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Keywords:

  • Negative-pressure wound therapy;
  • chylous fistula;
  • neck dissection

Abstract

Chylous fistula is a distressing complication resulting from thoracic duct injury during neck dissections. We have successfully managed chylous fistula using negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) in a case where all conservative treatments failed. A 60-year-old man with tongue cancer underwent subtotal glossectomy and bilateral neck dissections. On postoperative day 4, a chylous fistula with large drainage developed in the right neck. Conservative treatments were not effective, therefore, NPWT was started from postoperative day 9. The drainage volume then began to decrease, and the chylous fistula was closed 6 days after starting NPWT. In our case, the effects of wound shrinkage and fluid removal by NPWT were considered to contribute to early closure. Although preliminary, NPWT can be an important treatment choice for the management of a chylous fistula after neck dissections.