JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Analysis of the results of surgical endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy: effect of the level of obstruction.

AIM: One of the main factors in determining success rate of lacrimal surgery is the level of obstruction in the lacrimal drainage system. There are only few reports which quantify this, and none on endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR).

METHODS: A case series of patients who had endoscopic DCR for anatomical obstruction of the lacrimal drainage system was performed. All patients who had lacrimal blockage referred to a district general hospital, irrespective of the level of blockage, had endoscopic DCR as the initial treatment by the authors. A total of 191 endoscopic DCRs were performed between 1994 and 1999. No other forms of lacrimal surgery were performed during this period. The level of the obstruction was assessed by the ophthalmologist before the operation and confirmed at surgery. All cases were followed up for a minimum of 6 months, and 96 cases were also reviewed 12 months after surgery. The outcome of the endoscopic DCR operation for each eye was categorised into complete cure, partial cure, or no improvement according to the degree of symptomatic relief following the operation.

RESULTS: Complete relief from epiphora was achieved in 89% of cases overall at 6 months. The success rate in cases with lacrimal sac/duct obstruction (93%) or common canalicular blockage (88%) was comparable. In canalicular obstruction, however, the complete cure rate was lower at 54%. The benefit of the operation was maintained at 12 months.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the success rate of surgical (non-laser) endoscopic DCR is comparable to that reported for external DCR. Moreover, the technique is appropriate for initial treatment of patients with common canalicular or even canalicular obstruction.

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