Korean J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg.  2020 Aug;53(4):191-199. 10.5090/kjtcs.2020.53.4.191.

Chyle Leakage after Esophageal Cancer Surgery

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Surgeons recommend dissecting lymph nodes in the thorax, abdomen, and neck duringsurgery for esophageal cancer because of the possibility of metastasis to the lymph nodesin those areas through the lymphatic plexus of the esophageal submucosal layer. Extensivelymph node dissection is essential for accurate staging and is thought to improve survival.However, it can result in several complications, including chyle leakage, which refersto continuous lymphatic fluid leakage and can occur in the thorax, abdomen, and neck.Malnutrition, fluid imbalance, and immune compromise may result from chyle leakage,which can be potentially life-threatening if it persists. Therefore, various treatment methods,including conservative treatment, pharmacological treatment such as octreotide infusion,and interventions such as thoracic duct embolization and surgical thoracic duct ligation,have been applied. In this article, the risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment methodsof chyle leakage after esophagectomy are reviewed.

Keyword

Chyle leakage; Esophageal neoplasms; Esophagectomy; Chylothorax; Chyloperitoneum
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