Monday, April 9, 2012

Abstract: Smart Plugs

I don't care what this study says, I still say DON'T DO IT. I hate SmartPlugs as you all know. The complications may not be widespread but when they happen they are bad, and since good alternatives to this kind of plug exist, there's just no point exposing yourself. Tempting because they're comfy, but... I hate 'em. Too many people have had to have unnecessary surgery on their eyelids dealing with these stupid plugs going places they were never meant to travel.

Clinical efficacy of the SmartPlug™ in the treatment of primary Sjogren's syndrome with keratoconjunctivitis sicca: one-year follow-up study.

To evaluate the efficacy of a thermo-sensitive punctum plug, (SmartPlug™) in Primary Sjogren's Syndrome (pSS) patients with dry eyes, whose symptoms persist despite preservative-free artificial tear treatment. In this study, 22 Primary Sj√∂gren's Syndrome (pSS), as defined by American-European Consensus Group Classification Criteria. All patients being followed up by Ege University Departments of Rheumatology and Ophthalmology. The patients had positive Schirmer test results ( < 5 mm without anesthesia). SmartPlug™ (Medennium, Irvine, California, USA) was inserted into the inferior lacrimal canaliculi of both eyes. Visual acuity measurements, Schirmer I test measurements, lissamine green staining scores, and tear-film breakup times (BUT) were noted before plug insertion and at the 1st, 6th, and 12th months following the procedure. Minimum follow-up period was 6 months for 19 patients and 12 months for 16 patients. Significant improvements were seen in the Schirmer I test scores (before insertion: 1.98 ± 2.67; 1st month: 5.68 ± 6.69; 6th month: 5.35 ± 5.38; 12th month 6.43 ± 5.14 P = 0.006), tear-film BUT in seconds (before insertion: 4.64 ± 3.7; 1st month: 5.80 ± 2.36; 6th month: 7.53 ± 2.92; 12th month 7.50 ± 2.52, P < 0.0001 ), respectively. Thermodynamic punctum plug insertion only in inferior canaliculus is a simple, effective, and comfortable option for treatment of severe aqueous tear deficiency that cannot be controlled using preservative-free tears.

Rheumatol Int. 2011 Dec;31(12):1567-70. Epub 2010 May 21.
Egrilmez S, Aslan F, Karabulut G, Kabasakal Y, Yagci A.
Department of Ophthalmology, Ege University Medical Faculty, Bornova-Izmir, Turkey.


Redbirdi said...

I am one of the victims of "smart plugs".

I experienced 6 months of severe recurring infection and inflammation, 'caused by the plugs. I was set for surgery to cut open my eyelid to remove the plug, that would not come out by all other in office techniques. -Most of which were also painful.

By persistent, final efforts of my doctor, she finally got it out, along with growth of irregular tissue (small tumors). It was a mess and of course hurt like heck.
But, since fully healing and 3 years out, I have never suffered like I did with those plugs. Yes, I continue to suffer with severe dry eye, but no more infections, swelling and tumors in my eyelids.

Please avoid using this product. It is not worth it.


KatJax said...

How long did you have them in before experiencing problems?

Anonymous said...

How do I know if I have Smart Plugs or not? I had punctal plugs inserted in both my lower lids, near my nose. One fell out and had to be replaced. They don't hurt but I can see a small white bump and feel an odd pressure sometimes. Are ALL punctal plugs Smart Plugs? Thank you again for all your good information.

Anonymous said...

Smart Plugs are put down inside the punctum where you can't see them. They can't be felt and must be irrigated out or surgically removed, unless they some how come out on their own, of course. Not such a "smart" idea in my opinion and wished I had done more research before having them inserted. They have made my dry eye, due to LASIK, actually worsen. I wish to have them removed but don't know if I can afford the procedure, even with the help of my health insurance.