Lacrimal obstruction in the newborn is a lack of tear drainage in the lachrymal or tear duct. This is a relatively frequent condition. Up to 50% of newborns can have it. The development of the tear duct is completed after birth.
In only 5% of newborns the problem persists after 2 months of age.
During the first year of life, the chances of a spontaneous resolution are very high and depend on the child's age: at 3 months old, there are 80% chances, at 6 months, 70% chances, and 9 months, 52% chances.
The scientific publications demonstrate that, after the first year of life, the possibility of spontaneous resolution is unlikely to happen.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and it does not require hospitalization.
A catheter is used to unclog or unblock the tear ducts with a small metal probe.
It takes about 5 minutes.
The postoperative period is not painful. Eye drops should be used for one week.
The procedure is usually successful in 90% of cases. In the remaining 10% if tearing persists, repeating the procedure or putting a device into the tear ducts is suggested.