Endoscopic DCR

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  • Endoscopic DCR is similar to traditional DCR in that it is designed to treat bothersome tearing due to a blockage in the tear drainage system
  • Endoscopic surgery avoids the need for a skin incision and typically results in quite rapid healing
  • Not all patients are ideal candidates for endoscopic surgery—your surgeon will be able to determine if you are a good candidate.

In patients where a blockage in the tear drainage system is identified, dacrycoystorhinostomy (DCR) is often the best solution. Endoscopic DCR offers these patients a minimally invasive means of correction that does not require a skin incision. A tiny camera is used to perform the entire surgery from inside the nose, often resulting in more rapid healing. Not all patients are ideal candidates for endoscopic surgery, for example some patients with a deviated septum or prior nasal trauma are better served with traditional DCR rather than endoscopic surgery. Your surgeon will be able to work with you to find the best option.

Preoperative evaluation

Your surgeon will carefully evaluate your tear drainage system and nasal anatomy to determine if endoscopic surgery is right for you. Tests may be offered to determine the amount of blockage in the tear drainage system.

The Surgery

Endoscopic DCR is performed in an outpatient setting under general anesthesia. A tiny camera is used to bypass the blocked tear drainage system from inside the nose. At the end of the surgery, a silicone stent is placed in the new tear drainage system. This stent is kept in place for 3 months in most cases. The stent is removed in the office and the process is typically painless. In some patients, some amount of tearing may persist while the stent is in place, but typically improves when the stent is removed. The surgery takes less than 1 hour and patients typically have rapid recovery from surgery.

Post operative care

Patients will be provided with complete post operative instructions; however, the care after endoscopic DCR is fairly simple. Most patients will receive a prescription for eyedrops and nasal spray to use for a period of time after surgery. Most patients will be seen 5-7 days after surgery for a post operative visit. There are no stitches to remove since there is no skin incision.

Complications

Endoscopic DCR has a low rate of complications. Infection is very rare, but possible. Some nasal bleeding can occur for 1-3 days after surgery but is usually minimal. In some patients, tearing will persist despite successfully surgery. In these uncommon cases, your surgeon will work with you to find a solution for your tearing.

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