Lacrimal Scan

What is a Lacrimal Scan?

A lacrimal scan helps identify if there are any blockages in the tear ducts of the eyes.


There is no special preparation for the examination, and you may eat and drink normally before this appointment. You can take any medication as usual.


If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is essential that you let us know before your appointment date. If you are a female of child bearing age (12-55 years old), you will be asked about your pregnancy and breastfeeding status. If you are unable to confirm you are not pregnant a pregnancy test may be performed.


All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. This chaperone may be a family member or friend. On occasions you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present (ie. trained member of staff).

The examination

Upon your arrival a radiographer will explain the procedure to you and will ask you a few questions about your health records. You will then be seated in front of the camera and will have radioactive eye drops put in your eye (just like saline eye drops). The radioactivity will not harm your eyes, cause any side effects, or change your vision. After the drops are placed in each eye you will be asked to rest your face in front of the camera and the scan will begin immediately. This allows us to see how the tear ducts of the eyes are draining.

How long will it take?

The scan takes approximately 30 – 45 minutes.

Who will be present?

Your scan will be performed by a Nuclear Medicine trained member of staff which stays with you in the room while scanning.

Will the drops hurt?

The radioactivity will not harm your eyes, cause any side effects, or change your vision.

Is radioactivity dangerous?

The amount of radiation involved is similar to that from an x-ray examination. The radioactivity naturally disperses from the body and is largely gone in 24 hours. The very low risk involved is balanced against the benefit of the information the examination provides for your doctors.