Global survey of lacrimal surgeons on practice of nasolacrimal duct obstruction amid COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords:COVID-19, Lacrimal duct obstruction, Surveys and questionnaires
Objective: To survey lacrimal surgeons worldwide on their practice of nasolacrimal duct obstruction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: A 24-question survey was designed to investigate lacrimal surgeons worldwide on their practice of nasolacrimal duct obstruction before the COVID-19 outbreak, during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic (Spring 2020), and during the study period (12 March 2021 to 12 May 2021). The survey was uploaded to a website, and the link of the survey was sent to international oculoplastic societies for further distribution to their members.
Results: A total of 570 respondents from 68 countries or regions were included in the analysis. During the study period, the preferred surgical technique for nasolacrimal duct obstruction was external dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) [69.9%], followed by endoscopic DCR (46.0%). 95.1% of respondents performed silicone intubation. When the risk of COVID-19 infection was high, respondents preferred external DCR to endoscopic DCR. Respondents used higher levels of PPE for lacrimal irrigation and surgery during the study period than before the COVID-19 outbreak, in compliance with guidelines on aerosol-generating medical procedures.
Conclusions: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the preferred surgical treatment worldwide for nasolacrimal duct obstruction remains external DCR. The experience gained from the COVID-19 pandemic enables lacrimal surgeons to better prepare for future pandemics.
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