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Balloon dacryocystoplasty study in the management of adult epiphora.PURPOSE: To determine the efficacy of dacryocystoplasty with balloon dilation in the treatment of acquired obstruction of the nasolacrimal system in adults. METHODS: Balloon dacryocystoplasty was performed in 52 eyes of 42 patients under general anaesthetic. A Teflon-coated guidewire was introduced through the canaliculus and manipulated through the nasolacrimal system and out of the nasal aperture. A 4 mm wide 3 cm coronary angioplasty balloon catheter was threaded over the guidewire in a retrograde fashion and dilated at the site of obstruction. RESULTS: There was complete obstruction in 30% of cases and partial obstruction in 70%. The most common site of obstruction was the nasolacrimal duct. The procedure was technically successful in 94% of cases. The overall re-obstruction rate was 29% within 1 year of the procedure. There was an anatomical failure rate of 17% for partial obstruction and 69% for complete obstruction within 1 year. CONCLUSIONS: Balloon dacryocystoplasty has a high recurrence rate. There may be a limited role for this procedure in partial obstructions. Further refinements of the procedure are necessary before it can be offered as a comparable alternative to a standard surgical dacryocystorhinostomy.