My Surgery Experience for Dacryocystitis (Blocked tear duct, DCR Endoscopic)
Hi everyone! My name is Amanda. This is the story of my experiences having Dacryocystitis or a blocked tear duct. I had Endoscopic DCR (Tear Duct Replacement) surgery on September 13, 2011… it wasn’t a Friday. I will include beginning issues with my eyes, the many doctors visits, diagnoses, etc. (see other posts, links).
What is Dacryocystitis:
Dacryocystitis is an inflammation of the tear sac (lacrimal sac) at the inner corner of the eye. My particular tear sac was not blocked with a stone, and I didn’t have a tearing issue, but I had mucous consistently coming out of the tear sac at the inner corner of the eye (Punctua).
After a year of symptoms and inconveniences, I finally agreed to nasal surgery on Sept 13th 2011 to create a new tear duct. I choose endoscopic DCR, because I was getting married in October 2011 and I didn’t want a visable scar. I was also told that the doctor that would be doing my operation was a great ENT and he would perfect this surgery and any incision.
Let me add that I am a contact lens wearer and I have not been able to properly wear contacts for most of my issues with my eye. I have been wearing my glasses.
I had 2 visits with the surgeon before getting the surgery for the blocked tear duct or in my case (inflammed). He reviewed my CAT scan of the nasal/eye area from referring doctor and made the decision to do the surgery based on OTHER doctors diagnoses concerning my eye. I had been to so many doctors and he took it from the referring eye doctor and from me that Dacryocystitis is what I had. He was not an EYE doctor he was an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) surgeon.
I have to admit, that was very odd to me that an ENT was going to do tear duct replacement surgery on me, not an Opthalmologist, but I didn’t have a minute to fret. I was getting married in October, and something had to be done before the honeymoon. My hubby-to-be insisted. It was he that took care of me at night, running the heated vaporizer and getting me warm rags for my eyes.
So, the surgery, anesthesia, and cutting was going to happen September 13, 2011 at York Hospital in York, PA! All my life, I heard that the best hospitals were in my home state, Maryland, so I have to admit I was a bit nervous and scared. Last time I had Lasik, in 2000, so many things went wrong. Would I experience the same results this time???
Day of the Surgery: I was scheduled to have surgery around 10am, so I was there bright and early and got prepared. I don’t understand why this hospital gives you the most GOD awful gowns and socks. They don’t distinguish male from female, everyone gets the same gown and socks. Trust me, I volunteer here, so it’s the same around the hospital. It’s 2012, can’t they get a little fashionable?
So, they got me all ready for surgery and next they put me under, I was out fast… and I woke up to having a bandage around my nose. The surgery went well. The doctor made a new tear duct opening in my left nostril and connected a stent through my upper lid tear duct passing through the corner of my eye, through the bottom tear duct and ending in the middle of my nose! I wasn’t really too happy about this piece of silicon showing in my eye and hanging into my nose, but if it would be an end to a long road of issues, than I was all for it temporarily. After the surgery you bleed through your nose for a few days, so I had a bandage around my nose. I had to keep it bandaged for a few days and keep my head back. I had slight bruising around my eye and my surgery site looked okay.
Day 2-5 After Surgery: I was really uncomfortable a few days after the surgery though, because I got an eye infection. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t given antibiotics upon leaving the hospital, but I wasn’t. Maybe because he was an ENT and not an OPTHALMOLOGIST, but I had swelling around my eye and my nose… so around day 2 after surgery I needed a heavy antibiotic. After about a week, I was better… but the stent in my nose and eye was irritating. Can you imagine planning a wedding, YOURSELF and now you have an infection. The wedding was a few weeks away. The doctor didn’t stress to me HOW uncomfy this foreign material in my body would be, especially since it was touching an external organ of mine — MY EYE! I noticed that the corner area of my eye would stay a bit red, because it wasn’t used to this stent/silicone tube. I had to learn to live with it. The doctor said it would stay in 3-4 months.
Let me just tell you from the time of my surgery to the time I got the stent out were NOT happy times. I had 4 eye infections, all needing oral antibiotics and sometimes an opthalmic solution too. My stent would come loose in my left eye & create a loop.
I had horrible sinus issues too. I never had sinus issues like this before. I was sick 3 months of the 4, I had the stent in. I had to see an allergist as well. I was so weak, stuffy, nose running, dizzy, … there wasn’t much I could do with ease.
In short, I was uncomfortable on my wedding day with eye makeup on the eye with the stent. It showed up in the pictures looking as if my eye was not fully opening. (So that doctor was wrong, I shouldn’t have had this a month before a wedding).
I had an infection on my honeymoon in Mexico and was not able to get a prescription until I got home. My stent/tube became loose after swimming with the dolphins on my birthday excursion. I had no way of putting the stent back in except by compact mirror in the back seat of a taxi. The Dolphin Place didn’t have lighted or mirrored bathrooms. My honeymoon was partially ruined by my sinus issues and this stent!
If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have had the surgery near an important event. I would have researched more and found an OPTHALMOLOGIST that did these Endoscopic procedures. I was not impressed by my doctor’s bedside manner. He was loud, quick and precise, but not KIND!
September 2011 – January 2012
He saw me 5 more times after the surgery. Only one time was for NO ISSUE. The day I was to get the stent out (3.5 months later).
The other times seeing him were for infection, removing dried up blood in my nose causing a FOWL odor only smelled by ME, and to pull the stent back into the correct place, so I didn’t look like a martian. Let me just tell you how they remove dried up blood in your nose after surgery. They vacuum it out … with a metal suction probe type instrument. It is not pleasant. If you consider having your brains suctioned out, well then, maybe you would like this procedure. I hated it.
NOW, its January 2012 and I’m one week post stent out of my eye! Things are going great so far. I haven’t had any leaking or mucous issues.
It’s now February 21, 2012 and so far so good regarding the mucous in my tear duct. It seems like my dry eyes are better too? How strange is that?
So, now it’s March 1, 2012. I am doing fine. I have narrowed sinus passages it seems…and I’m a little more stuffy, but my tear ducts are working. I am not getting all that mucous built up in my tear ducts. I have a minimal amount… and only if I aggravate the area. I would say the surgery has been a success so far, but I certainly had a horrible experience.
I am seeing a Corneal Specialist next week for a blur spot/starbursts/glare and floaters heavily in my left eye. These symptoms weren’t there before the surgery, so I can only imagine if it’s from the Lasik (appearing now), a fluke or something happened with all the steroid eye drops I took in 2011, causing some damage to this eye! I will keep you all in the loop! :) I just don’t want to be LOOPED in the eye again:) Also, I am able to wear my contacts again, but I have to admit — I wear my glasses a few times a week to give my eyes a rest. I never want another infection again! :)
Please contact me if you are having this surgery or if you already had it and want to talk about what you are going through now. I would love to have a conversation with you! Thank you, Amanda :)