← Return to Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS)

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Kari Ulrich, Alumna Mentor (@kariulrich)

Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS)

Digestive Health | Last Active: 2 days ago | Replies (1135)

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@kariulrich

@lmtuska, Nice to meet you! I have had 2 MALS surgeries done at Mayo, and would be happy to share any information that would be helpful. Mals in the pediatric population may be a bit different than the adult population. My experience is a bit different as I have an underlying vascular disease. There are two approaches to MALS surgery, laparoscopic and open. I would recommend asking about the pros and cons of both. It sounds like you have opted for the open approach. The open surgery is a long recovery time, for me it was at least a year. This is a small list of things that helped me:

Open MALS Helpful Hints

• No perfume, lotion, hairspray, fabric softener (Smells really bothered me after surgery)

• Needs: 1 size larger underwear and socks, slip on shoes
Loose fitting comfy yoga pants
Undershirt soft to protect clothes from rubbing against the incision

• Several travel size pillows

• Wash everything in dreft before using (My skin was sensitive)

• Unscented lotion for back rubs

• Ice pack help for back pain

• Electronic chair (If you can afford purchasing one, I highly recommend it) Great for sleeping in the first few months or more.

• Foods malt o meal good, pudding, white toast, popsicle, anything easy to digest

• Mask and headphones or ear plugs

• Something from home, small, a stuffed animal anything to keep with you

• Eat slow, very slow If you think you are eating slow eat even slower. Advance diet slowly, VERY SMALL PORTIONS. Use your iPhone during dinner to keep you entertained, yes you should be eating that slow. Eat 1/2 of what you think you can eat. After surgery, there is no longer post prandial pain and your body is malnourished so it is easy to over eat and the fact you want to eat is an amazing feeling in itself. 

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Replies to "@lmtuska, Nice to meet you! I have had 2 MALS surgeries done at Mayo, and would..."

Hi @kariulrich, I was just diagnosed with MALS and I am currently being tested to see if I will need surgery. I am being told I will go to California if it is needed. I also have POTS so flying is tough. I have SIBO and high histamine reactions as well so I have to be real careful with what I eat. I am quite apprehensive about surgery. I wondered if you had the laparoscopic procedure as well? Is there a reason why either or is preferred? I have also heard that some end up needed surgery twice. Was this the case for you and if so, can you share why? Finally, I thought my GI doctor stated there is a 50/50 survival, but I think she meant a 50/50 success rate. I will ask her when I return to see her. I just wondered about anything you could advise to ease my worry. I appreciate the sharing.

Thank you for your posts. I had open MALS procedure January 25/19. Required bypass and graft. 6 days post op, a double sneeze landed me back in e.r. Thankfully, bypass and graft were intact. Discharged to a SNF. I can eat food (yay!) Slow, bland, small amounts. Surgical site is very sensitive, gas pains are intense, back pain is equally intense. I have post op appointment on Monday with Vascular surgeon. I am hoping to get discharged from SNF next week. I think I will feel more comfortable at home. (I must conquer climbing stairs before I can go home) May I ask how long your incision was painful? Did you experience gas pains? Treatment? Which pain medication, other than narcotics worked for you? Any contributors, suggestions, recommendations are greatly appreciated. Much thanks. Be well!

Hi 🙂 please i have a guestin for you i was diagnosed MALS and also a nutcracker syndrome.i will have an open surgery on January 30. So in a few weeks. Wh did you have two surgeries and I year recovery? I am really scared .now are you feeling good ? How many ours did the surgery take ? Thanks for every info

I am having my surgery next week at Mayo can you tell me how long you were in the hospital after yours.