Understanding Dacryocystorhinostomy

Front view of eye showing tear glands and tear ducts.A dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a type of surgery. It’s done to create a new tear duct between your eyes and nose. You may need this surgery if your own tear duct has become blocked.


How to say it

Dacryocystorhinostomy is a very long word. This is how you say it:


How tears drain from your eyes

Your eyelids have two small openings that drain tears from your eyes. When you blink, tears are pushed into these openings. Then the tears go through a small tube to the lacrimal sac. This sac leads into a tube called a tear duct (the nasolacrimal duct). This duct leads into your nose.

Why a dacryocystorhinostomy is done

Sometimes a tear duct can get blocked. This can cause the duct to get infected. It can swell and cause pain, mucus, and crusts around the eye. It also causes excess tearing from the eyes. DCR is done to relieve these symptoms. Your healthcare provider may suggest you have DCR if other treatments have not worked. These include warm compresses, massage, and antibiotics.

How dacryocystorhinostomy is done

Your surgery will most likely be done by a doctor trained in ophthalmic plastic surgery. The surgery can be done in several ways. The doctor will make a small cut (incision) below or near your eyelid. This is done under your eye and next to your nose. The doctor will make a small hole in the bone in this area. This makes a new opening between the lacrimal sac and your nose. In some cases, a small tube (stent) may be put into the opening. This is to help keep it open.

Risks of a dacryocystorhinostomy

All procedures have risks. The risks of this procedure include:

  • Infection

  • Too much bleeding

  • Movement of the small tube (stent) put in the duct

  • Tissue in the nose that grows together

  • A large scar on the face

  • No change in symptoms

Your risks may differ depending on your age, your general health, and the cause of your blocked duct. Ask your healthcare provider which risks apply most to you.