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Dacryoplasty – Treating the tear ducts

The tear ducts normally drain the tear fluid from the eye to the nose. If they are blocked or narrowed, the tear fluid in the eye can overflow and leading to teary eyes. In that case, the tear duct needs to be treated to remedy the issue.

One type of treatment is dacryocystorhinotomy, in which the bone leading from the lacrimal sac to the nose is removed under general anesthesia. The procedure can be performed either from outside, in which case a small scar remains, or from inside through the nose. In both cases, the normal anatomy is altered.

An alternative is the newer method of dacryoplasty where a balloon catheter is inserted into the tear duct and slowly inflated to dilate the vessel. This minimally invasive treatment preserves the normal anatomy and the tear duct is virtually repaired. It is performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis and the patient can usually return to work the next day. The patient can usually return to work the next day.

Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Most of the time we recommend to start with a dacryoplasty because the method is minimally invasive.

Advantages

  • A dacryoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure and can be performed under local anesthesia. Usually, the patient can return to work the very next day.
  • A dacryoplasty can be used to treat areas that are not easily accessible by other methods (e.g. endoscopically or endonasally). This includes the treatment of the so-called small tear ducts.
  • It can offer an alternative treatment option if nasal problems affect the tear ducts and complicate surgery by dacryocystorhinostomy.

Why choose the USZ?

Our clinic is an internationally renowned institution in the field of diagnostics and minimally invasive, image-guided treatment. The attending physician has many years of experience in the examination and treatment of the tear ducts, the eyes and the nose.

Course of treatment

The obstruction in the tear duct is removed with a balloon catheter under local anesthesia. This intervention takes approximately one hour.

Aftercare

Dacryoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis and there is no need for an overnight stay at the hospital. Your ability to work will also not be affected by the procedure.

After the treatment, you will return to the clinic for a follow-up appointment. Additionally, you will be due for a visit with your ophthalmologist.

For patients

As a patient, you cannot register directly for a consultation. Additionally, a dacryoplasty is only carried out after an examination by dacryocystography. If you have already had a dacryocystography, please have your ophthalmologist refer you to Dr. Ulrich Lachmund. He will treat you at our clinic and is available to answer any questions you may have.

For referring physicians

Refer your patient to Dr. Ulrich Lachmund for an appointment. He is responsible for the treatment of tear ducts problems at our clinic and is available to answer any questions you may have.

Further information
Tel. 0800 802 488