Should I have a blocked tear duct repaired under general anaesthetic?

I was diagnosed with Cerebral Vasculitis 12 months ago and also suffered a stroke behind my left eye causing 30% loss of vision. It also caused a blocked tear duct in my left eye so it now constantly waters. I am under Moorfields hospital and they suggested an operation under general anaesthetic whereby they would drill a hole through the top of my nose and then run a tube from the tear duct down my nostril. The tube would stay in place for 6 weeks .The operation could be repeated up to 3 times. My first reaction was to say 'No' due to the trauma I have suffered over the last year. However, I am so fed up with my eye watering all the time. Under my eye gets sore and I can't wear make-up. This weekend I had a burst blood vessel in the eye which I think is caused my all the rubbing! I am now thinking "should I have the op?" Any advice or suggestions would be gratefully received. I think I am a bit, no a lot scared of having another op under a general.

Thank you


8 Replies

  • I know how you feel i've got WG which caused a blocked tear duct. I get constant green gunge coming out of my eye then I have to get antibiotic drops. However, this is my own choice I do not what the operation unless a doctor said you must have it. You can take all the advice from doctors but at the end of the day it's your choice. I would ask the person doing the operation how successful they have been in the past doing it as I know sometimes it doesn't work and can take up to 3 times.

  • Thanks for your reply Haggiss. Hope your eye improves soon.


  • Hello. I had this procedure done on both eyes two years ago through the side of the nose. I had it done under local anaesthetic with heavy sedation because my beathing is so bad. It was fine. I was also afraid, but I honestly didn't feel a thing and don't remember much because of the sedation. Jean

  • Thanks Jean. Glad everything went well with your op. How long did you have the tubes in your nose? Was it uncomfortable and was your nose running all the time?


  • Lorraine. The tubes were in my nose for a week and were removed when I went back for the check-up and to have my stitches removed from the side of my nose. The most frustrating thing was not being able to blow your nose for a week (although I blew my nose very carefully after about three days, I couldn't stand it any longer). The op made such a difference because my eyes were running constantly and it made it difficult to drive etc. Also, the skin under my eyes was always very sore. I think it's very important to find a surgeon who understands your illness. I was lucky, my surgeon specialised in this procedure and, as a result of his previous experience, had a good understanding of WG. Certainly, if you're nervous (and we all are), speak to the surgeon who will talk you through the procedure, but the decision is yours whether you go ahead with it. I was off work for a week each time (mainly because I had a black eye and the stickes made it uncomfortable to wear my glasses) but I felt fine the next day on both occasions. Good luck.

  • Hi, I asked a similar question a week or so ago so you might want to read the replies I got ... you should find it under the questions section. Hope it helps. I'm going to 'wait and see' as my watering eyes seem to be improving as I reduce prednisolone. Charlotte

  • Thanks Charlotte. How much Prednisolone are you on? I've been trying to reduce mine for a few months now but seem to be stuck on 10mg daily. My consultant wants me to try again after Christmas. If its possible that my eye might stop watering if I reduce the steroids, I think I may wait to make a decision on the op.


  • I'm down to 8mg after years on 20 or more and there is a definite difference. Hope it works for you.

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