Conservative management of an intraoperative chyle leak: A case report and literature review

Charles D. Meyer, Ian K. McLeod, Daniel J. Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Chyle leaks are a rare but potentially fatal complication of head and neck surgery carrying an incidence as high as 8.3%. The development of a chyle leak carries significant morbidity ranging from delayed wound healing to oropharyngeal fistulas. Presented here is a case of a chyle leak that developed following a left posterolateral neck dissection that was successfully managed with a combination of drain suction, pressure dressing, and a fatrestricted diet. However, the patient’s course was complicated by repeated chyle leak recurrences that may have been associated with the initiation of medium-chain triglyceride supplementation. Although further research is required to establish a causal relationship, these findings support the concerns of other investigators about the possible counterproductive role of medium-chain triglyceride supplementation in the management of chyle leaks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1180-e1184
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


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