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Blocked Tear Duct

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Old 11-19-2004, 08:44 AM   #1
Mrs Fuzzy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2
Mrs Fuzzy HB User
Question Blocked Tear Duct

My daughter is 8 mos. old and still has a blocked tear duct. The opthamologist says statistics show that if a baby's blocked duct hasn't unblocked by 7 - 9 mos., it usually won't. She recommends surgery. My family is very opposed to the surgery. My nephew's eye cleared up on its own at 1 yr., but it seems to block up when he gets a cold. Just the one eye gets cruddy. That seems to indicate the duct never fully unblocked.

My husband and I need to make a decision on the surgery quickly. Our daughter's insurance is expiring soon. We either do it now, or we have a 1-yr. waiting period once she is added to his insurance. (His insurance excludes pre-existing conditions for the first yr. of coverage.) The doctor's schedule is just about booked solid. So we need to make this decision fast and get the surgery scheduled if we are going to do it now. What we would really appreciate is hearing from parents who have had the surgery done on their babies. How did it go? Any regrets? How was the recovery? I've heard horror stories per my sister-in-law about the recovery. My daughter's opthamologist assured me it would be no different than what we do now -- antibiotic ointment for the eye. Any parent who's been through the surgery with a child, please share your thoughts and experience.

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Old 11-20-2004, 09:24 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,657
NancyH HB User
Re: Blocked Tear Duct

No experience with the surgery but my 8 yr old granddaughter has had the tear duct block since birth and they feel she can live with it as long as it is no problem other than when she gets a cold or if it is cold outside. The surgeon who saw her said there are times when it will improve with age or get worse, hers seems to be a little better than when she was 2. They wanted to wait til she was old enough to understand what was going to happen, she has said she doesn't want it done. My daughters friend had it done on her son at 2 and it worked just fine but putting the eye drops in were difficult at the least and he had a reaction to the anesthesia as well. Surgery is surgery and if the childs life doesn't depends on it why put them through something when it is so minor. I have a blocked tear duct and my life has been just fine, there are alot of minor irritations in life and this is but a small one. Seems some Drs are in a big hurry to do surgery even when it is not a big problem, money in the pocket to me. I'd wait til he was old enough to tell you if it is too much of an irritation and wants something done about it.

Last edited by NancyH; 11-20-2004 at 09:26 PM.

Old 11-29-2004, 09:15 AM   #3
Mrs Fuzzy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2
Mrs Fuzzy HB User
Re: Blocked Tear Duct

Nancy - Thanks for sharing your experience with me! I am still shocked at how common the problem seems to be, yet only you have written with experience about surgery . . . I no longer view it as "unnecessary surgery." My 8-month old now has her first eye infection as a result of the cesspool in her blocked duct. Just as blocked eustachain tubes in the ears are a breeding ground for bacteria (leading to frequent ear infections), so are blocked ducts in the eyes. My husband got his own opthamologist's opinion . . . she warned of frequent infections. Her opinion is objective and unbiased (she won't be making a penny off my daughter's surgery, if we proceed). There is always a risk with anesthesia, but today's monitoring equipment is far superior to what was available when I was a 2-yr. old having surgeries. My 9-yr. old had stomach surgery when he was just 8 WEEKS old. The final decision for my daughter's blocked duct is one my husband will make. We have shared information we obtained individually. Again, thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts with us. I do appreciate your taking the time to sit down and write.

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