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Surgical Technique
March 1998

Ritleng Intubation System for Treatment of Congenital Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction

Author Affiliations

From the University Eye Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown (Drs Pe, Langford, Linberg, and Schwartz), and the Midwest Eye Institute, Indianapolis, Ind (Dr Sondhi). None of the authors have a commercial or proprietary interest in any of the products or companies mentioned.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998;116(3):387-391. doi:10.1001/archopht.116.3.387

Twenty-eight patients (34 eyes) with congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction underwent silicone intubation with the Ritleng lacrimal intubation system. The technique involves introduction of a Prolene (Ethicon Inc, Somerville, NJ) monofilament guide thread, securely fastened to the silicone tubing, into a tubular metal probe that opens into the inferior meatus. The outcome was evaluated in terms of ease of intubation and objective success rate. Thirty-two (94%) of the 34 lacrimal systems were successfully intubated with the Ritleng system. Difficulty passing the Prolene thread through the probe and out the tip, necessitating conversion to a Crawford intubation system, was encountered in only 2 eyes (6%). The Prolene spontaneously emerged from the nose in 24 (75%) of 32 eyes, making retrieval simple and uncomplicated. The success rate for relieving signs and symptoms of obstruction was 97% (31/32) for the eyes with the Ritleng system and 100% (2/2) for the eyes with the Crawford system. Bicanalicular silicone intubation with the Ritleng intubation system is an easy and effective technique for treatment of congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction.

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