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Case Reports in Pulmonology
Volume 2015, Article ID 254010, 4 pages
Case Report

A Large Pleural Effusion following Abdominal Aortic Surgery

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL 32209, USA

Received 15 May 2015; Accepted 27 September 2015

Academic Editor: Akif Turna

Copyright © 2015 Vinoo K. Ramsaran et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chylous ascites and coexistent chylothorax is a rare but important complication following retroperitoneal abdominal surgery. We report a 70-year-old male who developed gradual abdominal distension, chest tightness, and dyspnea five months after having an uncomplicated aortobifemoral bypass performed. Physical examination was consistent with a large right sided effusion and ascites which were confirmed by computed tomography. Thoracentesis yielded an opaque milky fluid with analysis consistent with a chylothorax with a paracentesis revealing fluid that was similar in both appearance and biochemistry. The patient failed initial conservative management so a chest tube was placed followed by chemical pleurodesis. We review the literature of the pathophysiology and treatment approach to such a pleural effusion.