ENDOSCOPIC TEAR DUCT SURGERY
ABOUT ENDOSCOPIC SEPTOPLASTY
Tears usually drain through small openings in the corners of the eyelids, known as puncta, and enter the nose through the nasolacrimal duct. When an obstruction exists, tears cannot properly drain from the eyes and may well up on the surface of the eye and overflow on the eyelashes and eyelids. The eyelids may also become red and swollen with yellow or green discharge.
If this blockage cannot be effectively treated through conservative methods, surgery will likely be recommended. A procedure known as dacryocystorhynostomy or dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) will be performed to construct a new tear drain. This type of surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, either using local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia.
No incision is necessary when undergoing an endoscopic DCR. With the traditional form of this surgery, the doctor would make an incision on the side of the nose, which would leave a scar. With the endoscopic approach, the surgeon uses an endoscope-a thin, flexible, lighted tube with a microscopic camera on the end. The camera helps the doctor guide other tiny instruments, used in the procedure, through the nasal opening to access the tear duct area.
A new tear drain opening is then created, providing a fresh route between the eyes and nose avoiding the obstruction. A tiny stent may be placed in the new tear drain and kept there for several months after the procedure ensuring the duct will remain open. In cases in which the tear drain blockage cannot be cleared, a small drain, known as a Guibor stent or Jones tube, may need to be inserted in the area. This offers a more permanent solution to keeping the tear duct clear.
A major advantage of having an endoscopic DCR is that no incision is made, meaning no scar will form on the face. It is also a less invasive method of surgery, so the recovery is generally both shorter in duration and more manageable.