Lung cancer surgery and chyle leaks

Posted by kkckkjm @kkckkjm, Aug 11 5:38pm

Has anyone experienced a chyle fluid leak into their pleural lining post lung surgery? It happens with less than 4% of patients, but it is happening to me. I am not having much luck clearing it up and wonder – who would be a chyle leak expert to consult? I'm working with a surgeon, oncologist, my general practitioner and soon, a nutritionist. Fixes include draining the fluid via thoracentesis (round 2 tomorrow), a no fat diet (currently in week 3) and, probably worst case, another surgery. Any information would be appreciated. Successful removal of cancer via a lower right lung lobectomy occurred 6/27.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Lung Cancer group.

I pray for your recovery. God Bless. Hugs

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@kkkckkjm so sorry to hear you are having this issue. 11 years ago after my right upper lung resection, I also experienced a chyle leak. Mine was leaking out of the site where my drainage tube had been. I had to wrap a towel around me to absorb everything. My surgeon was very adamant about the complete no fat diet. I never realized how hard it was to find no fat nourishment. While I am certainly no expert, I would strictly keep with a complete no fat diet. By my return for my 6 week check up my leak was dried up. Best wishes to you.

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Thank you. I'm in week 4. If your leak cleared up in 6 weeks, I'll hold on that long. The second thoracentesis provided so much relief – I'm cautiously optimistic right now that I'm healing. Since this leak started right after surgery, I'm not sure how my body sans a lung lobe should feel!

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@kkckkjm

Thank you. I'm in week 4. If your leak cleared up in 6 weeks, I'll hold on that long. The second thoracentesis provided so much relief – I'm cautiously optimistic right now that I'm healing. Since this leak started right after surgery, I'm not sure how my body sans a lung lobe should feel!

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@kkckkjm, checking in to see how you are doing. I wanted to let you know that I moved this discussion to the Lung Cancer group. I'd also like to tag @sweetgia003 on this discussion who experienced a chyle leak when she had a thyroidectomy with neck dissection.

I think you are in week 5 or 6 now. How is the healing going?

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Hi! I too had a Chyle leak. It was horrible. My doctors put me on a NO fat diet! I mean I felt like I starved for almost a month! I was in the hospital for part of my recovery and they don’t have the right foods for this as into was a statistic. As soon as you cut out the fat it should clear up. They recommended 25 or less grams of fat a day.
They also call it the no fun diet. It shouldn’t go too long as we need fats (healthy ones) but please see this site to help guide you. Try google as they have many other ideas to help with recipes.
https://www.stjoes.ca/patients-visitors/patient-education/a-e/ChyleLeakFatFreeDiet-trh%20(2).pdf
I hope you heal quickly!
Prayers.

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@colleenyoung

@kkckkjm, checking in to see how you are doing. I wanted to let you know that I moved this discussion to the Lung Cancer group. I'd also like to tag @sweetgia003 on this discussion who experienced a chyle leak when she had a thyroidectomy with neck dissection.

I think you are in week 5 or 6 now. How is the healing going?

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Thank you for asking. Tomorrow is another xray to see if the chyle leak has resolved (week 5). Last week the lung looked much improved with minor fluid.. If the leak hasn't resolved we will talk about options – surgery possibly. There are other solutions od rather consider if I can find the right Dr to do it.. My sister and I have researched the heck out of this situation. It's not a super common post surgical problem and my surgeon hasn't personally run into it before. Nutritional support is VITAL while on a no fat diet. It took me weeks to connect with a nutritionist who was familiar with the dietary challenge – she was so helpful because I was struggling mightily with weight loss and body aches and pain. I am facing another issue in my left lung. A bronchoscopy to biopsy a small nodule near my heart has been suggested however I'm not doing anything until the chyle leak from my right lung is resolved .

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@sweetgia003

Hi! I too had a Chyle leak. It was horrible. My doctors put me on a NO fat diet! I mean I felt like I starved for almost a month! I was in the hospital for part of my recovery and they don’t have the right foods for this as into was a statistic. As soon as you cut out the fat it should clear up. They recommended 25 or less grams of fat a day.
They also call it the no fun diet. It shouldn’t go too long as we need fats (healthy ones) but please see this site to help guide you. Try google as they have many other ideas to help with recipes.
https://www.stjoes.ca/patients-visitors/patient-education/a-e/ChyleLeakFatFreeDiet-trh%20(2).pdf
I hope you heal quickly!
Prayers.

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This is so helpful Gia. Thank you. I'm sure @kkckkjm will appreciate having this pdf.

For some reason the link doesn't completely hyperlink. Just add the .pdf to the end and it works. It's a patient guide from St. Joes Hospital in Hamilton, Canada.

Here's a shortened link that works:
– Fat free diet for a chyle leak https://bit.ly/3dYbALS

Gia, once you were healed, did you have any further issues with the leak?

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@colleenyoung

This is so helpful Gia. Thank you. I'm sure @kkckkjm will appreciate having this pdf.

For some reason the link doesn't completely hyperlink. Just add the .pdf to the end and it works. It's a patient guide from St. Joes Hospital in Hamilton, Canada.

Here's a shortened link that works:
– Fat free diet for a chyle leak https://bit.ly/3dYbALS

Gia, once you were healed, did you have any further issues with the leak?

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Thank you for fixing it. I haven’t been on here since I last posted about my experience. Honestly… felt alone and just never came back on.

I healed from my chyle leak while being hospitalized due to becoming septic from a staph infection from my drain site… but after that I had no issues with the chyle leak.

🙂

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@sweetgia003

Thank you for fixing it. I haven’t been on here since I last posted about my experience. Honestly… felt alone and just never came back on.

I healed from my chyle leak while being hospitalized due to becoming septic from a staph infection from my drain site… but after that I had no issues with the chyle leak.

🙂

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Gia, I am very grateful that you posted your experience. See how it suddenly became very relevant for a new member? Thank you for responding to my @mention to return and share more. It was really helpful.

Have you completed all cancer treatment? How are you doing today?

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