Frequent Questions about Tear Duct Surgery

The tear duct or lacrimal system is the part of the eyelid system that drains tears into the nose. Dr Thiagarajah is an oculoplastic surgeon and specializes part of his practice on opening blocked tear ducts. 

 

What could cause the tear duct to get blocked?

 

The tear duct system which drains tears can narrow over time. When that happens patients may notice that they are having tearing. The tear duct system serves as the drainage of the tears from the eye. When the system is blocked, the tears from the eye can overflow onto the cheek. Sometimes this can happen only in windy conditions or if the eye is slightly irritated. In other times, this can be constant. Most patients with tear duct blockage have this secondary to aging. In rare cases, a tumor or growth may be growing into the tear duct system.

 

How does Dr T fix the tear duct system?

 

Dr T fixes or opens the tear duct system by creating a bypass for tears in the tear duct system. This is done as a n outpatient setting. There are three main ways that Dr T opens the tear duct: through a small nick in the skin, through the nose or through the inside of the eyelid. All three systems acheive the same result. When the tear bypass is made, a silicone thread (or stent) is placed in the tear duct system to keep it open. This stent is removed in three months.

 

How long is Tear Duct or Lacrimal surgery?

 

Tear duct surgery takes rougly 35-45 minutes to perform. It is an outpatient procedure and patients go home that day. 

 

Do I need someone to be with me for my Tear Duct Surgery?

 

In short, yes. Tear duct surgery is performed under general anesthesia. As a result, you will need someone to bring you and take you home. 

 

What are the risks of  Tear Duct Surgery?

 

The biggest risk of tear duct surgery is that the surgery does not work and the patient will be tearing after the surgery. The reoperation rate for tear duct surgery is roughly 10%. Other risks of tear duct surgery include risks of any surgery around the eyelid which include bleeding,scarring, infection, need for more surgery, vision loss and double vision.

When can I resume normal activities after Tear Duct Surgery?

 

Most patients can resume normal activities roughly 2 weeks after tear duct surgery. Patient should not blow their nose after surgery as the stent that is placed during surgery can be dislodged. 

 

When do the stitches come out after Tear Duct Surgery?

 

Stitches after Tear Duct Surgery are dissolvable and do not need to be removed.