Intraoperative injury of the thoracic duct is an uncommon complication of head and neck surgery, which is difficult to manage and associated with serious consequences. We report a case of lymphorrhoea of the neck refractory to all the usual treatments that resolved in response to a treatment strategy described in thoracic and visceral surgery: use of a sympathomimetic drug, etilefrine. To our knowledge and after review of the literature, this is the first reported case of lymphorrhoea of the neck treated by etilefrine.
Our patient presented massive lymphatic fluid leakage following left neck dissection as part of the management of oropharyngeal cancer with lymph node metastases. The treatments usually proposed, such as intraoperative repair and appropriate dietary and drug management, were not effective, resulting in multiple, severe complications. After evaluation of the benefit-risk balance, treatment with etilefrine was introduced at the dosages proposed in the literature for the management of chylothorax. This treatment allowed complete resolution of the lymphatic fluid leak after one week.
Etilefrine can therefore be added to the treatment options for the management of lymphatic fluid leaks refractory to the usual treatments.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Neck dissection, Lymphorrhoea etilefrine, Chyle leak, Case report