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    Chyle leakage from the thoracic duct or cisterna chyli is a relatively rare complication of oesophageal cancer surgery. The majority of cases settle with conservative measures, but high volume leaks may be refractory and result in significant morbidity and require intervention with reoperation or embolization. In the experience of this high-volume centre over the last decade, 3 (0.5%) patients required reoperation and ligation of the thoracic duct; for the so-called type III leaks, interventional radiological approaches were not considered. This article is built around two recent cases, where interventional radiology to embolize and disrupt complex fistulae was successfully performed. The lessons from this experience will change practice at this centre to initial lymphangiography with a view to embolization or disruption of thoracic duct and cisterna chyli leaks as first line therapy for type III chyle leaks, with surgery reserved for where this fails.


    Noel E Donlon, Tim S Nugent, Robert Power, Waqas Butt, Ahmad Kamaludin, Steven Dolan, Michael Guiney, Niall Mc Eniff, Narayanasamy Ravi, John V Reynolds. Embolization or disruption of thoracic duct and cisterna chyli leaks post oesophageal cancer surgery should be first line management for ECCG-defined type III chyle fistulae. Irish journal of medical science. 2020 Oct 11

    PMID: 33040261

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