A narrowing or blockage in the drainage area of the tear ducts may cause persistent secretion of fluid over the eyes. Possible causes for such narrowing or blockage include bacterial infections and a congenital narrowing of the nasolacrimal canal, so that tears can no longer be removed via the nose.
PROCEDURE /FOLLOW-UP TREATMENT
In the case of endonasal lacrimal surgery (dacryocystorhinostomy), the lacrimal sack of the anaesthetised patient is opened up and a tiny tube is inserted that functions as a placeholder until the narrowing/blockage is removed (which will happen after about three months). A rinsing may sometimes also be sufficient. The procedure does not require any external incision. The patient should wear nasal packs following the operation, possibly for a few days.
General anaesthesia entails some risks (cardiovascular problems, intolerance to medication, breathing problems, nausea, vomiting and post-surgical hoarseness). In very rare cases, there may be damage to the eye or eyelid. Slight swelling and bruising are possible, but disappear naturally after a few days. A re-narrowing of the drainage area is a risk that can never be completely ruled out. This is, of course, a procedure involving intervention on the eye. Patients must therefore be made aware that there is a risk of deterioration to eyesight and possibly even blindness (for which there is no documented evidence to date).