Chylous ascites is a rare complication following radical surgery in gynecologic cancers. Its treatment is difficult due to nutritional and immunological problems caused by protein and lymphocyte loss. Its conservative treatment includes the use of a low-fat diet, medium chain triglyceride intake, paracentesis, total parenteral nutrition, and somatostatins. Other treatment options for resistant cases include surgical exploration and peritoneovenous shunt.
We present four gynecologic cancer cases with development of chylous ascites following pelvic-para-aortic lymph dissection. Two of these cases were endometrial cancer, one was cervical cancer, and the last one was ovarian cancer. In three of these cases, chylous ascites developed immediately after surgery. In the cervical cancer case, it developed following surgery and radiotherapy. All subjects responded to conservative treatment.
Chylous ascites should be considered in the differential diagnosis of abdominal distension following retroperitoneal surgery. Cases generally respond well to conservative treatment. However, treatment options should be personalized, and the right treatment should be chosen for each patient. The best measure is to pay utmost attention to the ligation of large lymph vessels during lymph dissection.
The conservative treatment of postoperative chylous ascites in gynecologic cancers: four case reports