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December 1938


Arch Ophthalmol. 1938;20(6):954-957. doi:10.1001/archopht.1938.00850240068003

The birth of the idea of the dacryocystorhinostomy occurred when the lacrimal sac and ducts were shown to be conducting structures and not secreting organs. Antoine Maître-Jan1 appears to have been the first to have recognized the true anatomic structure and physiologic function of the lacrimal duct and sac. His work formed the foundation of rational therapy of the part. Before his time it was believed that these structures were glands.

The first surgeon to take advantage of the basic physiologic and anatomic knowledge of the lacrimal structures was the Englishman Woolhouse. Woolhouse himself left no known description of his method of operating, but his technic is mentioned by Platner2 in an article published early in the eighteenth century. Metal cannulas and frequent irrigations were employed in the earlier technic.

Modern work began with the contributions of the Florentine rhinologist Toti,3 in 1904. All subsequent work