If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right. Switch to Accessible Site

WARNING

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]
530.666.0333 H
H

530.666.0333

Tear Duct Surgery

Tear Duct Surgery

Tearing in Adults

Excess tearing in adults may be caused either by poor tear drainage or an overproduction of tears.

Tears are produced in the tear gland. By lubricating the eyes, tears play a vital role in the maintaining the health of the eye. When the eye is irritated excess tears are produced. People are not always aware of the eye irritation, but instead may notice the overproduction of tears.

Tears normally drain into small holes located in the inside corner of the upper and lower eyelids. The tears then collect in the tear sac. The tear sac lies under the skin between the corner of the eye and the nose. Next, the tears flow through a small tube, called the nasolacrimal duct, into the nose. The tears are pumped through this drainage system by the opening and closing of the eye.

A blockage in any part of this drainage system can prevent tear drainage and lead to excess tears running out of the eye and down the cheek.

Tear duct surgery

It is very important to properly diagnose which part of the tear drainage system is blocked in order to determine the proper treatment. A cannula will be placed in the tear duct, then doctor then will attempt to flush water through the nasolacrimal duct into the nose in order to determine if the nasolacrimal duct is open.

In some patients excess tearing is caused by several different causes. Patients may have a partial blockage of the tear drainage system, poor pumping of tears because of eyelid weakness and excess tear production due to eye irritation, all at the same time.

Treatment of Tear System Blockage

  1. When the nasolacrimal duct, the tube which drains tears into the nose, is blocked a surgical procedure is usually required. During this procedure, called a DCR (Dacryocystorhinostomy), a hole is created between the tear sac and the inside of the nose.
  2. When the nasolacrimal duct is only partially blocked your doctor will often attempt to widen the opening by flushing water through the duct. An eye drop with both anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medications will then be prescribed in an attempt to reduce the swelling in the duct and promote tear drainage. These attempts to open the duct are often successful but may need to be repeated periodically
  3. When the tubes, called canaliculi, which drain the tears into the lacrimal sac are blocked surgical therapy is more complicated. In most cases both a DCR and reconstruction of the canaliculi will be performed.
  4. Eyelid weakness or malposition may be treated by surgically tightening and repositioning the lids.

DCR – Surgical Procedure

DCR is a same-day procedure. You may choose to be either asleep under general anesthesia or awake with sedation.

A DCR is performed through a skin incision, which is made on the side of the nose. The bone between the tear sac and the nose is removed, and the lining of the tear sac is then attached to the lining of the nose to form a permanent drainage for tears.

In some people, during surgery, a clear plastic tube is placed from the inside corner of the eye into the nose. The tube is used to stent the tear drainage system and prevent scarring. This tube is easily removed in the office in two months.

Sutures are placed in the skin and removed in about a week. The scar produced will initially be red, hard and raised but will smooth out over the months after surgery.

Call the Perlman Center for Eye and Eyelid Surgery at 530.666.0333 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Perlman.

Office Hours

DayMorningAfternoon
Monday8:00 am5:00 pm
Tuesday8:00 am5:00 pm
Wednesday8:00 am5:00 pm
Thursday8:00 am5:00 pm
Friday8:00 am5:00 pm
SaturdayClosed.Closed
SundayClosedClosed
Day Morning Afternoon
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am Closed. Closed
5:00 pm 5:00 pm 5:00 pm 5:00 pm 5:00 pm Closed Closed