DCR surgery, as other ancillary procedures may be required within the nose at the time of surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Dacryocystorhinostomy* / methods*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Mucosa / surgery*
  • Nasolacrimal Duct / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps*


  • Fluorescein