What is endoscopic dacrocystorhinostomy?
Endoscopic dacrocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a surgical procedure that is conducted to relieve symptoms caused by an obstruction in the tear duct drainage system. The surgery works by creating a new opening of your tear duct system into the nose, thus bypassing the obstruction.
How does the procedure work?
This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure with no cuts on the face. An endoscope and specialised surgical tools are used through the nasal passage to see the lacrimal sac (tear duct reservoir). The sac is then opened in order to restore drainage of tears into the nasal cavity.
Why is it performed?
The surgery is recommended for patients who have a blocked tear duct that can’t be repaired by other means such as the use of medication, flushing and dilation. Because tears are unable to drain normally, the eye becomes watery and irritated, which can cause problems with vision. The lacrimal sac can also become recurrently infected (dacrocystitis).
How should I prepare for the procedure?
Endoscopic DCR is always performed under general anaesthetic in a hospital. You will be given specific instructions before your date of surgery instructing you when to stop eating/drinking and specific medication that may needed before or after surgery.
What can I expect after the surgery?
A dissolvable material is placed into the nasal cavities after the surgery to help with healing and to minimise the risk of potential bleeding. There may be minimal bruising around the eye/s, which settles spontaneously. You will also have small silicone tubes left in the tear duct system, which helps to keep the newly created opening patent. These tubes are removed 2-6 weeks after surgery in the doctor’s rooms. We pay very careful attention to managing your pain after the procedure. Once at home, you will be asked to gently wash out the nose with a salt-water preparation. This helps clear the nasal passages. You will also be asked to use eye drops and a nasal spray. It normally takes 1-2 weeks to fully recover from the surgery and anaesthetic.