Canalicular Laceration Follow-up

Updated: Sep 24, 2014
  • Author: Louise A Mawn, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

Children with trauma to the eyelids must be monitored closely to ensure that deprivational amblyopia does not occur from eyelid ptosis.

Patients with traumatic ptosis typically are observed for 6 months before proceeding with repair; exceptions include complete ptosis in a child at risk for amblyopia. The silicone stent is removed 3 months to 1 year after the repair depending on the extent of the trauma.

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Further Inpatient Care

Inpatient care typically is directed by the trauma service admitting the patient.

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Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

Isolated canalicular trauma can be treated on an outpatient basis.

In those patients in whom inpatient care is needed, medications may include intravenous Ancef (1 g q8h in adult for first 24 h).

If the patient is able to take oral antibiotics, then a broad-spectrum antibiotic, such as (Keflex 500 mg qid), can be used for 10 days. A broad-spectrum ophthalmic antibiotic ointment, such as TobraDex, is used 4 times per day to the wounds for the first 2 weeks. An ophthalmic antibiotic solution, such as TobraDex, is used 4 times per day to the lacrimal system for the first 2 weeks.

Patients who are immunosuppressed or who have undergone prior splenectomy are at risk for developing infection with dysgonic fermenter-2 24-48 hours after a dog bite.

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Transfer

Patients with extensive injuries often are transferred to a rehabilitation facility. Postoperative care must include assessing the wound for infection, patency of the lacrimal system, and stent position.

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Deterrence/Prevention

Canalicular injuries resulting from sports injuries could potentially be avoided with proper headgear.

Those lacerations resulting from assault often are alcohol abuse related.

Close surveillance of toddler interactions with the family pet or a known dog may be helpful in preventing a significant number of canalicular lacerations in toddlers.

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Complications

Premature loss of the stent can occur with bicanalicular repair with passage of the stent through the nasolacrimal duct. The stent can prolapse through the puncta, raising concern of the patient and family members. When the eyed pigtail probe method is used, the knot can rotate and cause conjunctival irritation. The puncta can erode from any of the stent materials used to repair the laceration. Pyogenic granulomas may form adjacent to the stent. Nasal irritation or nosebleeds may occur from stents passed through the nose. Despite acute repair, chronic epiphora may develop. The medial lids may become webbed because of opposed lacerations.

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Prognosis

The success rate with canalicular repair ranges from 20-100%. The success rate rises to 86-95% with microscopic reanastomosis of the severed canaliculus with silicone intubation of the lacrimal system.

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Patient Education

Attention to the anatomy of the lacrimal drainage system and the medial aspect of the lid is critical for those ophthalmologists and emergency physicians who are assessing these injuries. Suspicion must be raised in any laceration of the medial eyelid.

The balance between tear production and outflow must be explained to patients. In addition, limitations secondary to the extent or nature of the trauma must be discussed with the patient.

For excellent patient education resources, visit eMedicineHealth's Eye and Vision Center. Also, see eMedicineHealth's patient education articles Eye Injuries and Black Eye.

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