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Opening of tear duct (Blocked Tear Duct)

  • Posted on- Apr 02, 2018
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This process involves opening of the tear ducts to allow the tears to drain properly. Tear glands and tear ducts are the parts which are involved in the opening of the tear duct procedure.

Why is the opening of tear duct surgery performed?

Every time a person blinks their eyes, tears come out. Eyes are washed out by the tears and are drained out through the tear ducts. Tear ducts are drained by the secretions from the eye to the inside of the nose.

However, sometimes these tear ducts are blocked. This may be due to a variety of reasons such as:

Usually, the opening of tear duct procedure is not required for infants in whom applying massages will help, in most of the cases.

How is the opening of tear duct surgery performed?

There are different ways an opening of tear duct procedure is carried out. It also depends on the age of the patient and severity of the blockage. The methods include:

Conservative method: A conservative method is a non-surgical method used in young infants diagnosed with a tear duct blockage, as well as in adults who have a blockage due to facial swelling. The method involves a special massage technique. Normally, the doctor will demonstrate the technique of how to perform the massage.

Minimally invasive techniques: There are three techniques in this form of treatment.

  • Dilation, probing, and irrigation: This technique is used mostly for infants having a congenital block. In this process, the puncta (small openings at the corner of the eyes) are expounded using a special instrument. Keeping the puncta dilated, the tear ducts are then flushed and irrigated with a saline solution
  • Balloon catheter dilation: In this procedure, a catheter (tube) with a deflated balloon on its tip is threaded through the tear duct in the nose. The balloon is inflated using a pump and then deflated. This is carried out a few times, moving it to different locations along the duct
  • Stenting or intubation: In this process, a few small, polyurethane or silicone tube is mixed through one or both punctal, all the way through the duct, out from the nose. The tubes are left for 1-3 months

Surgery (dacryocystorhinostomy): It involves a reconstruction of the duct, enabling drainage of the tears into the nose. Depending on the type of blockage, the reconstruction may involve connecting the tear duct to the nose through a different system or reconstructing the entire drainage system (also called conjunctivodacryocystorhinostomy).

Which of the different tests are needed to perform before the opening of tear duct surgery?

Before the opening of tear duct surgery is performed, the patient may need to have the following tests done, as suggested by the doctor:

What can the possible risks and complications after the opening of tear duct surgery be?

Some of the risks and complications after the surgery include:

  • Surgical wound infection
  • Recurrent blockage of the duct
  • Excessive tears


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