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Large mesenteric lymphangioma in an adult patient: an unusual presentation of a rare disease


Lymphangiomas are most commonly described as a small painless mass in the neck or a vesicular rash in an infant patient. Ninety per cent of cases are diagnosed before the age of 2. Treatment usually involves surgical resection. Intra-abdominal lymphangiomas and mesenteric lymphangiomas, as described in our case report, represent a rare pathology. The exact prevalence of this condition is unclear but it has been suggested in the literature that there have been as few as 820 cases since the 16th century. The clinical presentation is usually subacute and diagnosis made incidentally during a workup of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms. Acute abdominal symptoms, as in our case presentation, are unusual but may be explained by the mass effect of a large intra-abdominal lesion. Cross-sectional imaging is key in preoperative workup and operative planning. Complete surgical resection is recommended and curative in the majority of cases with a low risk of local recurrence.

  • surgical oncology
  • surgery
  • gastrointestinal surgery

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