Nasolacrimal Endoscopy and Stenting Procedure in a Cat

16 August 2017 – News


An 8-year-old female cat underwent a new procedure to permanently reopen an obstructed tear duct. This minimally invasive approach had already shown great promise in one horse and a number of dogs, but had not yet been performed in a cat.

The nasolacrimal apparatus (NLA) is responsible for the generation and drainage of tears. The NLA frequently becomes blocked and sometimes infected leading to discomfort, tear staining, discharge from the eye and skin inflammation. However, the NLA is made up of such small ducts that access to the obstruction can be extremely difficult.

With cameras small enough to fit into the tiny drainage ducts, clinicians used endoscopy to identify and bypass or remove the NLA obstruction. A temporary stent was placed to reopen the duct and was left in place for two months to allow adequate time for the duct to heal in an open position. Three months after the surgery the owner reported a complete resolution of his cat’s left eye’s signs.

A clinical trial is underway to evaluate the procedure so that this can become the standard-of-care for this otherwise frustrating disease.