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What does surgical treatment for blocked tear ducts involve?

Blocked tear-drainage ducts can occur at birth and are usually effectively treated by passing an instrument down the drainage duct to open it. In adults, tear-drainage ducts can become obstructed, but surgical treatment is not always necessary if symptoms are mild.

When surgery is required, a dacryocystorhinostomy is usually performed. This is a procedure in which the upper end of the tear-drainage system is opened through bone directly into the nose, and it is usually effective with few postoperative problems.

In severe cases where the upper end of the tear-drainage system is not intact, a conjunctivodacryocystorhinostomy may be performed. This is a procedure in which a tube, usually of glass, is placed to convey tears from the inner corner of the eye into the nose; but such patients may have complications or care problems related to the glass tube.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.