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What is a dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR)?

A DCR is a type of surgery that is used to treat blocked tear ducts in adults. It creates a new passageway between the tear duct sac and the nose, bypassing the blockage and allowing tears to drain normally again. The operation usually takes about 1 hour. The operation is normally performed with the patient asleep (general anaesthetic).

  • Endoscopic DCR – Uses a telescope to look up the nose and locate the site of the blockage, which is then opened up surgically. A flexible tube is inserted to keep the passage open, which again is removed after approximately 6 – 8 weeks. This method has the advantage of leaving no scar on the side of the


Why do I need A DCR?

Normally, the tears that wash over the eye drain away through a system that runs from the corner of the eye to the inside of the nose. If there is a blockage in this system the eye can start watering and you may be more prone to infections.

To unblock the area, warm compresses and massage may be tried first. Sometimes it is also possible to unblock the tear duct by probing it. This is called syringing and involves flushing salty water down the tear duct. If the tear duct is open then you will taste the salty water in your throat.

What are the complications or risks of a DCR?

The main complications after surgery are bleeding and infection. It is also possible to displace the tube, which is inserted to keep the duct open and you may experience some bruising around the area of the operation. A nosebleed may occur on the affected side. Usually this is a small amount and resolves within 48 hours. Excessive bleeding rarely occurs but if it does then a nasal pack may need to be used to stop the bleeding after the operation.

How do I prepare for the operation?

Please read the information leaflet carefully. Share the information it contains with your partner and family (if you wish) so that they can be of help and support.  There may be information they need to know, especially if they are taking care of you following this examination.


I need to know what tablets and medicines you are currently taking also if you are sensitive to any substances.  If you are on warfarin or aspirin tablets it is important that you inform me, as these can lead to bleeding during or after the operation.

Additional information PowerPoint:

DCR Powerpoint Presentation.pptx

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