Blocked Tear Duct Surgery in Seattle & Bellevue, WA

What the Purpose of a Dacryocystorhinostomy Procedure?

Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a surgical procedure to restore the flow of tears into the nose from the lacrimal sac when the nasolacrimal duct becomes blocked or obstructed.

Symptoms of Blocked Tear Duct

Closeup of browneyed senior woman's eyes

There are many symptoms that a patient may experience before deciding to get the surgery done. The most common symptoms are:

  • excessive watering
  • mucous discharge
  • eye irritation
  • painful swelling in the inner corner of the eyelids

How is Dacryocystorhinostomy Surgery Performed?

DCR (blocked tear duct) Bellevue WA | Seattle

This surgical procedure can be performed by the doctor with the patient asleep or awake. There are two ways for a dacryocystorhinostomy to be completed, external or endoscopic.

  • External – A small cut is made on the side of your nose and closed with stitches.
  • Endoscopic – A tiny instrument and a camera is inserted through the opening of your nose.

The endoscopic surgical procedure is considered less painful than the external procedure and does not leave scars. A tube is simply placed inside the new opening while it is healing.

Are There Side Effects to DCR Surgery?

As with any surgery, there are potential side effects. While relatively small, here are some of the possible side effects:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Bruises
  • Scars
  • Infection

Blocked Tear Duct Treatment

Surgery consists of connecting a tube from the tear drain to the nose. Drains called a “Jones tube” are left behind to prevent the gap from closing and are removed after a few months. This is done under a local anesthesia and is performed as an outpatient procedure, patients go home the same day.

Is DCR surgery performed under general anesthesia?

The surgery can be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia. There are variables that the doctor takes take into consideration when deciding which type of anesthesia to use. The surgeon will look at things like your overall health and the complexity of the procedure before making a final decision.

What is the recovery process for DCR surgery?

Recovery time varies from patient to patient. Generally speaking, you will be able to resume your normal daily activities within two weeks of your surgery. Your surgeon will be sure to inform you, in a more in-depth manner, about what to expect during your recovery.

What is the success rate for DCR surgery?

DCR surgery has a very high success rate. Some factors like the surgical technique, and cause for blockage can factor into the success rate, but overall the surgery is very safe.

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