(Looking for my Blog? Click here.)

Welcome to Blocked Tear Duct Surgery for Adults. My name is George Parker, and I’ve created this website from my personal experience of treatment for watery eye (epiphora), and the medical mismanagement I suffered from an attempt to fix it. It’s a website for adults with epiphora and those whom have had surgery or other interventions for this condition. It’s a place to share your experiences and learn from others.

The website is also for medical professionals, especially oculoplastic surgeons—to make them more aware of the frustration their so-called ‘cured’ patients feel when risks become reality. Many complex problems arise as a result of this procedure, including (with the worst kind of irony) severe and painful dry eye, and it seems that surgeons are unwilling to take these risks seriously.

I am advocating against the irresponsible overuse of DCR (dacryocystorhinostomy) surgery. It has caused me many problems, including severe dry eye and air regurgitation upon breathing and speaking (which I will discuss in detail later). I was told very little about the operative procedure and complications. According to those I’ve consulted, the damage to my eye drainage system is permanent and irreversible. I want to save you from the same fate—or, if you’ve already gone through the surgery and have problems, to let you know that you are not alone.

By profession I am a naturopath and a massage therapist, and have been practicing various alternative and complementary therapies for the past twenty years. I am educated—I studied at the Endeavour College of Natural Health—well read, and very proactive and hands-on in terms of my own health. Yet, here I am—a victim of a hasty and unnecessary surgery. How did this happen, what could have been done to prevent it, and what can be done to help those affected? These are the questions we’ll investigate here.


 Posted by on October 9, 2012

  35 Responses to “Introduction”

  1. I totally agree with unnecessary medical intervention urging; many older doctors don’t retire because of their love of their practice – its because they fear legal charges relating to malpractice – and have to work to keep paying their insurance premiums – in case their maladroit practice gets them into court!!

  2. What’s up to every one, the contents existing at this web site are truly remarkable for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  3. I have stumbled upon your blog by reading another blog. Thank you so much for making an effort to create and maintain this blog. It makes me feel better just from realizing that I am not alone with my quest for common sense and pragmatic approach for this annoying problem. I have blocked tear ducks in both of my eyes and and have had an initial surgery scheduled a couple of month ago. Luckily (a silver lining?!), I was not admitted to this surgery due to an untreated hypertension. Now, that my hypertension is under control, I have rescheduled the surgery. Upon the caring insistence from my husband, I have been doing an extensive research online from the fellow “sufferers” and within the first couple of hours found so many mentioned concerns, issues, and discomforts that it made me seriouslu rethink this surgery and the benefirts from having it. I am diving right into your blog. THANK YOU!!!

  4. I have too much tear in both an eye as that I got a block tear conduct and by don’t know what happen to cause it , after I check from doctor and now the doctor advise that I need to surgery, but I do not want to surgery. Both side of eye ‘s tear conduct has been block , as the right side was serious one.
    special at windy, too cold , talking with someone, while that it will appear to my an eye. Can do anything eg. message or….. to fixed it ?!! make tear conduct back to normal .

    • It’s difficult to understand your English. You were probably offered a DCR surgery. Yes, other alternatives exist and they should always be offered, but never are. For just a tearing eye, it seems they have to cut you open and drill through your bone, ignoring the life long effects it may have. Where is the doctors creed, “First do no harm”?

      It’s difficult to find a surgeon to use a non-invasive technique. I am referring to NO SURGERY as you want and congratulations for being vigilant on this. You can try hot compresses, massage the tear sac and pushing extra fluid out of it. If it’s infected you may purchase antibiotic drops over the counter. Meanwhile try your best to find a surgeon who’ll attempt to probe or use the alternative solutions shown in my website here. Good luck!

  5. Unfortunately, I had a bad experience myself. I had my surgery almost 3 years ago. I had relief for less than a year and then the headaches came back with a vengeance. Then came the watery eyes. About 2 months ago, it was getting worse. I went to clean out my nose and pulled, what felt to be a tube, and I felt the corner of my eye sink it. My eye started swelling and it had a constant dischage. I went to the ER and was informed that my tube was supposed to taken out 3 years ago. Went back to my eye surgeon and he was also shocked and told me that I have a bacterial infection due to that tube being in so long. I was livid! Now they have scheduled surgery to take it out. Removal of the tube would have been done in office but, unfortunately, mine has become attatched to surrounding tissues. Have you ever heard of such nonsense?

