The Dry Eye Zone

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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.

PURPOSE:
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.

DESIGN:
Prospective, interventional case series.

METHODS:
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.

RESULTS:
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%).

CONCLUSIONS:
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.
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