Does SmartPlug Treatment for Dry Eye Pose an Infection Risk?

April 6, 2011

An article in Review of Ophthalmology reports potential problems with the SmartPlug treatment for dry eye from Medennium. Dr Fezza noted a high incidence of canaliculitis among those who received this plug in his practice. The plugs are typically inserted inside the canaliculus as a treatment for dry eye. Some patients required surgical procedures to remove the plug and associated inflammatory masses and stones. Reportedly, the company did not respond to the editor’s request for information.

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3 Responses to “Does SmartPlug Treatment for Dry Eye Pose an Infection Risk?”

  • Being a drainage, and having a constant epithelium growth is definitely a situation expected. Need to be reviewed as often as possible, and avoid waiting for complications, Patients need to be educated. Good comment ari.

  • ari

    for years now, i abandoned permanent plugs, as i was afraid of the risk of infection or obstruction, and now insert a canalicular plug (made by oasis, i think), which dissolves after about 6 months. the patient returns q 6 months for this plug- better for the patient (zero risk of complications), and actually better for my bottom line, as i typically get paid each time i insert them.

  • I wouldn’t expect a response (just as they did not respond to my request years ago for a refund for my unused plugs after three of my patients developed chronic canaliculitis requiring DCR). The company has been aware of this problem for years and yet refuses to admit to the problem. Such serious and known complications should be addressed by the regulatory government agencies. There simply is no reason to place your patient at risk for DCR when there are plenty of other alternatives that do not pose this serious risk. Why it has not already been pulled from the market is beyond me.

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