Your consultant or GP has requested that you attend for a dacrocystogram. This leaflet is designed to explain what the examination involves. The examination will be carried out in the x-ray department at The James Cook University Hospital.
If you are unable to attend, please contact us immediately to rearrange. This will allow us to use the appointment for another patient.
What is a dacrocystogram (DCG)?
This is a procedure which uses x-rays and an x-ray dye to look at your tear ducts in order to see any blockages which may be present.
Preparation for the test
Please do not wear eye make-up on the day of your examination.
What can I expect to happen?
When you arrive at the x-ray department you will be collected from the main reception. You will then be taken to the x-ray room and be asked to remove any large earrings. Once you are changed the consultant radiologist will explain what the procedure involves and answer any questions you may have.
If you are happy to proceed you will lie on the x-ray table on your back with the x-ray camera above you. Supports will be used to help keep your head still.
The consultant will place a very fine tube into the opening of the tear duct on the eyelid of the affected eye. Once in the correct position x-ray dye will be injected and several x-rays taken in rapid succession.
Is there anything I should tell the staff?
For patients with ovaries, between the ages of 12 and 55, the x-ray department has a legal responsibility to ensure that this examination is performed within ten days of the first day of your menstrual period. Please contact the x-ray department if you are pregnant or if this appointment is beyond the ten day requirement, and another appointment will be arranged for you.
If you have special needs or disabilities, please contact the x-ray department on 01642 282639.
How long does it take?
The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes. If you attend early there is no guarantee that you will be seen before your appointment time.
What happens after examination?
You can continue as normal. Make-up can be applied.
When will I get the result?
You may not be given the result straight away. The consultant will examine your x-rays and send a report to the referring doctor, which is normally less than 14 days.
What about transport to the hospital?
Transport has not been arranged for this appointment. If an ambulance is required, please contact your GP at least 48 hours before the appointment date. All car parks are pay and display.
Radiation dose and risk
X-rays use ionising radiation which can cause cell damage that may, after many years or decades, turn cancerous. The risk of this happening is very small compared to the normal lifetime risk of developing cancer which is 1 in 2. We are also all exposed to background radiation every day.
The risk of long-term effects is considered when the healthcare team decide whether someone needs an x-ray examination and radiation doses are kept as low as possible. For this examination radiation dose levels are typically equivalent to around 6 to 12 months of background radiation. The associated risk is less than 1 in 10,000 – Very Low.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.