High Output Chylous Fistula Post First Rib Resection



Publication Details

Tsang, C., Gunanayagam, P., Feitosa, R. & Villalba, L. (2020). High Output Chylous Fistula Post First Rib Resection. Annals of Vascular Surgery, 63 455.e1-455.e5.


We present a patient who developed high output chyle leak post left first-rib resection for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. The persistent high output chylorrhea was refractory to 3 surgical reexplorations attempting to ligate leaking branches, bed rest, nonfat diet, parenteral nutrition, octreotide administration, and vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) therapy. In addition, she developed hypovolemia, hyponatremia, and hypoalbuminemia. Control of the chylous fistula was achieved by reattaching the sternocleidomastoid muscle laterally to protect the phrenic nerve and brachial plexus in order to redirect chyle to the medial portion of the neck incision site. This was supported by the application of fibrin sealants in combination with VAC therapy. The patient was discharged after a 27-day hospital stay with complete resolution of her chylous fistula prior to discharge.

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