Background: Endonasal laser-assisted dacryocystorhinostomy has been a subject of much interest since its introduction in 1990, offering the potential advantages of decreased postoperative morbidity and the lack of a cutaneous scar. In this study, the authors report the results of 46 endonasal laser-assisted dacryocystorhinostomy procedures performed on 42 patients between February 1991 and July 1992.
Methods: The medical records of all patients undergoing endonasal laser-assisted dacryocystorhinostomy procedures were reviewed retrospectively in detail. Patients undergoing laser-assisted external dacryocystorhinostomies or conjunctivo-dacryocystorhinostomies and those with follow-up periods less than 4 months were not included in the study.
Results: A total of 46 endonasal laser-assisted dacryocystorhinostomy procedures were performed. Of these, 32 were successful and 14 failed after a single attempt, yielding a success rate of 70% (32/46). Of the 14 patients with failed procedures, 6 underwent a second endonasal laser-assisted dacryocystorhinostomy. Of these, five were successful. The success rate calculated on the basis of one or two attempts was 80% (37/46).
Conclusions: The science and technology of endonasal laser-assisted dacryocystorhinostomy is undergoing a continuous process of evolution as a number of modifications are introduced, including better patient selection, more complete tissue removal at the osteotomy site, and the adjunctive use of mitomycin C. As this process continues, it is likely that the success rates in this modality will improve, making it an increasingly attractive alternative to external dacryocystorhinostomy.