Tear Drainage Surgery (DCR: Dacryocystorhinostomy)
the eyes moist and healthy requires tears. Tears are produced in the lacrimal
gland, located under the upper eyelid. Tears drain from the eye into the nose
through the nasolacrimal duct, or tear duct. A blockage of this drainage duct
can cause wet eyes or excessive tearing. A blocked tear duct can also cause
mucus buildup in the eye or ongoing infections in the lacrimal sac where tears
collect. Infections are noticeable as a swelling of the inner corner of the
duct obstructions can happen with no obvious cause. Sometimes previous sinus or
nose surgery, or facial trauma with broken facial bones, can obstruct the tear
drainage surgery is called dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) and can be performed in
different ways. One type of operation is an external DCR where an incision is
made on the side of the nose, where eyeglasses might rest. A small amount of
bone is removed to permit a new connection between the lacrimal sac and the
inside of the nose. Small plastic tubes are inserted at the time of surgery to
keep the newly created opening from scarring shut during the healing process.
The tubing is removed a few months after surgery.
type of operation uses a special instrument called an endoscope. The endoscope
is a small tube with a fiberoptic light that facilitates the creation of a new
opening into the nose. Various types of laser have also been used to perform
the DCR operation.
extreme cases where the tear duct cannot be reopened or repaired, an artificial
tear duct can be implanted. The artificial tear duct is called a Jones tube and
is implanted behind the inner corner of the eyelid to drain tears into the