Lymphography and Thoracic Duct Embolization

Also known as: lymphangiography and lymphatic duct embolization.

What is lymphography and thoracic duct embolization?

The thoracic duct is the largest duct of the lymphatic system, and it carries lymphatic fluid throughout the body. Lymphography and thoracic duct embolization refers to two different but related procedures that are used to treat problems with the thoracic duct. Lymphography is an imaging test, and thoracic duct embolization involves sealing off the thoracic duct when there are problems with it.

What happens during the procedure?

A lymphography simply involves using X-ray or MRI to scan and produce visuals of the lymphatic system. The thoracic duct embolization part of the procedure involves inserting a catheter into the body through a vein, and then using metal coils or a special glue to seal off the thoracic duct.

Is any special preparation needed?

The patient will need to avoid food, drink and certain medications prior to the procedure.

What are the risk factors?

Infection, bleeding, pain, damage to surrounding organs and tissues or continued leaking of the thoracic duct after the procedure are all potential risks of lymphography and thoracic duct embolization.

Reviewed by: Nolan R Altman, MD

This page was last updated on: March 03, 2021 02:41 PM

Children's Radiology

The Radiology facilities at Nicklaus Children’s are specifically designed for the comfort and diagnosis of infants, children and adolescents.

Learn More