Conservative management of postoperative chylous fistula with octreotide and peripheral total parenteral nutrition | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Conservative management of postoperative chylous fistula with octreotide and peripheral total parenteral nutrition

| Reprints
July 18, 2017
by Jason Y. Chan, MBBS; Eddy W. Wong, FRCSEd(ORL), FHKCORL; S. K. Ng, FRCSEd(ORL), FHKCORL; C. Andrew van Hasselt, FCS(SA)ORL; Alexander C. Vlantis, FCS(SA)ORL

Abstract

Postoperative chylous fistula after neck dissection is an uncommon complication associated with significant patient morbidity. Octreotide acetate is a somatostatin analogue established in the treatment of chylothorax; however, its utility in the management of cervical chylous fistulae has not been fully evaluated. The investigators hypothesized that chylous fistula can be managed by a combination of octreotide and peripheral total parenteral nutrition (TPN). A retrospective review of cases compiled at our institution from 2009 to 2015 was conducted. Ten patients, all men, were identified as having a postoperative chylous fistula after a neck dissection. All patients were treated with peripheral TPN and intravenous octreotide. Mean age of the patients was 63.0 years (range 49 to 82). Five (50.0%) had a neck dissection for the management of metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma and had previous neck irradiation. In 8 (80%) patients, chylous fistula occurred in the left neck. Seven (70.0%) of the leaks occurred within the first 2 postoperative days. Eight (80%) leaks were controlled using TPN and octreotide, with 2 (20%) patients requiring surgical intervention. No factors were significant in the successful conservative management of chylous fistulae. One patient with a chylous fistula of 1,800 ml/day was managed successfully without surgical intervention. The results of this case series suggest that chylous fistulae may be managed conservatively with octreotide and TPN. However, long-term evaluation is needed to define if and when surgical intervention is required for control.

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