Of 291 dacryocystorhinostomies, 18 (6 percent) were considerd anatomical failures. At reoperation, 78 percent were found to have canalicular obstructions with a predominance of common canaliculus. A closed osteotomy was found in four (22 percent). Most of the failures had trauma as the initiating cause of nasolacrimal obstruction. It must be emphasized that our failures were demonstrated by anatomical observation of obstruction at reoperation. We recognize that postoperative tearing is a subjective variable and understand that some failures are asymptomatic.