Dacryocystogram is an injection of contrast dye into the tear duct openings of your eyelid to check for blockages and other pathologies in the ducts.

The dye is x-rayed as it passes through the ducts and into your mouth. The study is done by a radiologist, and although some people may find it uncomfortable, it should be pain-free.

This procedure is available at the following Jones Radiology locations:


You will lie on an x-ray table with a small cushion under your head. The radiologist will place a small cannula into the tear duct opening of your lower eyelid. A bright light or torch and magnifying equipment may be needed as the ducts are very small. You are asked to close your eye once the cannula is in place. A small amount of tape around the cannula tubing will hold the cannula in place against your cheek. You need to remain still when the contrast is injected as the ducts are difficult to see on x-ray if you move. It takes a few seconds to take the pictures. The dye will pass into the back of your mouth if the ducts are functioning. Sometimes if the ducts are blocked the dye may well near your eye. This is safe and can be wiped away with a tissue by the radiologist. The process is usually repeated on the other eye.

Risks / Side effects

If x-ray contrast is administered, there is a small risk of an allergic reaction. A mild allergic reaction occurs in 1/1000 injections and includes a rash, hives or sneezing. More severe reactions such as difficulty breathing are less common. Severe life-threatening reactions are extremely rare (1 in 170,000).

Before your Scan

No specific preparation is required.

You can eat and drink before and after the procedure.

If you are on any regular medication or have diabetes and are on insulin, take your usual medication and diet.

Please tell us if you have an iodine allergy, or are pregnant.

Please inform us if you have an iodine allergy or are pregnant.


A Dacryocystogram takes approximately 15 minutes.

Other Information

After the injection, the contrast used can be a little sticky to touch. Gently clean the skin with a damp flannel or cloth if you have some contrast remaining near your eye.

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