Dacrocystorhinostomy (DCR)

How do tears normally function?

Primarily the lacrimal gland makes tears, which is anatomically located under the outer one-third of the upper eyelid. With each blink, the eyelid spreads tears over the surface of the eye and pumps excess tears towards ducts in both the upper and lower eyelids. These ducts then drain the tears into the nose via the nasolacrimal duct.

What are the symptoms?

Obstruction of the tear duct will cause epiphora (watering of the eye) because the tears cannot drain properly. Symptoms of a blocked tear duct include eyelashes that are stuck together by mucous or an accumulation of tears in one or both eyes.

The tears trapped within the duct may become infected causing a painful swelling in the inner corner of the eyelid. This condition is called ‘dacryocystitis’ (an inflammation of the lacrimal sac), which may also be caused by a stone in the lacrimal sac.

What is DCR Surgery?

A DCR is the surgical creation of an opening between the lacrimal sac and the nasal cavity to form a new drainage channel for tears.

In the DCR procedure, the tear drainage pathways are reconnected to the inside of the nose. A small incision is made at the side of the nose, and the lacrimal sac is located, incised and then connected to the nasal mucosa creating a new tear drainage pathway.

A tiny plastic tube (Jones Tube) is then placed in the newly created tear drainage pathway to prevent scarring of the tear drainage duct, which might otherwise result in failure of the surgery.
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Suite 15, Mater Medical Centre
76 Willetts Road
Mackay QLD 4740


(07) 4942 3301


(07) 4942 9815
Fig 1. Illustration of the lacrimal apparatus.
Image - Lacrimal Apparatus
Fig 2. Diagram showing flow of tears.
Image - Flow of Tears


The information provided here is for general education only and should not be construed as individual medical advice. For advice relevant to your particular situation, please speak to Dr Hornsby.