Laparoscopic treatment of intestinal malrotation in adults

Neal E Seymour, Dana K Andersen
JSLS: Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons 2005, 9 (3): 298-301

BACKGROUND: Congenital midgut malrotation is rarely encountered outside the pediatric population. The Ladd's procedure is the standard corrective measure for intestinal malrotation in children and consists of division of peritoneal bands (Ladd's bands) traversing the posterior abdomen, reduction of volvulus, appendectomy, and functional postioning of the intestine with or without fixation. Clinical manifestations of malrotation and results of Ladd's procedure have been described in adults, but laparoscopic treatment remains to be established as adequate treatment.

METHODS: Records were reviewed of 7 patients, ages 17 to 45, all with a history of abdominal discomfort dating from childhood or early adolescence. The diagnosis of malrotation was made by barium small bowel examination in all cases. Symptoms consisted of recurrent bouts of abdominal pain that were most often postprandial, with bloating and, less frequently, constipation. Surgical treatment consisted of laparoscopic exploration via 4 ports. Peritoneal bands were completely divided, and an appendectomy performed in all patients. Three patients required reduction of nonstrangulated chronic midgut volvulus.

RESULTS: No early complications occurred, and all patients were discharged on postoperative days 1 through 3. At 2 months to 48 months after surgery, 1 patient had been lost to follow-up. Five patients (71%) reported substantial improvement in abdominal discomfort, with only occasional mild symptoms. Constipation continued in 1 patient, but required less aggressive treatment. One patient reported only slight improvement in postprandial abdominal pain.

CONCLUSIONS: Although rarely encountered, intestinal malrotation after childhood can produce significant clinical symptoms that respond to surgical treatment. The results of the present series indicate that laparoscopic Ladd's procedure is an acceptable alternative to the open technique in treating symptoms of intestinal malrotation in adults.

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