Chylous reflux pathologies: Diagnosis and microsurgical treatment

C. Campisi, F. Boccardo, A. Zilli, V. Borrelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. This article aims to make a contribution to the present knowledge of the diagnosis and therapy of chylous reflux pathologies, based largely on the authors' clinical experience in the microsurgical treatment of these disorders. Methods. In 47 patients affected by chylostatic disorders the diagnosis was based on the clinical history, physical examination, lymphoscintigraphy, lymphography, ultrasound, CT scanning and lymphangio-MR. In cases of chylous reflux towards the external genitalia or the lower limbs, the puncture of one of the lymphostatic verrucae which may be part of the symptomatology, can be sufficient for the clinical diagnosis. If patients suffer from hypoproteinaemia and/or an intestinal malabsorption syndrome, this should be dealt with to ensure them at least temporary metabolic compensation before surgical treatment, if any. In patients affected by chylous ascites, antigravitational ligatures of incompetent collectors, sometimes associated with lymphovenous shunts, can be a therapeutic solution. Results. We have found that CO2 laser irradiation at very low power achieved full section closure of lymphatic and chylous vessels as complete as if they had been tied. In the case of chyloedema of the external genitalia and of/or the lower limbs, reductive plastic treatment completes the result after antigravitational ligatures and derivative microsurgery. Conclusions. A laser-microsurgical technique used to manage chylous reflux pathologies achieved positive and permanent results, especially after an accurate preoperative diagnostic study to determine the site and nature of the lymphatic and chylous leakage and associated disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-13
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Angiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Chylous reflux
  • Laser surgery
  • Microsurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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