JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Congenital lacrimal fistula.

PURPOSE: Congenital lacrimal fistula is a rare abnormality of the lacrimal system. The patients may be asymptomatic but treatment of those with symptoms such as epiphora and dacryocystitis is still controversial.

METHODS: The clinical findings, methods of surgical treatment and results were evaluated in seven patients (four male, three female) with congenital lacrimal fistula. Three were asymptomatic, types of surgical treatment were fistula excision with dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) (two cases), fistula excision with conjunctival DCR (one case) and closed fistula excision alone (one case).

RESULTS: Three of the four patients who underwent surgery had relief of symptoms. The fistula recurred in the case that had undergone fistula excision alone.

CONCLUSIONS: It is difficult to design controlled studies to detect which method is superior for the treatment of lacrimal fistula, considering the small number of cases in the literature. We recommend treating each case according to its own characteristics.

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