Chylothorax is not uncommon following congenital heart surgery. It often results in prolonged chest tube drainage and hospital stays. Due to the feeding difficulties, it often results in malnutrition and the need for central hyperalimentation. In addition, it results in a depressed immune system with the possibility of subsequent infection. Chylothorax can be a significant contributor to post-operative morbidity and mortality.
The primary aims are to determine at risk populations - certain congenital heart defects or certain operative procedures, to define the associated morbidity secondary to chylothorax - prolonged chest tube drainage, prolonged hospital stay, need for central access and hyperalimentation, subsequent infection and to review our current treatment methods - change formulas, hyperalimentation, somatostatin. The secondary aims are to determine ways to prevent chylothorax, determine the most successful treatment method, and to discover better treatment methods. This study will be conducted through a retrospective chart review.