This case report describes the diagnosis and management of a large mesenteric cyst in a 55 year old lady who presented with abdominal distension & with mass in the left upper quadrant. Mesenteric cysts are rare, benign, abdominal tumors to which <1000 cases have been reported in the literature. While 40% of cases are incidental findings found either through physical examination or imaging, they can cause non-specific abdominal symptoms including pain, altered bowel habits, nausea/vomiting or anorexia. Less commonly, 10% of cases can present with bowel obstruction, volvulus, torsion or shock. In general, the lack of characteristic clinical and radiological features presents as a diagnostic difficulty.
The mainstay in imaging is computerized tomography (CT). CT identifies and helps aid the decision to pursue a laparoscopic or open laparotomy approach, where complete surgical resection is the ultimate goal. In our patient a CT Abdomen & Pelvis showed a large, loculated cystic mass measuring 30cm in cranio-caudal length and 16cm in the transverse and anterior/posterior diameter. While different approaches have been described in the literature to surgically resect such cysts, our approach was largely reflective of size and adherence to surrounding structures in this case. A laparotomy was performed using an upper mid-line 7 cm incision; 4500cc of fluid was aspirated from the cyst which was found to originate from the small bowel mesentery. A complete resection of the multi-loculated cystic sac was done that included the resection of the middle mesenteric vein. The post-operative period was uneventful. The patient was discharged on post-operative day 2. The Histopathology identified the mass as a multi-loculated peritoneal inclusion-type cyst.
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