Op.Dr. Behçet Şahin | KBB Uzmanı
Lacrimal duct Obstruction Surgery

Lacrimal duct Obstruction Surgery

If you have a blocked tear duct, your tears cannot drain normally, leaving you with a watery and irritated eye. The condition is caused by a partial or complete blockage in the tear drainage system.

Blocked tear duct is common in newborns. The condition usually improves without any treatment in the first year of life. A blocked tear duct in adults can be caused by injury, infection, or tumor.

A blocked tear duct can almost always be corrected. Treatment depends on the cause of the blockage and the age of the person.

What is the treatment?

Your treatment depends on what is causing the blocked tear duct. You may need more than one approach to fix the problem. If a tumor is causing your blocked tear duct, treatment will focus on the cause of the tumor. Surgery may be done to remove the tumor, or your doctor may recommend using other treatments to shrink the tumor.

If your doctor suspects an infection, they may recommend using antibiotic eye drops or pills.

Babies born with a blocked tear duct usually recover without any treatment. This can happen when the drainage system matures in the first few months of life. Usually a thin tissue membrane remains, which is drained into the nose (nasolacrimal duct). If your baby's blocked tear duct is not opening, his doctor may teach you a special massage technique to help open the membrane.

If you have a facial injury that causes blocked tear ducts, your doctor may recommend waiting a few months to see if the condition improves as your injury heals. As the swelling in the eye area decreases, your tear ducts may become blocked on their own.

Dilation, probing and washing techniques are performed under general anesthesia for babies. The doctor widens the punctal openings with a special dilatation device and inserts a thin probe into the puncta and tear drainage system.

For adults with partially narrowed puncta, your doctor may enlarge the puncta with a small probe and then flush (irrigate) the tear duct. This is a simple outpatient procedure that usually provides at least temporary relief.

The balloon catheter dilation technique may be used if other treatments have not worked or if the obstruction has started to recur. It is generally effective for infants and young children. But it can also be used in adults with partial obstruction. First, the patient is given general anesthesia. The doctor then threads a tube (catheter) with a deflated balloon over the tear duct blockage in the nose. Inflates and deflates the balloon several times to unclog it.

The stenting or intubation technique is usually performed using general anesthesia. A thin tube made of silicone or polyurethane is passed through one or both points in the corner of your eyelid. These tubes then pass through the tear drainage system into your nose. A small ring of tubes remains visible in the corner of your eye, and tubes are usually left for about three months before being removed. Possible complications include inflammation from the presence of the tube.