Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Publish with us
Lacrimal Sac
Eye & Accessory Visual Structures

Lacrimal Sac

Saccus lacrimalis

Read more

Quick Facts

The lacrimal sac is the dilated superior beginning of the nasolacrimal duct located medially within the orbit; it receives the lacrimal canaliculi (Dorland, 2011).

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free

Structure and/or Key Feature(s)

The lacrimal sac is the bulbous, closed superior end of the nasolacrimal duct. The superior and inferior lacrimal canaliculi empty into it. The sac serves as a receptacle to collect tears before draining them down the nasolacrimal duct into the nasal cavity. A small slip of orbicularis oculi (the lacrimal portion) passes over the sac facilitating its emptying (Standring, 2016).

Anatomical Relations

The lacrimal collecting and drainage system, including the lacrimal sac is located at the medial angle of the eye. Here there is a bony fossa formed by the lacrimal bone (posteriorly) and the frontal process of the maxilla (anteriorly) in which it lies. The small lacrimal portion of orbicularis oculi passes across the ridges of the lacrimal fossa forming the anteromedial relation of the lacrimal sac. The sac continues inferiorly between the lacrimal and maxillary bones exiting the orbit as the nasolacrimal canal.


The lacrimal sac is part of the apparatus for draining tears from the medial angle of the eye. The lacrimal canaliculi transport tears to the lacrimal sac, and then onto the nasolacrimal duct which directs the tears to the inferior meatus of the nasal cavity. If tear fluid accumulates faster than it can flow down the nasolacrimal duct, it collects here. Contraction of the lacrimal portion of orbicularis oculi (by blinking) can squeeze the sac, propelling the fluid at higher pressure and volume along the drainage system.


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41 edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy