A comparison of external and endonasal dacryocystorhinostomy in regard to patient satisfaction and cost

Belinda W. Hii, Alan A. McNab, Justin D. Friebel

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Definitive treatment of nasolacrimal duct obstruction is with external or endonasal dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). Recent trials suggest surgical equivalency between techniques. We sought to compare alternative outcomes of DCR techniques in terms of quality of life and cost. Methods: This study was a multicentre prospective nonrandomized case series comparing adult patients treated with external or endonasal DCR. Groups were allocated according to DCR technique. Participation did not affect treatment choice. The Glasgow Benefit Inventory (GBI) was utilized to compare postoperative quality of life, and an activity-based costing (ABC) method used to estimate costs of the two techniques. Surgical data were also collected. A minimum of 3 months follow-up was observed. Results: Seventy-seven patients were included-37 external and 40 endonasal. Both techniques resulted in positive health status change, with mean GBI scores of +16.1 for external DCR and +24.1 for endonasal (p=0.18). Using an ABC method, the operative costs of external DCR were less than endonasal at $715.79 AUD and $932.52 AUD respectively. Conclusions: This trial suggests that external and endonasal DCR produce comparable outcomes in terms of postoperative quality of life, with external DCR resulting in lower operative costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost
  • Dacryocystorhinostomy
  • Endonasal
  • External
  • Quality of life

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