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Rare case of massive bilateral chylothorax


We present a case of a 48-year-old woman who was referred from an outside hospital. There, she had initially underwent hysterectomy and left salpingo-oophorectomy for tubo-ovarian abscess. She later developed a colovaginal fistula and perforation of sigmoid colon and underwent Hartmann’s procedure along with drainage of a left subphrenic abscess. Subsequently, she had to be intubated for acute respiratory failure and was transferred to our hospital. At our hospital, she was found to have massive bilateral pleural effusions. Bilateral small-bore chest tubes were inserted that drained milky fluid. Pleural fluid analysis was consistent with bilateral chylothorax. Thereafter, patient’s respiratory status improved and she was extubated. The mechanism of chylothorax was thought be either secondary to the multiple abdominal procedures or alternatively as a complication of the right subclavian catheter that was placed at the outside hospital. Her chest tubes were removed eventually, and she had a slow but definite recovery.

  • cardiothoracic surgery
  • adult intensive care

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