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Chylous Leak During Posterior Approach to Juvenile Scoliosis Surgery: A Case Report.

  • Author(s): Shah, Harsh A;
  • Rynecki, Nicole;
  • Vives, Michael J;
  • Choi, Daniel E;
  • Sambol, Justin T;
  • Sabharwal, Sanjeev
  • et al.


We report the first documented case of chylous leak recognized intraoperatively during posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion for juvenile scoliosis in a female patient with a history of thoracotomy and decortication for an empyema.


Thoracic duct injury can lead to severe morbidity and mortality because of chylothorax formation. Although chylous leaks are a well-documented complication of the anterior approach to spine surgery, leaks during the posterior approach are rarely reported. When these chylous leaks are recognized intraoperatively, the likelihood of serious complications may be minimized by drain placement before closure.

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