Incidence of Postoperative Chylothorax Following Congenital Heart Surgery in Pediatric Patients: A Single-Center Experience
Keywords:congenital heart disease, postoperative complications, chylothorax
Background: Although postoperative chylothorax following congenital heart surgery occurs rarely, it is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. The incidence of postoperative chylothorax has been reported as 2% to 5%. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the incidence of postoperative chylothorax at our center and compared our results with those of other studies.
Methods: Between January 2009 and December 2018, there were 2,515 congenital heart repair surgeries performed at our center. Thirty-six patients with postoperative chylothorax were enrolled in this study, and their medical records retrospectively were reviewed. We calculated the overall and surgery-specific incidences. We compared the data of the medical management group with those of the surgical management group.
Results: The overall incidence of postoperative chylothorax was 1.4%. The incidence was highest for patients who underwent vascular ring repair (3/32). Moreover, the incidence was higher for single ventricle-related procedure than bi-ventricle-related procedures (5.6% versus 1.0%, P < .0001). Chylothorax was predominantly found on the left side (20/36). Among these cases, six patients died; three of these six were in the surgical management group.
Conclusions: The postoperative chylothorax incidence at our center was comparable to those of other centers. However, a reasonable protocol for postoperative chylothorax management to improve outcomes is necessary.
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