Surgery for a blocked tear duct...

Nicole - posted on 04/13/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )




I know that all of us aren't doctors and nurses, but I would love some educated feedback and to hear about your experiences. My son is 11 months old and today I scheduled a surgery to open a clogged tear duct. Two issues I have with it:

1. The nurse tells me that they are going to put him completely under. Risky, for a condition that isn't harmful and poses no health risk. Or am I wrong?

2. After insurance, it is going to cost us at least $1000. We have to come up with the money before they will do the surgery, and we just lost a major source of income last month, so we are struggling to just pay bills. It may come down to this or the car payments.

SO, WHAT DID PEOPLE DO BEFORE THIS SURGERY? WILL NOT GETTING IT HARM MY SON? IS IT WORTH THE RISK? I know that when I was a child, the doctor wanted to put tubes in all of our ears and take out two kids' tonsils (out of four kids). My parents didn't have the money. We are all still here, with perfect hearing and tonsils. Now the tonsil surgery is 'out of vogue'...

On the other hand, he is almost a year old, his eye is always 'gooky,' with yellowish puss, and the area around the eye is also frequently swollen (eyelid and inner corner especially). Since he was around six months old, his eye is usually swollen and in most pictures it looks like his eyes are two different sizes. This doesn't bother me unless it is permanent--I don't want my son to go to school with strange eyes, and be embarrassed by it.

My doctor told me to use antibiotic drops only when the eye was red, which hasn't happened in months. I am toying with the idea of doing another round of antibiotics just to see if the eye will heal better with the inflamation gone, if maybe that will help it open on its own. When I used the drops, the discharge would be clear and runny, but reverted to yellow and oozy within two days each time. I worry about the side effects of using drops in his eye. Lately I have to clean out his eye twice a day, which he HATES and I worry that it hurts him... but he could just be irritated with me.

I just want to do what is best for my son!

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Erin - posted on 04/16/2009



0 son had a blocked tear duct and our pediatrician never mentioned a surgery, just that if it persisted that we should she an eye doctor. I was told to do the massage under the eye starting from the outside and gently pushing up towards the tear duct in the inside corner of the eye. We also used the erythromyacin (spelling?) gel and the warm compresses. He is 18 months now and we have no problem with his eyes. Do what you think is best, and if you have doubts, get a second opinion. Good luck.

Sara - posted on 04/16/2009




Usually, it is advisable to wait until after a year old to perform the surgery. These things often clear up on their own around that time. I don't think there's any harm in postponing if you think that is what you would like to do. But, it is best to put the child under during the procedure due to the fact that they are using a probe near his eye (in a very small space) and he needs to remain very still.

If his eye is irritated, have you tried warm compresses and gentle massage around his eye? You probably have, but it's worth mentioning. And, it's probably not pus that you are seeing, just the oily mucous that our eyes naturally produce but that people with properly open lacrimal ducts don't have build up of.

Again, if you want to postpone and see if it will resolve itself, then I don't think there's any harm. However, if it does not resolve itself in a couple of months, he will probably need to have the surgery. Good luck!

Dianna - posted on 04/16/2009




Hi, I have an 8 and a half month old daughter. She's had goopy eyes since she was born. The left is perfectly fine now, but the right one still gets goopy. Some days it's bad and some days it's ok. I took her to my eye doctor. She said to massage the tear duct. Take your finger and rub under his eye from the outside of the eye up towards his nose. Also, put warm compresses on it several times a day. I've been doing it and it does seem to be getting better. I don't want her to have that surgery either. Good luck!

Claudia - posted on 04/13/2009




Nicole, I really feel for you!! My son's tear duct is also blocked on the 1 side, but he is only 8 months now, so I still have a little way to go, and really hope that it clears up. Unfortunately I can't say anything to help, but will follow this conversation with interest, as I may be in the same boat soon, and would much rather do things naturally than surgically!! Good Luck!

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