Best Way to Treat Canalicular Stenosis
Canalicular Stenosis is an irreversible medical condition that affects a person’s eyes. Many cancer patients develop this condition during or after chemotherapy treatment with Taxotere. Studies have shown adverse side effects while using Taxotere to treat various forms of cancer, such as breast cancer, neck cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Canalicular Stenosis. However, there are treatment options. Whether you can undergo a medical procedure to manage your symptoms will depend on various factors. You should discuss a treatment plan with your ophthalmologist.
What Is Canalicular Stenosis?
Canalicular Stenosis is a permanent condition that causes excessive watery eyes and additional symptoms, including:
- Central vision loss
- Swollen eyelids
- Dry eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye infections
- Blurry vision
- Cloudy eye lens
Canalicular Stenosis typically begins as watery eyes during Taxotere chemo treatment. Patients often notice this unusual symptom first but ignore it as a possible side effect of chemotherapy.
Unfortunately, the condition can progress over time, eventually causing irreversible damage to the canaliculus, a structure near the eye responsible for funneling tears from the tear ducts into the nasal cavity.
How Taxotere Causes Canalicular Stenosis
Researchers discovered that secretions from Taxotere travel throughout the body and interact with various fluids, such as blood, urine, and tears. While the secretions travel through a person’s canaliculus, it comes in direct contact with tears. This causes inflammation, resulting in excessive eye-watering, also called epiphora.
Chronic inflammation can lead to eye infections, causing more damage to the canaliculus. Blockages start to form if the Taxotere secretions continue to interact with the tears. This prevents tears from flowing into the nasal cavity as usual.
Eventually, the canaliculus can start to close, blocking tears from passing through entirely. With a build-up of tears on the surface of the eye, there’s nowhere else for them to go. Once one or both canaliculi close, there’s nothing a doctor can do to reopen them.
Treating Canalicular Stenosis
You can’t cure Canalicular Stenosis, but you might be able to treat the symptoms with one of two medical procedures. Both are invasive and expensive. They also come with dangerous side effects and results that aren’t guaranteed.
However, if your ophthalmologist determines you’re a candidate for either surgery, you could potentially find relief for your symptoms.
The first option is called dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). During DCR, the surgeon makes a small incision to access the area near the canaliculus. Then, they create a new passageway to redirect tears around the damaged canaliculus to flow to the nasal cavity. They might also place a stent to keep this new passageway open and prevent the recurrence of eye-watering and other symptoms.
Not everyone is eligible for DCR. If the damage to your canaliculus is too severe to create a new passageway using existing structures, the surgeon might need to perform conjunctivodacryocystorhinostomy (CDCR). CDCR involves the surgeon inserting a tiny glass tube called a Jones tube over the blocked canaliculus. This can prevent the tears from building up on the surface of the eye and facilitate travel to the nasal cavity.
Complications of Canalicular Stenosis Surgery
Although DCR and CDCR can be effective in managing or alleviating your symptoms, there are risks. These procedures can lead to a range of debilitating symptoms much worse than the symptoms associated with Canalicular Stenosis.
Possible side effects include:
- Uncontrollable hemorrhaging before and after surgery
- Abnormally fused tissue
- Significant facial scarring
- Chronic eye infections
- Migrating stent or Jones tube
- Tissue and nerve damage
You should discuss possible treatment plans with your doctor before proceeding. If your symptoms of Canalicular Stenosis are mild and don’t interfere with your life much, treatment can be as simple as using an over-the-counter eye drop to relieve dry eyes or a topical ointment to control eye-watering.
At Hotze Runkle, we understand the trauma you’ve experienced since your diagnosis of Canalicular Stenosis. You were already dealing with your cancer diagnosis when you discovered an entirely new medical condition you’re forced to treat. The adverse effects of Taxotere can lead to significant physical, emotional, and financial strain. The manufacturer of the drug should be held liable for its negligent actions.
If you were treating your cancer with Taxotere, do not hesitate to contact Hotze Runkle to discuss your available legal options. Our team can review the circumstances of your case and determine whether you might be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer. We will advocate for your rights and fight by your side for the justice you deserve.
Take our Taxotere Evaluation Quiz right now to find out if you qualify for a lawsuit.