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April 1985

Congenital Lacrimal Fistulas

Author Affiliations

From the Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. Dr Bergin is now with the Department of Ophthalmology, Letterman Army Medical Center, Presidio of San Francisco.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(4):545-548. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050040087025

• Twenty-one patients had surgical procedures for symptomatic cogenital lacrimal fistulas. The symptoms were epiphora from birth in 18 patients and late-onset epiphora in three cases. Thirteen patients had nasolacrimal obstruction at the upper duct or sac level. There were 21 dacryocystorhinostomies with fistula excision and canalicular intubation, and one patient had excision of the fistula tract only. The fistulas originated from the tear sac in only four cases and from the common canaliculus in 17; in one, the upper and lower canaliculus and the lacrimal fistula each had a separate opening into the lateral sac wall. The functional success rate was 95%. We recommend dacryocystorhinostomy with common canalicular dissection, fistula excision, and canalicular intubation for all patients with symptomatic congenital lacrimal fistulas to facilitate outflow and to avoid common canalicular obstruction.

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