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When the tear ducts become clogged, creating a tear drain between the eyes and nose may be needed. To complete this process, a procedure known as a dacryocystorhinostomy may need to be completed. Our endoscopic process is straightforward and provides relief to those who need it, with a minimum of recovery time after the surgery.

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What Is A DCR?

Called Dacryocystorhinostomy or DCR for short, this is a procedure done to create a tear drain between the eye and nose. The process is done to correct an issue wherein the tear duct is blocked. When the drainage system of the eye becomes blocked it can cause infections, discharge, and more.

What Is Endoscopic?

An endoscopic proceedure uses a small medical camera device that allows the surgeon to navigate to the affected area of the surgery with minimal disruption to the body. Endoscopic surgery is less invasive than traditional surgery, only a small incision is needed to allow the endoscope access to the affected area. In general endoscopic procedures have less recovery time and allows patients to get back to normal faster. At Hawthorne Clinic we perform DCR procedures endoscopically so patients have faster recovery times and a better overall experience.

Common causes of blocked tear ducts that may lead to needing this procedure include:

  • Nose polyps

  • Obstruction from a tumor

  • Nose trauma

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Chronic infection of the nasal passages

  • Anatomical problems

The DCR is done within a few hours and essentially creates a brand new tear duct, eliminating the problems that patients experience when they have blocked ducts. Recovery is very quick and the procedure is highly effective for most patients.

How Am I Diagnosed?

The DCR is done to relieve problems related to blocked tear ducts, and the initial signs that you may need the procedure will all be related to that problem.

Specifically, symptoms that suggest an infected tear duct or blocked tear duct include:

  • Swelling and tenderness around the eye

  • Excessive eye watering

  • Eye irritation

  • Crusting around the eye

  • Mucus discharge

Your doctor may suggest other treatment options before the DCR, but if no other methods work then a DCR will likely be recommended.

How Do I Prepare For The DCR?

Your doctor will provide you with clear guidelines on how to prepare for your dacryocystorhinostomy. Depending on the medications you are currently taking, you may have to stop using one or more of them before the procedure. Additionally, you’ll have to avoid eating anything after midnight the day of the surgery. Your doctor may also want a CT scan or MRI of your nasal passages before the surgery. If so, they’ll schedule them for you.

Treatment Process

A few basic things will occur during the DCR. While everyone is different and you should always talk to your doctor, the basics will usually include the following.

  • A small incision may be made below or near the eyelid and beside the nose.

  • Tissue below the incision may be exposed, and then a small hole made in the bone underneath. This opens a new passageway between the nose and the lacrimal sac.

  • Your doctor may place a small tube known as a stent to keep the passage open.

  • Your incision will be closed with stitches.

Depending on the surgeon and your specific case, you may or may not be awake during the procedure. In either case you will have some form of anesthesia to ensure you don’t feel any pain during the process.

What Happens Afterward?

The recovery process can vary. Some patients may need to have their nose refilled regularly packed with material to reduce the risk of bleeding. But, you should be able to go home the same day. The site of the procedure will be sore for a couple of days, but the pain is managed with over the counter medications.

Your doctor will tell you what kind of follow up care you’ll need and will ensure that you heal properly and that your procedure goes as planned.

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