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What are some reasons for tear duct surgery?

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Quick Answer

Surgeons perform tear duct surgery to correct damage from facial trauma or infection, according to the Digital Journal of Ophthalmology. In both cases, the purpose of the surgery is to repair a blocked tear duct. The blocked duct causes excessive tearing and sometimes infections.

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Full Answer

The tear ducts are small tubes that normally drain the tears from the eyes into the nose. If the tubes are blocked, the tears cannot drain, and the ducts may become inflamed and swollen, according to WebMD. Most blocked tear ducts occur in infants and repair themselves without surgery. In adults, the blocked duct may be caused by injuries to the facial bones or other tissue around the eyes, or by aging. In some adults, the lining of the tear duct grows thicker with age.

Endoscopic tear duct surgery has the advantage of leaving no facial scars, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The surgeon performs the operation through the nostril. During the endoscopic procedure, the surgeon also has the opportunity to address other causes of the blockage, such as a deviated septum. The procedure creates a new duct from the eye to the nose to drain the tears. Because there are no incisions to the skin, most patients are able to go home the same day as the procedure.

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