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August 1981

Bilateral Chylothorax: Rare Complication of Neck Dissection

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Otolaryngology, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa (Dr Saraceno); the Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery, Tampa General Hospital, Florida (Dr Farrior); and the Department of Surgery, University of Florida, Gainesville (Dr Farrior).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1981;107(8):497-499. doi:10.1001/archotol.1981.00790440037011

• Bilateral chylothorax is an extremely serious complication that affects the cardiorespiratory system and places the patient in serious danger of respiratory collapse. In cases of postoperative chyle fistula or chylomas, one should consider the possibility of chylothorax. Chest film and, subsequently, diagnostic thoracentesis can provide the diagnosis. Conservative treatment, such as repeated thoracentesis, low-triglyceride diet, and possibly closed thoracostomy tube drainage, should be used. The surgical approach for the ligation of the thoracic duct should be reserved for cases that do not respond to the previously mentioned conservative measures.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1981;107:497-499)

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