Chyle leak: An unusual complication after total thyroidectomy and central neck dissection

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Abstract

Chyle leak is an established but unusual complication after total thyroidectomy plus central compartment neck dissection. It can potentially lead to severe electrolyte disturbances, protein depletion, malnutrition and impaired immunity. Its management varies with the severity of presentation. The majority of leaks are low output type and can be successfully managed with conservative measures. Here we present a case of low output chyle leak after total thyroidectomy plus central neck dissection in a 62-year-old lady with papillary thyroid cancer whose leakage was resolved with prolonged pressure dressing and medium-chain triglyceride diet.

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