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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Blocked Tear Ducts: Balloon Dacryocystoplasty
blocked tear duct, which causes tears to build up,
sometimes requires surgical treatment. Balloon dacryocystoplasty is a type of
surgery used to open a blocked tear duct without making an incision in the nose
or face. This surgery is not often done in children who are younger than 1
During surgery, a thin guide wire is inserted through the
hole in the corner of the eye through which tears drain (puncta). The wire, which has a tiny, deflated balloon
attached, is threaded through to the obstructed area. The balloon is gently
inflated with a liquid. The pressure of the balloon opens up and expands the
blocked duct. The balloon is then deflated and removed along with the
For adults, a
local anesthesia is used for a balloon
dacryocystoplasty, which is usually done in a doctor's office. Most people can
go home right after the procedure is completed. The pain is
often described as similar to having an injection.
are usually given
general anesthesia for this procedure.
antibiotic eyedrops or antibiotics taken by mouth are
often used for several days before and after surgery. Sometimes medicines
(corticosteroids) are given after surgery to decrease
tear duct swelling.
Balloon dacryocystoplasty leaves no facial
scars and has less risk of complications than dacryocystorhinostomy. It is
sometimes used if a person:
November 8, 2011
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
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