When the lacrimal duct is obstructed, the first symptom is water running down the cheek. If the lacrimal sac is blocked with tears a severe infection, also called dacryocystitis, may develop. It must be treated with oral antibiotics. Lacrimal duct obstruction may be due to inflammatory, trauma or post conjunctivitis conditions, but it also occurs without any identifiable cause. If this condition is frequently repeated, or if it is not possible to unblock the lacrimal duct with minimally invasive methods, doctors resort to DCR or dacryocystorhinostomy.
This operation involves bypass which will connect the lacrimal duct with the nose. The canaliculi are intubated and connected with the nose in order for tears to drain through them. This procedure is carried out in the OR under local anesthesia and sedation. It does not require general anesthesia, and it can be performed externally or internally (endoscopic DCR). The surgery success rate is higher than 90% and it restores the lacrimal duct without complications.