J Korean Surg Soc.  2007 Aug;73(2):169-172.

Transabdominal Ligation of the Thoracic Duct as Treatment Method for Postoperative Chylothorax after Esophagectomy

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. cbkim@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Surgery, National Health Insurance Corporation Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.

Abstract

Postoperative chylothorax following an injury to the thoracic duct during an esophagectomy is a rare, but severe complication, which may lead to serious problems, such as loss of fat and proteins, as well as immunodeficiency. Left untreated, the rate of mortality can rise to over 50%. Herein, 3 patients were treated with a postoperative chylothorax following 280 resections of the esophagus (0.1%). One patient underwent a direct injured thoracic duct ligation by a re-thoracotomy. In the other two patients, relaparotomy and transabdominal double ligation of the thoracic duct were performed. After ligation of the abdominal thoracic duct, the average amount of chyle was markedly reduced. Two patients were discharge from hospital without problems after 36 and 30 days, respectively. Ligation of the thoracic duct, via a relaparotomy, appears to be a simple and safe method for the treatment postoperative chylothorax.

Keyword

Chylothorax; Thoracic duct ligation; Esophagectomy

MeSH Terms

Chyle
Chylothorax*
Esophagectomy*
Esophagus
Humans
Ligation*
Mortality
Thoracic Duct*
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