The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: New plug insertion technique

Phew! I had no idea that migration during insertion could be that common with punctal plugs! (That basically means a silicone plug that's supposed to sit right at the outside of the puncta where you can see it falls in and moves up the channel.) Seems unlikely if patients are sized correctly?

A New Punctal Plug Insertion Technique to Prevent Intracanalicular Plug Migration.
Am J Ophthalmol. 2008 Sep 3. [Epub ahead of print]
Kaido M, Ishida R, Dogru M, Tsubota K.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the intracanalicular migration rate during plug insertion with a new plug insertion technique compared with a standard technique.

DESIGN: Interventional, nonrandomized, comparative study.

METHOD: Forty-five patients with dry eye syndrome underwent a punctal plug insertion with the new technique, and 33 patients underwent a punctal plug insertion with a standard technique at the dry eye subspecialty outpatient clinic of the Department of Ophthalmology at Keio University. Tear function examinations and ocular surface evaluations, including the Schirmer test, tear film breakup time, fluorescein and Rose Bengal vital staining scores, were performed before punctal plug insertion. Super Flex Punctum Plugs (Eagle Vision, Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Softplug-Oasis Medical Inc, Glendora, California, USA) were implanted in all subjects with both techniques. In total, 120 procedures were carried out with the new technique and 132 procedures with the standard technique.

RESULTS: There were no statistical differences between the two groups in tear function and ocular surface staining scores (P > .05). There was no intracanalicular plug migration with the new insertion technique, whereas there were 18 incidents of intracanalicular migration of 132 standard plug insertion procedures (13.6%).

CONCLUSIONS: The new plug insertion technique seems to be effective in eliminating intracanalicular plug migration during the insertion procedure.
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