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Nasolacrimal duct obstruction is common and is usually a result of benign stricture formation. Although neoplasia near or around the lacrimal system may produce epiphora, the incidence of neoplasia from within the lacrimal system as a cause of nasolacrimal duct obstruction is not well documented.
A retrospective study was performed on all patients undergoing dacryocystorhinostomy with a history of epiphora. The incidence of patients with operative findings of intra-lacrimal neoplasm was sought. Histopathologically confirmed cases were included.
The study comprised 537 patients, who underwent a total of 631 endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy procedures between January 1998 and July 2013. Non-stenotic causes of nasolacrimal duct obstruction were encountered in 3.01 per cent of dacryocystorhinostomy procedures, and included neoplastic, inflammatory and infectious pathologies. Inverted papilloma was the most common cause, encountered in 0.79 per cent of dacryocystorhinostomy operations.
These findings suggest that neoplasia is an uncommon but not a rare cause of nasolacrimal duct obstruction. Surgical teams performing high numbers of dacryocystorhinostomy procedures should be aware of such pathology and patients counselled appropriately.
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