Background: Uncomplicated dacryocystorhinostomy after dacryocystitis with lacrimal sac obstruction has a success rate of 85%. However therapy of restenosis poses a problem. Vast destruction of lacrimal and nasal mucosa renders the drainage system susceptible for further stenosis. This article presents a new surgical procedure for the treatment of restenosis of the nasolacrimal apparatus. The major difference from other techniques is the endonasal implantation of a silicon foil. This counters the development of synechiae and promotes the epitheliasation of wound surfaces. As a result the nasal mucosa can easier gain access to lacrimal mucosa. A complete mucosal coating of the reconstructed lacrimal drainage system is an important condition for the sufficient drainage of the tear-film.
Patients and methods: In 30 patients with restenosis after one or multiple dacryocystorhinostomies a silicon foil was implanted endonasally as part of their surgical revision. After skin incision and removal of scar tissue the bony ostium was enlarged. The canaliculi were intubated with silastic tubing. Afterwards the endonasal synechiae were split and a 0.2-0.4 mm silicon foil was implanted endonasally und fixed. The silastic tubing was brought through a hole in the silicon foil and knotted inside the nose. Then the wound was closed. Postoperative evaluation of the surgical success ranged from 3 to 36 months (mean 16 months).
Results: The postoperative result was good in 24 patients. Sixteen patients were without symptoms. 8 had epiphora only on stress. The latter felt their situation to be greatly improved. The long-term results were directly proportional to the amount of reconstructable mucosa and inversely proportional to the severity of canaliculus damage. Adverse reaction to the silicon foil were not noted.
Conclusion: Endonasal implantation of a silicon foil is a new, easy and successful technique for the treatment of endonasal synechiae and restenosis of the nasolacrimal apparatus.