Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Minerva Chir. 2006 Feb;61(1):57-62.

[Cervical lymphorrea after nodal dissection: role of fasting based on clinical evidence].

[Article in Italian]

Author information

Dipartimento di Patologia Speciale Chirurgica Università di Padova, Padova, Italy.


The management of chylous fistula, subsequent to neck nodal dissection, includes either unstandardized conservative procedures and reoperation. The main reason of controversy in literature is probably due to the rarity (1-2.5%) of such troublesome complication due to inadvertent disruption of the thoracic duct itself or of its tributary branches. We report one case of severe cervical chylous fistula, occurred after left lateral dissection for advanced papillary thyroid carcinoma, and successfully restored by a conservative approach. None of the following treatment modalities was effective: pressure dressing, low-fat diet, octreotide, etilefrine, and local tetracycline sclerotherapy. Instead, fasting combined with total venous nutritional replacement was successful in curing the leak. It may be hypothesized that the beneficial effect on chyle production observed in the present patient in fasting condition, could be explained by a decrease of splancnic blood flow consequent to intestinal feeding rest. The other treatment procedures can be adjunctive methods with impredictable effect. As a standard approach with the aim to prevent and treat cervical lymphorrea, we suggest preoperatory fat meal, intraoperative search for milky leak by positive respiratory pressure, ligation of the thoracic duct (a mesh coverage when necessary) if inadvertently damaged, but not a systematic search for it. Moreover, according to the amount and the duration of the leakage, fasting combined with venous supplement by central or peripheral access, in combination with local treatment by sclerosing agents appears to be efficacious. In our opinion, neck reoperation or intrathoracic ligation of the thoracic duct represent the last therapeutic option of unresponsive or untractable cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center