Blocked Tear Duct Surgery – Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR)

Blocked tear ducts are a common problem for Long Island patients who present to our offices with tearing and discharge from their eyes. One or both eyes may be affected and one may be worse than the other. Usually, there is no obvious cause for the problem, but a history of a previous nasal surgery (nose job, for example) or trauma makes certain patients more likely to develop a blocked tear duct.

Surgery to fix the problem may be necessary after an initial consultation to diagnose the condition. In the office, we are able to demonstrate that the tear duct is indeed blocked by attempting to squirt water down the normal passageway. If the water is unable to flow into the nose, then surgery is usually recommended to the patient.

Dacryocystorhinostomy or DCR is a surgery that fixes a blocked tear duct by bypassing the blockage and making a new tear drainage pathway from the eyes into the nose. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient ambulatory surgery center. Often, a plasitc stent is left in the new tear drain after surgery to prevent it from scarring closed. The stent usually stays in place for three to six months and is easily removed in the office.

DCR surgery may be performed with a small external incision or via an endoscopic approach through the nose. The endoscopic approach uses a camera to visualize the anatomy in the nose and allow for the procedure to be performed completely internally.

Tearing can be an annoying problem for patients, but we have different treatment options to fix the condition. A personalized consultation at one of our convenient locations is necessary to diagnose the problem and recommend the proper treatment. Sometimes, medical treatments can be tried before resorting to surgery.

North Shore Eye Care is Long Island’s most established comprehensive eye care provider with locations in Smithtown, Riverhead, Garden City, Hempstead, Southampton, Southold, Holbrook, and Deer Park. We offer subspecialized care in ophthalmic plastic surgery, oculoplastic surgery, LASIK, laser vision correction, premium laser cataract surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, glaucoma, uveitis, cornea and external disease, and neuro-ophthalmology.

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