Thirty-day perioperative outcomes in resection of cervical lymphatic malformations

Ashoke Khanwalkar*, John Carter, Bharat Bhushan, Jeff Rastatter, John Maddalozzo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction: Limited information exists regarding short-term morbidity in the resection of lymphatic malformations. In order to make informed collaborative medical decisions, clinicians and families would benefit from information on 30-day outcomes and the expected course associated with surgical excision of lymphatic malformations. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted to develop a case series of patients who underwent resection of lymphatic malformation at a pediatric tertiary care center between June 1, 2007 and September 30, 2016. Demographic data, disease characteristics, operative details, post-operative care, and adverse events in the 30-day post-operative period were analyzed. Primary outcomes included facial nerve dysfunction, seroma formation, re-admission, and overall rate of any complications. Secondary outcomes included operative time, duration of stay, and duration of drain placement. Results: Forty-nine excisions were performed in 46 patients (21 male, 25 female). Median age was 5 years. All but 7 cases were performed as the initial primary intervention. Median operative time was 96 min (range 22–224). Higher stage lesions (3-5) were associated with a longer operative time (p =.03). Median length of stay was 2 days (range 0–35). Higher stage lesions were associated with an increased length of stay (p =.0004). Median duration of drain placement was 2 days (range 0–14), and was longer in higher stage lesions (p =.0002). Higher stage lesions (p =.002) and cases ultimately found to have residual disease (p =.019) were associated with an increased overall rate of complications; there was no association between cyst type and rate of complications. Seroma formation (31%) and transient facial nerve weakness (26%) were the two most common complications observed. There was no association between stage or cyst type and likelihood of seroma formation. Seromas resolved after a median duration of 3 months and transient facial nerve weakness resolved after a median duration of 2 months. 3 patients required return to the OR and 1 patient was readmitted. Conclusion: The overall rate of adverse events after surgical excision of cervical lymphatic malformations is relatively low. Increased rates of complications can be expected with higher stage. Similarly, for these higher stage lesions, a longer operative time, hospital stay, and duration of drain placement can be expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-34
Number of pages4
JournalInternational journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Adverse events
  • Lymphangioma
  • Lymphatic malformation
  • Lymphovascular malformation
  • Perioperative outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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