  6. Hi, I’m 34 years old and have had watery eyes for 1 year now. I have obstructed canaliculi. I have had the “3 snip” surgery but that did not fix the problem. All my 4 tear ducts are closed shut. I have been told that I need “Lester jones tubes” on both eyes. (Lester jones tubes are glass tubes). I refused the surgery but my eyes are always watering 🙁 I don’t know what to do. The doctor has dilated my tear ducts a few times but they keep closing again. Help!!!! Is there anything else I can do? I just want my own tear ducts to work.

    • Your problem seems very complicated. To have an eye doctor dilate the canaliculi is a miracle in itself! Your body is rejecting the procedure and closing up again. The human body is so complex and heals in different ways, perhaps your body heals too quickly? Regardless, there may not be much else available other than the lester jones tubes. Most of the blockages that occur with tearing eye occur down lower at the nasolacrimal duct so it’s unfortunate your blockage is up further.

      Sorry I couldn’t be much more help. Continue searching, spend time researching the internet for other options.

      Best of luck.

  7. I had lasik surgery in February and my right eye has been watering since. I am told that it is not related…they tell me it is age. I’m 55 and have never had a problem like this. They tried flushing it with the dye test…concluded it was a blocked tear duct and. DCR surgery is needed. I have an appointment on August 19th but have a lot of anxiety about it…especially after finding your blog which I must thank you for. I’m just getting so tired of tears dripping down my face..:(

    • Hi Deb, LASIK is more likely to induce DRY EYE because it cuts through nerves in the cornea. It’s highly unlikely to cause a weeping eye (epiphora) unless somehow, the surgery caused inflammation into the naso-lacrimal duct and thus a blockage has occurred. Or could it really be a coincidence? Could it be age related and it occurred simultaneously during LASIK surgery? Could it be ‘dry eye’ and the watering is simply ‘reflex tearing’?

      Regardless, you have an annoying weeping eye and want it to stop. I know the feeling! Firstly, the general treatment protocol is to use anti-inflammatory drops for 6 months in an attempt to clear the blockage. However, during the process I’d want to know ‘exactly’ where the blockage is and demand a ‘macrodacrocystogram’.

      Anxiety can be a useful emotion. It’s anticipating something may harm us in the near future and indeed, DCR could do more harm than good. Go with your feelings, if you are hesitant about the surgery, please don’t go through with it. I personally recommend you do not have a DCR and would prefer you exercise a bit more patience whilst you analyze your options more closely.

      Please let us know what you decide to do.

      • What a TRIAL to have to go through!! And immense gratitude for having to both have gone through this, and take your time to Help others. You’re probably saving a lot of people from suffering! Didn’t realize you’re so distant when I left my #. (We could Skype if you chose to contact). Also, I’m still interested in trying to get a ‘first snip,’ though u feel this is largely the cause of your dry eye? It’s just the top surface is compromised (open but flat), and a snip would bring it to a more circular way. The doc was against when he went in with the syringe and found the hole had shifted over (due to temporary tubes placed in ducts that may have migrated them over) and that the opening is actually sideways. And lastly, my heart goes out to everyone here and in the world who suffers from this very misunderstood condition. There ought be support groups for dry eye/over watery sufferers! God Bless! You’re a hero in my book

        • Thank-you Havad. Indeed, the trials and tribulations continue. I’ve had both lower punctum’s cauterized on Oct 3. Then habitually blocked the upper punctum with my thumb on the DCR eye (to avoid the shakey sensation) to blow my nose and forgot I had the lower puncta cauterized. Did the harsh blow push the cauterized tissue apart again (which was done 5 days previously) ?? There was a stitch placed in the punctum but what about the cauterized tissue below the stitch. And the drama continues. So does my mission to warn people against the barbaric DCR surgery.

          I’m happy to speak with you on skype Ben. It will have to wait until after the 18 October.

          As I’ve explained in your previous post I am confused about your condition and ask you to kindly explain it again in a more detailed and specific way. At this stage it’s difficult to advise on something I do not understand.

