The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog


Abstract: Thermal punctal cautery

The patients in this study who underwent thermal cautery all had a history of plugs falling out. Just as a matter of interest I wonder whether a single type of plug was used or other types were tried when the first ones came out. I'm not against cautery by any means (used appropriately...) but I think that it can be a service to the patient to experiment with different plug types.

Surgical Punctal Occlusion with a High Heat-Energy-Releasing Cautery Device for Severe Dry Eye with Recurrent Punctal Plug Extrusion.

To report the rate of recanalization and the efficacy of punctal occlusion surgery with a high heat-energy-releasing cautery device in patients with severe dry eye disease and recurrent punctal plug extrusion.

Prospective, interventional case series.

Seventy puncta from 44 eyes of 28 dry eye patients underwent punctal occlusion with thermal cautery. All patients had a history of recurrent punctal plug extrusion. A high heat-energy-releasing thermal cautery device (Optemp II V; Alcon Japan) was used for punctal occlusion surgery. Symptom scores, best-corrected visual acuity, fluorescein staining score, rose bengal staining score, tear film break-up time, and Schirmer test values were compared before and 3 months after the surgery. Rate of punctal recanalization also was examined.

Three months after surgical cauterization, symptom score decreased from 3.9 ± 0.23 to 0.56 ± 0.84 (P < .0001). Logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution best-corrected visual acuity improved from 0.11 ± 0.30 to 0.013 ± 0.22 (P = .003). Fluorescein staining score, rose bengal staining score, tear film break-up time, and the Schirmer test value also improved significantly after the surgery. Only 1 of 70 puncta recanalized after thermal cauterization (1.4%).

Punctal occlusion with the high heat-energy-releasing cautery device not only was associated with a low recanalization rate, but also with improvements in ocular surface wetness and better visual acuity.

Am J Ophthalmol. 2011 Jan 11. [Epub ahead of print]
Ohba E, Dogru M, Hosaka E, Yamazaki A, Asaga R, Tatematsu Y, Ogawa Y, Tsubota K, Goto E.
Department of Ophthalmology, School of Dental Medicine, Tsurumi University, Yokohama, Japan.