Patient Education

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Blocked Tear Ducts: Endoscopic and Laser Dacryocystorhinostomy

Skip to the navigation

Topic Overview

Endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy is a type of surgery sometimes used to treat blocked tear ducts in adults. It is rarely used in children. During this procedure, the surgeon inserts a thin fiber-optic light device through the tear duct opening (punctum) at the inner corner of the eyelid. This allows the surgeon to see where the tear duct is supposed to exit inside the nostril.

Next, the surgeon inserts an endoscope, a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end, into the nostril. An incision is made at the point where the fiber-optic light shines through the blocked tear duct. The incision opens a new passageway between the tear duct sac and the nasal cavity. The incision is done through the endoscope inside the nostril. There is no visible scarring after surgery.

This procedure may be done as an alternative to a standard dacryocystorhinostomy, which creates a new drainage canal and leaves a small scar.

Laser dacryocystorhinostomy uses an endoscope that also contains a laser, which is an intense, narrow beam of light that can cut through body tissues. The laser in the endoscope makes a hole in the nasal bone. This creates a connection between the tear duct sac and the nasal cavity.

Compared with similar types of surgery, laser dacryocystorhinostomy:

  • Causes less bleeding.
  • Does not always require general anesthesia.
  • Can be done in a doctor's office.

But this type of surgery:

  • Is often more expensive.
  • Takes longer to do.
  • Requires more specialized surgical skills.

Laser dacryocystorhinostomy may not be an option for some people.

Endoscopic and laser dacryocystorhinostomy are not as successful in opening blocked tear ducts as standard dacryocystorhinostomy.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofMay 4, 2017

Current as of: May 4, 2017

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.