          Keep in touch

  8. First, I am so glad to have found your site! My daughter had dacrocystitis and was diagnosed with a blockage of the lacrimal duct, and thus recommended for DCR. I was shocked at the rush to surgery without any further investigation as to the location and severity of the blockage. After two weeks of antibiotics, she looks and feels fine, and her eye is not watery so the blockage can’t be that bad! She is 22 years old, and they have her convinced that the problem will reoccur whenever she gets sick or run down, so she is panicking and thinking about just doing the surgery. I want to advise her on better diagnostic procedures and potential remedial procedures before resorting to surgery. What would you advise please!!

    • Hi Cynthia! You are correct be concerned about the rush to surgery. Did they do a saline rinse via needle that goes into the lower puncta in an attempt to push the block through? If they didn’t, and simply recommended DCR based on dacrocystitis then not only is that going against the doctors creed of “First do no harm”, it’s also negligent, harmful and dangerous. Perhaps the surgeon is wanting to hurry onto the next patient? so DCR will fix the problem ‘quickly’? Never mind the complications!!

      Antiobiotic drops should be the first line treatment before “surgery” (which should be the LAST option). I recall using antibiotic drops whilst I had epiphora and whilst I didn’t have dacrocystitis it certainly helped with the tearing to some degree. The surgeon is advising the infection will return because the ’cause’ of the problem remains – the blockage. They say DCR is the only way to remove it. I say “Guff”. In fact, it may only be a “partial” blockage and since they didn’t bother doing any investigations you don’t know. On the chance of a partial blockage, balloon dilatation has a higher success rate in adults. They won’t want to use balloon dilatation on your daughter, fine, tell them you’ll find someone who will!!

      I advise you to find another, more conservative eye surgeon with an open mind. Tell your daughter an X-ray of her blockage needs to be performed (Macrodacrocystogram) to investigate exactly the location of the blockage and it’s severity. Keep up with the antibiotics and eventually stop them. If the dacrocystitis returns then we need to find out exactly where the block is and move towards eliminating it. This is the order to proceed:

      1. Saline irrigation
      2. Probing
      3. Balloon dilatation
      4. Stenting
      5. Combination of balloon dilatation and stenting.

      If they are not successful, then an “improvement” in symptoms maybe good enough. It’s only after exhausting all these treatments would one consider DCR. But you can see there are definitely far safer and easier options before DCR.

      A 22 yr old wants it done NOW and maybe impatient so I do sympathize with you there. Good luck and please keep us informed.

  9. Thank you all for your comments: I was beginning to think I was alone with this stupid issue. I have been having this issue for about 2 years now and Im so tired of holding tissue in my hands 24/7..if i dont I would have to redo my makeup. Very annoying!! I have found a doctor who suggested the surgery by first cutting the area right Outside of my eye first, then going into unblock my tearducts. Well I have kyloid type skin which means I might just scar up right after the surgery..NO CAN DO!!
    so, I guess Im left with holding my tissue 24/7..I have to say i have been taking sinus meds and it drys me out but NOT all day..I hate taking pills but it helps a little..

    • Hi Deborah, did your eye doctor give you the option of an Endoscopic DCR? It would be a better option if you are prone to keyloid scars. However, you could also scar at the “nasal opening” made during the endoscopic procedure and that could close the opening. It’d seem logical that no incision should be involved in your intervention. Rather, explore the non surgical options mentioned on this website.

  10. hi George my name is swetha …I am now 28 year old . from past two year my left eye keeps watering,,, I consulted many doctors but all suggests for surgery .. but one doctor advice for laser surgeon I am confused but iam irritated by eye watering… plz do advice me …

    • Hi Swetha, sorry to hear you have to go through this. Most doctors certainly will be very quick at recommending DCR surgery. The ‘laser’ technique is not much different unfortunately. I strongly advice against it and urge you to find a doctor who will perform the gentle non-surgical techniques on you. Please refer to my website section on “alternatives to DCR”. Good luck!

  11. I had a DCR performed on my right eye on recommendation of 2 eye doctors, The post surgery was hard as my surgeon said I bled alot during surgery, so he went from internal ( endonasal)which we both agreed on to external DCR due to excessive bleeding so I woke up with a horrible scar thai is still very much visible after 2 months.And on top of all my problems, my eye never even once stopped tearing. The stent is out and the tearing and infections resumed even worse than before.
    My doctor ( surgeon) proposed repeating the surgey. Would he do the same if the patient was a member of his family. I am in deep despair.I Lost my job, can not drive because of the constant tearing and do not dare even applying for another job.Should surgeons be paid for ruining our lives when even heart surgeries are performed successfully. Are there any other alternatives do DCR surgeries. Even though this is not a difficult surgery, nevertheless, it involves one ‘s sight and surgeons should bear the consequences in case of malpractice, but how can we know what goes on in the OR when nobody would answer your questions. Even my eye doctor did not call me back after reading the report.Can anyone ,please advise me on what to do.I feel so alone and lost in my situation.

