Watery eyes surgery: Punctoplasty & DCR


Watery eyes are common and often temporary but can affect your daily life if they persist. At Oculase, we offer private watery eyes surgery, such as punctoplasty and dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR), to treat this issue. We discuss these procedures in detail on this page. Arrange a consultation at our clinic today to discover your treatment options.

Watery eyes

Tears consist of water, oil and mucus, and they protect the surface of your eye by washing away dust and other irritants. Watery eyes (epiphora) occur if you have too many tears or they do not drain properly. You may also experience blurry vision, irritated or sore eyes, stickiness, and dry eyes, depending on the cause.

What causes watery eyes?

Various factors can cause watery eyes. One common cause is dry eye syndrome, which occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears or your tears evaporate too quickly. Allergies such as hay fever can also trigger watery eyes as the immune system reacts to allergens. Other causes include conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye’s outer layer) or blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).  

Structural problems, such as blocked tear ducts or eyelid abnormalities, and irritants like smoke, wind, or bright lights can also lead to excessive tearing. You may have a blocked tear duct if you experience tearing, discharge, redness in the white of your eye, and pain at the inside corner of your eye.

We recommend booking a consultation for a thorough assessment and treatment options if persistent watery eyes interfere with your daily life. 

How do I treat watery eyes?

Many people experience watery eyes, and they usually resolve without intervention. However, you should speak to a doctor if your symptoms continue. They may refer you to a specialist for diagnostic tests and expert treatment. You can also seek private care without a referral to gain faster access to tailored treatment recommendations.  

 You may benefit from using lubricating eye drops if your eyes are dry or antibiotic drops if you have an infection. Antihistamines (hayfever tablets) can also help if you suffer from allergies. An underlying condition, such as ectropion, entropion or ptosis, can cause watering of the eyes. At Oculase, we can treat these with lid laxity surgery or blepharoplasty. 

 If you have blocked or narrow tear ducts, we may recommend surgery to treat them, such as punctoplasty or dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). We can also use DCR surgery to treat chronic dacryocystitis (an inflamed tear sac). We discuss these in more detail below.


This surgical procedure treats watery eyes caused by a blockage or narrowing of the opening of the tear ducts. The goal of punctoplasty is to widen the opening of the tear ducts, allowing tears to drain properly. During the procedure, we make a small incision (cut) near the tear ducts to widen the narrow area or insert a stent to keep the passage open.

We typically perform this surgery under local anaesthesia on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home on the same day. It usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour, and recovery time is generally quick. You may experience mild discomfort, bruising, or swelling after, which you can manage with over-the-counter pain medications and cold compresses. 

The procedure has a high success rate, but this can vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of your condition. You must have a thorough evaluation and consultation with a skilled eye surgeon to determine if punctoplasty is the appropriate treatment option for you. 

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with punctoplasty, including infection, bleeding, scarring, and watery eyes returning. However, complications are rare, as it is a safe and highly effective procedure. 

Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR)

If you’re experiencing persistent watery eyes due to a blocked tear duct or an inflamed tear sac, DCR surgery may also help. This surgical procedure creates a new pathway for tears to bypass the blockage and flow freely into your nasal cavity (behind your nose). This reduces excessive tearing, helps your tears drain, and improves your comfort. 

In DCR surgery, we use a specially designed silicone tube to create a new passage between the tear sac and the nasal cavity to allow excess water to drain from your eyes into the nasal cavity. We leave the tube in for 2-3 months after which we remove it.  

We can perform DCR surgery in the traditional manner, externally, through a tiny incision on the skin near the corner of the eye. Alternatively, we can do it endoscopically through the nose. This modern technique is our preferred option as it does not leave any scar on your face, unlike traditional DCR surgery. You will need to undergo a thorough evaluation to choose the best option for you. 

We may use local or general anaesthesia before the procedure to prevent pain, and you can usually return home on the same day. Recovery time varies, but you may have some swelling, bruising, and mild discomfort in the first few days following surgery. As with a punctoplasty, pain medications and cold compresses can help manage these.

The success rate of DCR surgery is generally high, and people often experience long-term relief from their symptoms. Our specialist can answer any questions and discuss the benefits, risks, and expected outcomes in further detail with you during your appointment.

Private watery eye surgery

Are watery eyes affecting your daily life? Don’t let it hold you back any longer. At Oculase, we offer private watery eyes surgery to address this issue and bring you the relief you deserve.

Our dedicated doctors can provide a thorough assessment and tailor treatment options to your specific needs. Whether it’s punctoplasty or DCR surgery, our expert team is here to help.

Take the first step towards clearer vision and improved comfort and explore the personalised treatment options available at Oculase. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. 

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Frequently asked questions

    You may need watery eyes surgery if your watery eyes are persistent and interfere with your usual activities. Our specialists can provide specific treatment recommendations once they have diagnosed the cause of your symptoms.

    Smoking after watery eyes surgery can delay the healing process and increase the risk of complications. We recommend that you stop smoking for six weeks before and two weeks after your procedure.

    If this is too hard, try stopping for at least three days before and two days after. The NHS provides a free smoking cessation programme if you want help to quit.

    You may experience temporary watering after surgery due to swelling and inflammation, which should stop after four to six weeks. Take it easy for a few days after the procedure to help your eyes heal. Before you go home, we will let you know how to care for your eyes as you recover and share your estimated recovery timeline with you.

    We usually recommend taking at least a day off work to recover from punctoplasty and two days after DCR surgery to let your eyes rest. However, we advise that some people take up to a week off work, especially those working in dusty environments.

    The results of this treatment are usually permanent. However, in rare cases, you may need a follow-up procedure to widen the tear duct narrowing further or to address complications.

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