What Is a Dacryocystorhinostomy?
What Is a Dacryocystorhinostomy?
A dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a surgical procedure that is often used to treat epiphora, a condition characterized by excessive tearing and other symptoms. One of the most common causes of epiphora is blockages in the patient’s tear ducts. The goal of the DCR is to improve drainage from the eyes by re-routing tears from the eyes to the nose.
Below, we will briefly discuss the signs and symptoms of epiphora and how a DCR can remedy the condition.
What Is Epiphora?
Epiphora, or watery eyes, is a bothersome condition that involves extreme tearing and persistent overflow of tears in the eyes that then spill onto the face. This may cause patients to appear as if they are crying all the time. Excessive tearing can lead to blurry vision, which can make everyday activities like driving difficult to perform. It can cause redness and irritation in the eyes and can even cause the skin in the eyelids to deteriorate over time.
Epiphora is generally treatable. Sometimes, it resolves itself. But in other cases, medications and even surgery may be required to fix the issue. One of the most common surgical treatments for epiphora is a DCR.
How Do Dacryocystorhinostomies Work?
A DCR is a surgical operation that creates a new pathway for tears to drain from the eyes if the tear ducts have become blocked. Normally, tears produced by the eyes drain through tiny openings in the eyelids called canaliculi. Tears flow into these openings when a person blinks and eventually make their way to the lacrimal sac. When the canaliculi become blocked, epiphora can occur.
There are two main types of DCRs: external and endoscopic. During an external DCR, the surgeon will make a tiny incision just beneath the eye near the top of the nose. The surgeon then cuts through the bone underneath to create a small hole. The surgeon will leave a small tube there, effectively re-routing tears, which flow from the lacrimal sac into the nose.
The endoscopic version of a DCR is slightly less invasive but essentially accomplishes the same objective. During an endoscopic DCR, the surgeon uses an endoscope to forge a hole in the bone above the lacrimal sac, then connects the lacrimal sac and the nasal cavity. The surgeon will place a tube between the lacrimal sac and the nose to ensure that the tear duct stays open and tears can properly drain from the eyes.
Not every person who suffers from blocked tear ducts requires a DCR, and home remedies are sometimes sufficient to resolve the issue. Less invasive remedies include warm compresses and antibiotic drops, for instance. However, if symptoms persist, surgery may be necessary. If you have epiphora and you aren’t sure whether surgery is right for you, you should discuss treatments with your optometrist.
There are also risks associated with obtaining a DCR, which you should be aware of before undergoing the procedure. Common risks include facial scarring (if you receive an external DCR), bleeding, infections, and dislocation of the tube that reroutes tears from the lacrimal sac to the nostrils.
Emerging research has shown a link between the chemotherapy drug Taxotere and epiphora. Taxotere is used to treat various cancers, including breast, prostate, lung, stomach, head, and neck cancers.
As of March 2022, 14 lawsuits had been filed in a Louisiana federal court against the drugmaker, Sanofi-Aventis, on behalf of clients who suffered epiphora, vision loss, and other eye-related impairments after being treated with Taxotere. The plaintiffs have alleged that Sanofi-Aventis knew about the drug’s potential to cause side effects such as epiphora and visual impairment but never warned the public.
If you were diagnosed with epiphora and believe that receiving the chemotherapy medication Taxotere could be to blame, you should contact an attorney to determine your eligibility to participate in a mass tort lawsuit. Many patients who suffer from epiphora need surgery, including DCRs, to repair blocked tear ducts. Like many types of surgery, DCRs can be costly, and if your epiphora was caused by Sanofi-Aventis’s negligence, you shouldn’t be responsible for your medical expenses. Don’t miss the opportunity to hold Sanofi-Aventis accountable for its misconduct.
Contact a Taxotere Lawsuit Attorney
To find out whether you qualify for a Taxotere lawsuit, you schedule a free consultation with the Austin Taxotere lawsuits attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC. You can schedule an appointment with our legal team by calling us today at (800) 763-6155. Our national mass tort litigation attorneys are currently accepting clients who were diagnosed with cancer, received Taxotere during chemotherapy, and were subsequently diagnosed with eye conditions like epiphora. Contact us today and let us evaluate your legal options.