    • Fabienne I am deeply sorry you’ve been through this terrible experience especially since it’s your precious eye. Most surgeons are quick to jump in and recommend DCR and for the most part, it seems to work out okay. They call the rest of us “rare cases” and in reality there’s not much they can do to rectify the complications. So is your main concern that your right eye is still tearing and you want to avoid having a second DCR? and the visible scar?

      Yes there are alternatives and if your feelings are strong enough to avoid a DCR for the less complicated procedures your eye doctor should listen to you. A second DCR may not work either, but a stent or balloon dilatation might work very well or at least provide less tearing. I’d suggest changing doctors. Keep persisting and you’ll find a sympathetic doctor who’ll take your feelings and concerns into consideration. There certainly are very good doctors out there if you can locate them.

      The scar will eventually become less noticeable to a point it won’t bother you anymore. Two months is not enough for complete healing, it will improve 🙂

      Please keep persisting, and your efforts will see a positive end to this nightmare and you can gain our job back, or even find a better job. Sometimes a positive situation is born out of a negative one. Find that glimmer of hope and walk towards it by persisting with treatment. I’d also suggest you obtain short term counselling to help you overcome the emotional ordeal from it to give you the strength to deal with what’s ahead. Are you strong enough now? Please make the right decisions and you’ll be absolutely fine.

  12. What about punctoplasty. My dr made it sound like a simple procedure, just an hour and no down time. I have had dry eye and now over watering eyes and infections since 2011. We tried irrigation, probing, and eye plugs but no help. Are there any risks? I am 60 yrs old and tired of not being able to read properly with all the watering. Five yrs is long enough. I even tried vedic remedies w no change. I want to do punctoplasty but the video on u tube freaked me out. Your thoughts? Marcia

    • Hi Marcia,

      I’d need more information to comment. if you’ve had dry eyes you don’t want to have your punctum’s dilated, it will cause the tears to drain through faster and make your eyes drier.

      So now they are tearing? You’ve gone from dry eyes to tearing eyes? Is that correct? What could have caused that is the following scenario: The dryness has decreased the moisture along the naso-lacrimal duct causing it to “block” thus causing tearing. If that’s what’s occurred, then a punctoplasty is not going to do anything at all to benefit you.

      Rather, obtain more answers regarding what’s causing the problem. Demand a marcodacrocystogram to check where the blockage is. What’s causing the tearing? Doesn’t it make sense to find the cause, then fix that?

      Let us know how you go. Thank-you

  13. Has anyone had floaters after DCR and did they clear up?

  14. I had a Jones tube inserted after a failed DCR. I am VERY happy with the Jones tube. I have had no complications, the procedure was done quickly followed by very little pain. I took 2 Ibuprofen the first day, one the second day, and that’s all I needed. I did have a little bruising around the eye for a few days, but that’s all. It has been four weeks, and no tearing. I rarely sense the tube – only when I move my eye from one side to the other quickly, and the Dr. said that will disappear, too. I did not have any problems with my DCR, either, except that because I had so much scar tissue by letting the blockage go so long, and possibly a previous car accident, that to repeat it would have been futile. I do a saline sinus rinse in the morning and before I go to bed, and that keeps my nose clear so I don’t have to blow it during the day. Just thought anyone facing this might want to know. I read a positive blog response before I had mine done, and it really encouraged me.

    • Thank-you for writing about your experience Bette. There’s been a few recent inquiries about the Lester Jones Tube and concerns about it’s maintanence. Whilst I suggest it’s the absolute last resort, for those who have no choice your positive experience will be very reassuring for those who may require it.

  15. I had a DCR and stents placed in my eyes at the beginning of March. My eyes are tearing more than ever, and the doctor said they will until he removes the stents. Well, now I have nodules forming under my eyes, and the doctor said my eyes are rejecting the stents. He plans to take them out in two weeks if my situation doesn’t improve. Since I had so much scar tissue around my tear ducts, he said they will close up immediately, and I will have to live with the constant tearing. Has anyone had a similar situation and found a way to control the tearing?

