Tear Duct Surgery Can Restore Normal Drainage to Your Eye
A blocked tear duct prevents tears from draining properly, leading to irritation, watering eyes, and a compromised ability to focus. This condition affects patients of all ages, but is most common in newborns. If you or your child are suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms associated with blocked tear ducts, the dedicated team of doctors at Rockland Eye Physicians & Surgeons can relieve your discomfort through tear duct surgery by oculoplastic surgeon James Kirszrot. We have offices in West Nyack and Garnerville, NY, to serve you.
Is Surgery Necessary for Your Child?
It is estimated that up to 20 percent of babies are born with blocked tear ducts. Most cases resolve naturally, or with minor treatment, within the first year. In most cases, at-home eye massages, when performed on a regular basis, are highly effective. We may recommend surgery if your child is still suffering from uncomfortable symptoms after six to eight months. These symptoms include excess tearing and repeated infections.
Our doctors treat pediatric patients on a regular basis and can provide child-friendly surgical care to open the tear duct. When performed on babies under a year old, this surgery has a success rate of 85 to 95 percent.
Do You Need Tear Duct Surgery?
In adults, tear duct obstruction is often caused by an injury, infection, or tumor. Experiencing several days of consistent watering or repeated eye infections may indicate that you have an obstructed tear duct and should schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Types of Tear Duct Surgery
Tear duct surgery is performed to allow proper drainage. There are a variety of methods used to accomplish this goal, however, the most common include:
- Surgical Probing
- This is usually the primary surgical treatment for children. During this procedure, the doctor will insert a thin wire, or probe, into the tear drainage system to open the drainage path. To ensure the surgery was successful, sterile saline will be irrigated through the duct into the nose. This is an outpatient procedure that typically takes about 10 minutes.
- Balloon Catheter Dilation (DCP)
- The doctor can alleviate blockage by inserting a balloon into the opening. It is then inflated and deflated several times to open the tear duct. Once the blockage is alleviated, the balloon is removed.
- Dacryocystorhinostomy (DAK)
- The doctor will connect your lacrimal sac to the nasal cavity through an incision. A stent is placed to maintain the pathway. The incision is then sutured closed.
Your doctor will recommend the best treatment method based on the severity of the blockage.
Safe Surgical Care
Rockland Eye Physicians & Surgeons can help you or your child overcome the discomfort and vision issues associated with a blocked tear duct. If your eyes are excessively tearing or exhibiting other concerning symptoms, please contact us online or call our office nearest you to schedule an eye exam with our team.