Blocked tear ducts are sometimes
cleared using a procedure called intubation. During intubation, two small wire
probes attached to silicone tubes are passed into the upper and lower tear duct
openings (puncta) and down the tear duct drainage system into the nasal cavity.
The wires are removed and the tubes are tied or sewn in place to keep the tear
ducts open. Intubation is usually done as part of a probing procedure in the
general anesthesia. Most babies go home the same day.
From 3 to 16 weeks
after surgery, the person returns to the doctor's office, and the tubes are
removed. Anesthesia is usually not needed when the tubes are taken out.