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Procedure for unblocking tear duct in a toddler - has anyone had any experience of this?

(18 Posts)
BouncingTurtle Mon 07-Jun-10 14:29:59

DS has had a weepy left eye since he was born, been to the GP a few times about it, told it may well improve on its own, but hasn't so in January got a referral to a opthalmologist.
Been to see him today (yes waited over 4 months for an appointment shock) and he said they can do a procedure to unblock his tear duct, it would need to be done under GA.

Has anyone else's toddler undergone this and could they share their experience with me? DS is 2.5.


BouncingTurtle Mon 07-Jun-10 17:49:31


BouncingTurtle Tue 08-Jun-10 15:33:56

Bump again!

mamaloco Wed 09-Jun-10 07:02:50

Waiting and bumping, my DD2 has it too but only 4 months so still hoping it will go away. Around 1, they will unblocked if not cleared by putting a needle in the tear duck or "burning" a hole.
I didn't realised it needed GA. As I know adults who had it and they never talked about GA or stay in hospital. It was a walk in walk out procedure. The adults were fine with it it is not a painful procedure.
In the mean time, I am massging the inside of the eye aera. Doc told me 20 time /day (with clean hands) just a quick up and down motion between the eye and the nose, and small circles. Did you try?
good luck

BouncingTurtle Wed 09-Jun-10 18:07:18

Mamaloco - thanks for your reply, have only just spotted it!

None of the GPs mentioned about the eye massage thing, but being the age he is I doubt he would tolerate me doing that to him. I was advised to wait until he was 2 to see if it cleared up by itself. The consultant said they would not operate until at least 18 months old.

I imagine it is done under a GA because it would be impossible to do it on a wide awake and wriggly toddler, it is a very simple procedure but I imagine, that involving the eye it would be necessary to keep him very, very still. It is only day surgery, they said they would do it in the morning and I'd be able to take him home as soon as he had woken up and been checked over.

TBH it is the GA I'm worried about

mintyneb Wed 09-Jun-10 18:10:50

don't have any experience of the procedure but just wanted to say that my DD started seeing a hospital consultant around the age of 20 months as she also had a blocked tear duct (possibly just partial though).

They were very reluctant to operate so we kept going back every 3 months and then at around the age of 2.5 (DD is 3.2 now) the blockage just seemed to clear and she has had no further problems and has been discharged from hospital.

The consultant said that the 'wire' they use to clear the blockage is quite thick (thicker than I expected) and can cause damage so as both an opthamologist (?) and a mother she would not recommend going through the procedure.

I guess different hospitals have different philosophies and your DS may have to have the op but I just wanted to give some hope that things might work out by themselves given time

EnglandAllenPoe Wed 09-Jun-10 18:11:19

i have a blocked tear comforting to know it is walk in walk out - the optician gave me expensive eye wash too (thogh didn't think it would help with a really blocked one). and recommended hot compresses to open the ducts.

mamaloco Thu 10-Jun-10 06:07:25

I understand your worries about the GA. Does he have a lot of eyes infections? otherwise it might not be necessary to do the op. Can you get a 2nd advice.
I do the massages when DD has a bottle or a nap it does not have to be very long. Sometimes when she has a cuddle and is very quiet too. Try it.
It is recommended for adults too. poe

My DS had a weepy eye from birth and had this proceedure done twice. It was a straight forward operation but it didnt work. We had just got to the point of waiting for surgery to repair/bypass the blocked tear duct when it stopped weeping. I will post more detail later on today as i have to go to work. I think DS was about 3 years old when it corrected itself. The tearducts in babies are tiny so sometimes just growing bigger will solve the

DS had a syringe and probe procedure at 15 mths old and 21 mths old. Each time he had antibiotics for a month after and it seemed to have worked until we stopped the antibiotics. When they were finished the eye started to weep again. The surgeon said he thought the blockage could be further down the tearduct than he could go so he referred us to ENT department. When we saw the ENT man he said that sometimes the ducts didnt form properly and that DS may need a small tube fitting to bypass the damaged part of the tearduct. He said it was a fiddly thing to do and he couldnt do it until DS was 3yrs old because everything would be so small. While we were waiting DS had a nasty ear infection and his eardrum burst and he got some antibiotics. He had had lots of anti Bs before and every time they stopped the problem came back but this time his eye stayed clear and never started weeping again. We went back to the ENT man and he said he was relived because he wasnt looking forward to doing the op on a small child and that in most cases children just grew out of it. Hopefully the same thing will happen with your DSsmile

NightLark Thu 10-Jun-10 16:22:46

DS had this as a baby - it did clear itself when he was about 2, but we had been attending the opthamology clinic and had been told it was a GA job if if did need doing.

If it helps at all with the GA worries, DS has since needed an (emergency) GA for repair of a nasty facial cut he got falling over at 4 years old. And it was no problem at all - the worst thing for him was the numbing-cream on the back of his hands for the catheter tube thingys.

The actual anasthetic was not traumatic for more than a couple of seconds when he first had the (strawberry-scented) mask on. The staff were all geared up with age-appropriate distracting picture books and friendly nurses/anesthetists.

And most importantly there were no ill effects once the post-anasthetic nausea had worn off. He was in hospital one day, operated on quite late at night and out by the following lunch time. You'll worry far more than your DS, I promise!

BouncingTurtle Thu 10-Jun-10 19:30:57

Thanks all for your reassurances.

There is at least a 2 months waiting list for it, so we can always change our mind about it, Minty. He does seem prone to a lot of infection s in that eye.

GuntherMcKilocodie Fri 11-Jun-10 20:04:34

My DD (now 8 months) had this from birth. Weepy eye all the time, it was getting really sore. I took her to the G.P. and basically demanded that they sort it out. He gave me some antibiotic eye drops and it was sorted within a week.

BouncingTurtle Sat 12-Jun-10 07:59:08

Glad you got it sorted Gunthar. Unfortunately Ds has been treated numerous times and it is not clearing up, it is still quite weepy.

christina1971 Wed 16-Jun-10 13:09:14

Hello BouncingTurtle. My Ds had this when he was tiny - the doctors here (I live in France) told me just to wipe the eye with water-soaked cotton wool from the outer side of the eye towards the nose, and then make a very gentle downward movement. I did that 2 or 3 times a day. It did work and the eye was clear after a few days.

ang581 Mon 21-Oct-13 15:54:00

Hi, my 12 month old baby girl also has a blocked tear duct, and i am now booking an appointment to moorfields. After reading a very long thread on this topic on mumsnet, i have noticed that alot of people suggest massaging around the eye in order to get the 'gunk' out of the eye! To me there is only visible gunk on the weeping eye.. am i wrong in thinking that the blocked tear duct is on the other eye as thats the eye that has no tears..??

GaynorD Thu 16-Jun-16 16:51:28

Hi I have the same problem with my 3 and a half year old. Blocked since birth, numerous infections and antibiotic drops each month. Doctor wants to operate this Saturday but she has an infection now and we got a second opinion that the op can not be done during an infected time, it must be clear....,think as it's covered by insurance the doctor is pushing to do it. We fly one week from date of op and I just feel it's not right at the moment but we are moving country and I know we will have a summer ahead of infections before we get settled in our new country and can do an operation. Just wondering what happened in your situation bouncing turtle? Any advice?

Footle Thu 16-Jun-16 21:35:48

This is a zombie thread, ie an old one. Start a new thread for your question for more up to date info.

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