  16. My wifes eye water real bad had tear ducts cleaned ,did not work,stints put in 5 months ago still eye r real red and watery enough that she goes through a box of tissues everyday, they cant seem to fix,but had no problem billing me for 800.00,same with the first doctor they keep bouncing her back and forth and i am refusing to pay for something that did not work

  17. Hi George, thanks for the help and being a blessing to others. I have been tearing for about 30 years, in the beginning, it wasn’t that bad, the eye will dry up itself, but within these 2 years, it became worse, both of my eyes are tearing and I need to use tissue to wipe it away constantly. I have been seeing a few eye doctors for this problem. I also have eye discharge, kind of yellowish.

    Finally, my ophthalmologist recommends me to have DCR surgery, I am afraid of the complications from the surgery. if the surgery causes me unexpected outcome, I rather stay where I am now with the tearing eyes for the rest of life. I am pretty much a happy person with the tearing eyes as long as it won’t affect my eyesight. Of course, having a tearing eyes is very unpleasant.
    My ophthalmologist is young and very pleasant to talk to, but she told me there is no guarantee about the surgery. I asked her what is the % of success, she said one eye is 90% and the other eye is 75%. She still need to find out where is the blockage for my left eye.
    Will the tear duct block again after the years of surgery?
    What do you think/

  18. I was diagnosed with a blocked tear duct. My duct closed up after irritation from wearing contacts. I have been wearing contacts all my life but never had a problem until I reached age 50. She said that I needed to have the DCR procedure because my duct would never come back open. I have it scheduled but I am reluctant because my eye isn’t infected anymore since I have been wearing my glasses for the last 3 weeks. I called the office to let them know this and they said that even though my eye has cleared up the infection and the constant dripping, the blockage is still there and I still need the DCR. Should I go into the office and have them probe me again to see if it went away?? Please help!

    • Hi Carrie, as we get older dry eyes can become a problem and they can often lead to blocked tear ducts and tearing. Long term contact wear can also contribute to the problem. I do not recommend DCR surgery and I recommend you demand they use a steel ‘probe’ to try and unblock it. The syringing is not strong enough. They will often refuse and tell you it doesn’t work, and then you move onto another eye specialist. Find an eye doctor whom will consider and try the alternative methods (please refer to my site) of unblocking a tear duct.

  19. Hi, I’m reading your comments with interest as 6 years ago I had dcr surgery on my left eye as a result of scar tissue forming from the chicken pox virus in my ducts. I had suffered with a watering eye and a constant tissue in hand for 12 years so was over the moon to be offered a solution however the surgery was a ‘failure’ as when they opened me up they saw that I had less of my tube intact than first thought (7.5mm). Anything under 8mm would mean a Lester Jones tube but as I had not given permission they did not insert it but carried on with the stent. I have had it in ever since upon their advice. Most of the time it’s been a 70% improvement which is fantastic but over the years I’ve had infections and times where its felt more blocked than others. For the last 4 months it’s felt as blocked as it was before the surgery and really frustrating as i don’t know what’s changed. I’m going to see a specialist (privately) next week who is an expert in this field to see if he can offer me any advice or solutions. I was wondering if there’s anyone else out there who has had to keep the ‘stents’ in? …..

    • Hi Josie, I’m not sure what you are referring to regarding a ‘stent’ (is it a ‘mini-monoka stent’?). It can mean several things and be inserted in different areas. If you were supposed to have a Lester Jones tube placed in that means there was a blockage or dysfunction/abnormality of the canuliculus. It seems yours was shorter than it should be and I’m at a loss why you didn’t receive the correct treatment considering the diagnosis. So I’m a bit lost until you can clarify more.

      I’m hoping the eye doctor you’ll be consulting with shortly can offer you a solution that works. Please do keep us informed and all the very best of luck.

  20. Hey George, thanks for replying so quickly. I’m guessing stent is the wrong word, it’s a silicone tube that was meant to be taken out after a few months but has been left in as they said removal would mean failure due to the level of scarring. I didn’t give permission for a lester jones tube beforehand so thats why they went ahead with the dcr surgery. I hope that makes more sense. I know there are cases where it has been left in situ but not met anyone so far that has kept it in long term….Thanks 🙂

  21. Enjoyed every bit of your article post. Fantastic.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>