Journal List > J Korean Ophthalmol Soc > v.49(2) > 1008151

Kwon and Lee: Long-term Results of Silicone Tube Intubation in Incomplete Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction (NLDO)



To evaluate the results of long-term follow-up of silicone tube intubation in patients with acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO) that is incomplete.


A retrospective analysis was conducted of the outcomes of silicone intubation performed between 1998 and 2003. During that period, we performed silicone intubation on 109 eyes, but only 45 eyes that completed at least 6 months of follow-up were included in the analysis.


The mean follow-up period was 30.4 months (6∼76 months), and silicone tubes remained in place an average of 6.5 months (1∼18months). The success rate, which is defined as the improvement of epiphora symptoms with patent nasolacrimal irrigation.


Silicone tube intubation is a simple, cost-effective, and beneficial treatment for patients, but the recurrence rate increases over time, especially several years after the operation.


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Figure 1.
Success rate of silicone intubation.
Table 1.
Characteristics of patients
Characteristics Mean Range
Age (years) 55.1 29∼82
Length of follow up (months) 30.4 6∼76
Duration of intubation (months) 6.5 1∼18
Table 2.
Subjective symptomatic success rate of silicone intubation
  6 months 1 year ≥ 3 years
The number of follow up eyes 45 40 31
Complete resolution of symptom 20 (44.4%) 21 (52.5%) 9 (29%)
Better improvement of symptom 15 (33.3%) 9 (22.5%) 7 (22.6%)
No improvement of symptom 10 (22.3%) 10 (25%) 15 (48.4%)
Table 3.
Objective success rate of silicone intubation according to the result of nasolacrimal irrigation
  6 months 1 year ≥ 3 years
The number of follow up eyes 45 40 31
Patent 17 (37.8%) 15 (37.5%) 7 (22.6%)
Patent but reflux 19 (42.2%) 15 (37.5%) 9 (29%)
Obstruction 9 (20.0%) 10 (25%) 15 (48.4%)
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