Original Article

The Effectiveness of Probing for the Treatment of Congenital Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction


  • Ebru Esen
  • Altan Atakan Özcan
  • Elif Erdem
  • Emine Çiloğlu
  • Hande Göksu Şimdivar

Received Date: 07.02.2012 Accepted Date: 08.06.2012 Turk J Ophthalmol 2012;42(5):342-345


To investigate the outcome of probing in patients with congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction and to evaluate the success rate among age groups.

Ma­te­ri­al and Met­hod:

The charts of patients who underwent probing for congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction between 2008 and 2011 were reviewed. Patients’ ages at the time of probing, the presence of watering complaints and epiphora, and fluorescein dye disappearance test results after the procedure were recorded. Findings were evaluated according to age groups.


Forty-six patients (24 girls (52.2%), 22 boys (47.8%)) diagnosed as congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction were included in the study. Probing was performed to the right eye in 13 (28.3%), left eye in 13 (28.3%) and both eyes in 20 (43.4%) patients, i.e. to 66 eyes in total. Age at time of probing was between 18 days and 6 years (average: 23.5 months). Six patients were under 12 months, 26 patients were between 12 and 24 months, and 14 patients were over 24 months. Mean follow-up period was 4.32 (1-24) months. By probing, success was achieved in 48 of 66 eyes (72.72%). According to the age group, success rate of probing was 100% (6 of 6 eyes) in patients under 12 months, while it was 80.95% (34 of 42 eyes) in patients between 12-24 months and 44.44% (8 eyes of 18) in those over 24 months.


In the first year of life, probing is an effective treatment for congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction in cases not improving with conservative treatment. As the age increases, the chance of success decreases, thus the application should not be delayed. However, in selected cases with advanced age, it can be recommended prior to invasive treatments. (Turk J Ophthalmol 2012; 42: 342-5)

Keywords: Congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction, probing

Full Text (Turkish)