Bilateral chylothorax complicating radical neck dissection: Report of a case with no concurrent external chylous leakage

Gady Har‐El, Karl Segal, Jack Sidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bilateral chylothorax as a complication of radical neck dissection is extremely rare. Six cases are reported in the English literature. All of these patients' cases were associated with a concurrent external chylous fistula, as evidenced by the appearance of a milky fluid confirmed to be chyle by chemical determination. Chyle had also been noted to leak during the operation. This presentation illustrates an additional case of bilateral chylothorax occurring after radical neck dissection, and the first case, to our knowledge, with no concurrent external lymph leakage. Anatomic and physiologic considerations are presented and possible mechanims of pathogenesis are discussed. Chylothorax has two major complications—respiratory and metabolic. A short summary of the modern concepts of treatment is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalHead and Neck
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1985

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