A dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a surgery that creates a new path for tears to drain between your eyes and your nose. You may need this surgery if your tear duct has become blocked, which can occur due to infection or inflammation of the eye. The procedure can be performed externally through an incision in the skin and is typically effective at creating a new duct within 3 months. If the endoscopic technique is chosen, your surgeon will perform it through your nose without leaving a skin incision. This method is considered less invasive than external DCR but carries a higher risk of complications or incomplete healing as there are more mucosal surfaces to heal together.
The procedure takes only a few hours and the results are immediate. You can be back at work within two weeks of the procedure and most patients experience very little discomfort during recovery.
Here are a few tips to consider during the recovery process:
- Plan To Have Someone To Go Home With You
- Follow Doctor’s Orders
- Avoid Strenuous Activity
- Use Ice Packs
- Book A Follow Up Appointment
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Plan To Have Someone To Go Home With You
When you are fit enough to leave the hospital after your operation, you will need to make arrangements for someone to drive you home. You will be in a highly fatigued state, unable to care for yourself. It is important that someone stays with you for the first few hours. If a family member or friend is available please ask them to accompany you home so that they can assist with getting dressed, driving and providing postoperative care instructions.
Follow Doctor’s Instructions
Following surgery, doctors will usually prescribe antibiotic medication to be taken for approximately one week. Your doctor will examine your nose, throat and mouth after surgery to see how the procedure went. You may need to take antibiotics or antibiotic eye drops to help prevent infection. You are required to use the eye drops and nasal spray for about one month following your surgery to cleanse. You may also need other medicines too, such as steroids and nasal decongestants. In most cases, there is a little soreness after the procedure, but over-the-counter pain medicines should relieve the discomfort. Your doctor knows best so follow the directions he/she gives you and always ask questions!
Avoid Strenuous Activity
Please ensure that you do not perform any strenuous activity for one week after surgery, including bending over to pick up items. You may resume a full exercise program at 50% intensity at one week post op, and should be able to resume a full exercise program at two weeks post op. Driving is permitted the day after surgery if you are not taking opioid medication. Light walking, household activities and normal social activity are all acceptable immediately after surgery. You may resume exercise at full intensity two weeks after surgery.
Use Ice Packs
To help with swelling after your surgery, place a clean, soft towel and wrap ice cubes in it. Gently place the moistened towel on your eye and leave it in place for 15 to 20 minutes at least six times each day for the first two days after your surgery. Do not put ice directly on your skin as it may cause burns.
Swelling is the after-effects of many different types of surgeries. To help ensure your body’s swelling is stopped and reversed as fast as possible, try using soft ice packs at least twice a day.
Book A Follow Up Appointment
It is important to monitor your health closely for the first few months after surgery. You will need close follow-up care with your doctor to find out if the surgery was effective. You may have a scheduled appointment soon after the procedure, and may need to return for another check-up in a few weeks.
At your first postoperative visit, the provider will examine your sinuses with an endoscope and may clean your sinuses of dried blood. We recommend taking a dose of pain medication about 45 minutes to one hour before this visit, just in case mild discomfort is present. Write down any questions you may have so that we can answer them at your appointment.
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