DCR surgery and its complications | Basir Eye Center
DCR surgery and its complications
Oculoplastic specialist

DCR surgery and its complications

Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a kind of surgery in which the surgeon tries to make an improvement to the drainage of tears between the patient’s eyes and nose. The patient would need this DCR surgery if his tear duct has a problem such as blockage in the duct between eye and nose (nasolacrimal duct).

If you notice, there is a tiny hole on both of your lower eyelids. This holes carry off some of our tears that flows on our eyes. Its function is that when you blink, the eyelids push the tear into those holes. In those openings your old tears go through a tiny tube and then flow inside another area (known as lacrimal sac). That tear sac is connected with the tear duct. The tear duct (channel) will be also connected to your nose cavity after some structures made of bone.

If anything happens to this draining channel, causing blockage, the person would experience too much tearing or liquid flowing out of his eyes. This situation can cause infection inside the tear channel (duct).

Tear duct blockage

Usually the doctors cannot find out the reason of tear channel blockage. But we mention some of the common reasons here:

  • Swelling of the conjunctiva of the eye
  • Patient’s nasal polyps
  • Some problems that you carry from your birth
  • Persistent infections of the nose
  • If a tumor cause blockage
  • Some wounds inside the nose

For the dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) surgery, the eye doctor would make a new hole from the tearing sac to the nasal hole. During the surgery your surgeon would create a small cut through your skin, near your nose and below the eye. From that section, the doctor would make a tiny hole in the bone. This hole is going to be a new passage from the tearing sac to the nasal hole. Usually then the doctor put a tiny tube in that place so that the tube helps the tear channel to stay open.

What are the symptoms of a blocked tearing sac?

Before deciding to have a DCR surgery you should know that what the indications of a blocked lacrimal sac are. Some patients may have crusting around the eye or very much watering of eyes. In the condition of duct (channel) infection, the patient would suffer from eye inflammation. Also an eye irritation can happen. The blockage can cause flowing of mucous too.

Risks of Dacryocystorhinostomy surgery

As every surgery has its own risks, so does the DCR surgery. You should know that its complications would seldom happen. We mention some of the rare risks of this surgery such as:

  • Big scar on the face
  • Bruises
  • Some patients suffer from nose bleeding (notice that a small bleeding of nose is normal in the first day)
  • Infection in the sore nose may occur
  • The drainage problem may not be improved completely, a small part of it may remain
  • The tear channel may be floppy and move from its position

Notice that the complications may be different as your age, DCR type or health conditions.


  • Swelling of the conjunctiva of the eye
  • Persistent infections of the nose
  • If a tumor cause blockage
  • Some wounds inside the nose
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