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Radiology (Xray)


Appointments: RVI: (0191) 282 4330

IntroductionShow [+]Hide [-]

This information is designed to give you some details about having a Dacrocystogram, to help you prepare for your examination and to give you some idea of what to expect when you attend.



What is a Dacrocystogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

A Dacrocystogram is the name given to an examination of the tear duct.



Why do I need a Dacrocystogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

You may have a problem with a watering or weepy eye, which suggests a problem with the drainage of tears from the eye into the nose.



Who has decided that I need a Dacrocystogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

The doctor who saw you in the eye (opthalmology) department has made this decision.



Do I need any special preparation before the examination?Show [+]Hide [-]

If you wear contact lenses, these cannot be worn on the day of the test – you must wear spectacles instead.  Continue to take your usual medication.


What preparation will I need?Show [+]Hide [-]

If you wear contact lenses, these cannot be worn on the day of the test – you must wear spectacles instead.  Continue to take your usual medication.



What does the examination involve?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • The Radiologist (specialist x-ray doctor) who will perform the test will explain it to you and answer any questions you may have.You will be asked to lie down and a small drop of local anaesthetic will be put into your eye. This will numb the area while the test is done.
  • A tiny tube (cannula) is then passed into the opening of the tear duct in your upper or lower eyelid.  This should not be painful. 
  • The tube is then held in place with tape while X-ray contrast fluid is injected into it.
  • The Radiologist watches the contrast on the x-ray camera, which will be close to your face but will not touch you.  You should lie still. 
  • If the contrast goes down the tear duct, you will feel it in your nose and may taste it in your mouth. 
  • Some contrast may spill on to your face but it is completely harmless and washes off.


How long will it take?Show [+]Hide [-]

It will take approximately 20 minutes.


How does it feel?Show [+]Hide [-]

The local anaesthetic may sting for a moment when it is put on the eye, but after that, your eye will be numb and you will not feel any pain.  A bright light is used to find the tear duct and the glare from this can be a little uncomfortable, but this is only for a short time. 


What happens after the examination?Show [+]Hide [-]

Any tears or dye contrast will be wiped away with tissue.  We usually ask that you remain in the department for 20-30 minutes after the examination to allow the anaesthetic to wear off. 

What are the benefits of having a Dacrocystogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

This examination will give the doctor further information about your condition.



What are the risks or complications of having a Dacrocystogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

The test would not be performed if you had evidence of infection involving the eye/tear duct as it could make this worse.  Occasionally, it is not possible to complete the test if the tube cannot be inserted correctly.

Can I drive home?Show [+]Hide [-]


When will I get my results?Show [+]Hide [-]

After your scan has finished we will not be able to tell you the results as the reporting Radiologist will need to study the images carefully.  If you have come from home, the results will be sent back to the doctor who referred you for your scan.  This process takes approximately 2 weeks, so unless other arrangements have been made you should expect to hear something after this time.


I need an ambulance/transport. Do you arrange it?Show [+]Hide [-]

If you need an ambulance/ transport, you should ask your GP Surgery to arrange it. You will need to give them three working days’ notice.  Please note that hospital transport is provided on medical need only.



What if I cannot attend for my appointment?Show [+]Hide [-]

If your appointment time is not convenient please contact the hospital department so that a more appropriate time can be arranged.  This will enable us to reallocate valuable scanning time to someone else.

RVI X-ray Appointments               0191 282 4330 (8.30am-5.00pm)

Information from your diagnostic test will contribute to the Diagnostic Imaging Dataset. 

The Diagnostic Imaging Dataset (DID) is a database that holds information on the imaging tests and scans carried out on NHS patients. This will allow the Health and Social Care Information Centre to see how different tests are used across the country.

Nothing will ever be reported that identifies you.  All information is stored securely. It is only made available to appropriate staff, and is kept strictly confidential. However, if you do not want your information to be stored in the DID, please tell the people who are treating you. They will make sure your information is not copied into the DID.

You may, at a later date, still decide to opt out.  Please contact the Health and Social Care Information Centre directly, their contact details are:

Telephone: 0845 300 6016 



What if I have any comments, suggestions or complaints?Show [+]Hide [-]

Should you have any suggestions or concerns, please make these known to the person conducting your examination or by letter addressed to the hospital that you are attending your examination:

The Departmental Manager                      

X-ray Department Level 3                         

Royal Victoria Infirmary                             

Queen Victoria Road                                 

Newcastle upon Tyne                                

NE1 4LP                                                       

Tel: (0191) 2821099                                   

Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm

All Newcastle Hospitals: Switchboard Tel: (0191) 233 6161 (24 hours)

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS.  You can contact them on freephone 0800 032 02 02 or email

Information produced by: Dr J Graham Consultant Radiologist

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