The Perforation of the Superior Vena Cava Secondary to the Left Subclavian Dialysis Catheter

Atila Turkyilmaz, Sami Karapolat, Mehmet Kilic, Celal Tekinbas
Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2017, 51 (2): 95-97

INTRODUCTION: The perforation of the superior vena cava during the placement of dialysis catheter and consequent hemothorax is a rare serious complication.

CASE REPORT: Dialysis catheter was placed in the left subclavian vein in a 69-year-old male patient with chronic renal insufficiency who was hospitalized for intracerebral hematoma. During hemodialysis a day after the procedure, the patient was noted having right-sided hemothorax, causing lethargy, dyspnea, hypotension, and bradycardia. Right tube thoracostomy was performed and 1500 cc of hemorrhagic fluid was drained. Under general anesthesia, the right posterolateral thoracotomy was performed and the tip of the dialysis catheter was found in the pleural space, penetrating the anteromedial side of the superior vena cava. The perforation area was repaired by suturing with 3-0 prolene, and the dialysis catheter was removed externally. Postoperative period was uneventful, and tube thoracostomy was terminated on day 4.

CONCLUSION: Establishing the diagnosis early and accurately and performing appropriate surgery would be lifesaving in superior vena cava perforation due to dialysis catheter.

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