Intranodal lymphangiography with thoracic duct embolization for the treatment of chyle leaks after head and neck cancer surgery

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Abstract

Background: Thoracic duct injury is a rare complication of head and neck surgery. Thoracic duct embolization (TDE) has been proposed to manage postoperative chyle leaks. Methods: Twelve patients who underwent lymphangiography for a chyle leak after head and neck surgery (M:F = 5:7, mean 55 years) were retrospectively reviewed. Lymphangiographic findings, technical success, complications, and clinical outcomes were analyzed. Results: Chyle leak was identified and TDE attempted in 11 of 12 patients. Three patients required repeat TDE. Technical success of TDE was 86% (12/14). Clinical success for patients with technically successful TDE was 90% (9/10). Median time until drain removal was 2.1 days in nine patients with clinical success. Two major complications were encountered, chylothorax after initial TDE, requiring additional TDE and in one case surgical TD ligation. Conclusions: TDE is a safe treatment for chyle leaks after head and neck surgery with high technical and clinical success rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1823-1829
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • chyle leak
  • head and neck tumor
  • lymphangiogram
  • thoracic duct embolization

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