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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 363-368

Median arcuate ligament (Dunbar) syndrome: Laparoscopic management and clinical outcomes of a single centre

1 Department of General Surgery, Dicle University School of Medicine, Diyarbakır, Turkey
2 Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Dicle University School of Medicine, Diyarbakır, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mehmet Tolga Kafadar
Department of General Surgery, Dicle University School of Medicine, Diyarbakır
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmas.JMAS_265_20

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Background: Median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS) is a condition characterised by chronic abdominal symptoms associated with median arcuate ligament (MAL) compression of the coeliac artery. Aim: In this observational study, we aimed to evaluate the outcomes of laparoscopic treatment in patients with MALS. Materials and Methods: The data of ten patients with MALS who were subjected to laparoscopic sectioning of the MAL were retrospectively reviewed. The following data were evaluated: age, gender, clinical and diagnostic test findings, American Society of Anaesthesiologists score, operative findings and complications and mortality, hospital stay duration and hospital readmission. The diagnosis of MALS was established by computed tomography (CT) angiography. Results: Six (60%) of ten patients with MALS were female and four (40%) were male. The mean age was 42.4 ± 12.3. The main symptoms were epigastric pain (100%) and weight loss (60%). CT angiography showed high-grade stenosis of the anterior wall of the proximal coeliac trunk and post-stenotic dilation caused by extrinsic compression of the MAL. Surgical procedure was uneventful in all patients. Operating time was 155.5 min (120–200) and intra-operative blood loss was 150 ml (100–250). Length of stay was 3.1 day (2–9), with no mortality. The post-operative complications developed in two female patients. One of them developed ileus and the other patient developed pulmonary thromboembolism. At 6-month follow-up, all patients were asymptomatic. Conclusion: Laparoscopic decompression is an effective treatment for MALS and can provide symptomatic relief. This method may be the preferred modality of treatment in view of its lack of morbidity and good results.


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