Acute superior vena cava obstruction following Ivor-Lewis oesophagectomy.
A 53 year old man developed upper body swelling, hypotension, anuria and a metabolic acidosis within 24 h following an Ivor-Lewis oesophagectomy. His co-morbidities included hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, ischaemic heart disease and he was a smoker. He did not have radiotherapy but had received neo-adjuvant chemotherapy through an in-dwelling right subclavian central venous catheter. Azygous vein ligation during oesophagectomy resulted in acute upper body venous hypertension and signs of hypovolaemic shock which were attributed to undiagnosed thrombotic occlusion of the superior vena cava. The patient was anticoagulated and made a full recovery after a period of stay in intensive care.
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