A dacryocystocele is an enlargement of the lacrimal
sac or lacrimal sacs with fluid, usually filled with sterile
(non-infected) mucous. Lacrimal sacs are hollow
spaces that the lacrimal canals drain tears into. The
lacrimal canals are curved, tube-shaped structures that
drain tears from the eyes and carry them to the
lacrimal sacs. To read more about the lacrimal sacs,
see the entry for the lacrimal apparatus, which is the
system in the body that produces and drains tears.
A dacryocystocele under the eye.
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Dacrocystoceles are benign (mild and not likely to spread) and take the form of a bluish
gray mass below the eye and next to the nose. Dacrocystoceles are formed due to a
blockage or narrowing of the lacrimal duct (tube shaped structures) near the nose. This
usually happens during development of the fetus. A fetus is a developing human that is
inside the mother from the end of the 8th week to birth. This can be detected and
diagnosed during an ultrasound when the fetus is inside the womb. Ultrasound scanning is
a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal body

A dacryocystocele on an ultrasound will be hypoechoic (not producing many echoes) and
will be located in the area described above. The ultrasound will be able to distinguish a
dacrocystocele from an encephalocele, which is a sac-like protrusion of the brain and
covering membranes through openings in the skull.
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Sometimes, a dacrocystocele is not detected before birth but can
be easily identified on physical examination after birth. The
condition may go away by itself or by applying pressure towards the
nose. Sometimes, a probe needs to be placed into the lacrimal duct
to open the blockage. When dacryocystoceles become infected and
inflamed, this is known as dacrocystitis. A dacryocystocele is also
known as dacryocele and a timo cyst. Dacryocystocele comes from
the Greek word "dakryon" meaning "tear," the Greek word "kystis"
meaning "sac," and the Greek word "kele" meaning "hernia." Put the
three words together and you get "tear sac hernia." Hernia is when
a part of a structure sticks out through the tissues that normally
contain it.