Conservative management of postoperative chylothorax using somatostatin

Ann Thorac Surg. 2000 Jun;69(6):1944-5. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(00)01279-0.


Chylothorax is a rare but serious postoperative complication of thoracic surgical procedures. We report the case of a 77-year-old man who underwent a coronary artery bypass procedure using a left internal mammary artery pedicle graft. A permanent pacemaker was required postoperatively. A persistent postoperative chylothorax developed necessitating continuous drainage and conservative management. Somatostatin was instituted when after 1 week this management failed to resolve the chylothorax. This led to rapid cessation of chyle production. Enteral feeding was reinstituted without complication and surgical intervention was avoided.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chest Tubes
  • Chylothorax / drug therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Coronary Artery Bypass*
  • Coronary Disease / surgery*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Internal Mammary-Coronary Artery Anastomosis*
  • Male
  • Pacemaker, Artificial*
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy*
  • Somatostatin / administration & dosage*


  • Somatostatin