Blocked tear ducts
cleared using a procedure called intubation. During intubation, two small wire
probes attached to silicone tubes are passed into the upper and lower tear duct
openings (puncta) and down the tear duct drainage system into the nasal cavity.
The wires are removed and the tubes are tied or sewn in place to keep the tear
ducts open. Intubation is usually done as part of a probing procedure in the
general anesthesia. Most people go home the same day.
From 3 to 16 weeks
after surgery, the person returns to the doctor's office, and the tubes are
removed. Anesthesia is usually not needed when the tubes are taken out.
Some doctors leave the tubes in place for 6 months to a year. This causes
a new lining to form around the tubes, leaving an open channel in the tear duct
when the tubes are removed.
Intubation leaves no facial scars. And
it has less risk of complications than dacryocystorhinostomy, a procedure
that creates a new tear duct canal. Intubation is sometimes used when a
Risks of intubation include the following:
It is common to have a watery eye after surgery. Tears cannot
drain as well through the affected tear duct while the very small tubes from
the intubation are still in place.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerChristopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Current as ofJuly 26, 2016
Current as of:
July 26, 2016
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.