Transabdominal ligation of the thoracic duct as treatment of choice for postoperative chylothorax after esophagectomy

Postoperative chylothorax after injury of the thoracic duct during esophagectomy is a rare but severe complication which may lead to serious problems such as loss of fat and proteins, and immunodeficiency

G. Schumacher

2007

Scholarcy highlights

  • Postoperative chylothorax after injury of the thoracic duct during esophagectomy is a rare but severe complication which may lead to serious problems such as loss of fat and proteins, and immunodeficiency
  • Without treatment mortality can rise to over 50%
  • From 1988 to 2005, we treated 10 patients with postoperative chylothorax after 409 resections of the esophagus. Of these 10 patients nine underwent transthoracic esophagectomy with gastric pull-up to enable an intrathoracic or cervical anastomosis and one patient received a transhiatal esophagectomy with gastric pull-up and cervical anastomosis
  • Ligation of the thoracic duct via relaparotomy appeared to be a simple and safe method to treat postoperative chylothorax

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