Thoracic duct injury can be a devastating injury with disruption of lymphatic flow leading to potentially chylothorax and/or severe lymphedema. Standard treatment modalities include thoracic duct ligation or embolization for chylothorax, but treatment options to date are few for resultant lymphedema. In this case report, we describe lymphaticovenous bypass of the thoracic duct to the jugular venous system in a 21-year-old male with secondary lymphedema after iatrogenic thoracic duct injury. The patient experienced improvement of lymphedema symptoms including decreased weight and limb girth as well as normalization of serum markers indicating improved lymphatic delivery to the venous system. Lymphangiogram at 3 months post op demonstrated patency of the lymphaticovenous anastomoses. At 6-month follow-up, the patient had returned to his preoperative level of activity and showed continued improvement of his lymphedema symptoms. Lymphovenous bypass of the thoracic duct may be an effective technique to treat secondary lymphedema from thoracic duct obstruction, though further studies are required to determine long-term efficacy.
View details for PubMedID 29974499