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Surg Today. 2013 Feb;43(2):206-10. doi: 10.1007/s00595-012-0391-6. Epub 2012 Oct 30.

Intraoperative fluorescence lymphography using indocyanine green in a patient with chylothorax after esophagectomy: report of a case.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan.


We report a case of chylothorax treated successfully by a new diagnostic tool: indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence lymphography. The patient, a 65-year-old man with adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction, underwent radical esophagectomy, which was followed by the development of chylothorax. On postoperative day 10, we performed transabdominal ligation of the thoracic duct. During the re-operation, we injected ICG into the mesentery of the small bowel. We then performed mass ligation of the tissue right and dorsal of the aorta, including the thoracic duct, after which a near-infrared camera system revealed a fluorescent stripe on the caudal part of the ligation. The remnant thoracic duct appeared to be dilated as a result of lymphatic stasis. The patient was discharged 35 days after his initial surgery. We report this case to demonstrate the usefulness of intraoperative ICG lymphography as a tool to identify and confirm ligation of the thoracic duct transabdominally.

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