Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS)

Posted by Kari Ulrich, Alumna Mentor @kariulrich, Dec 26, 2016

I am looking for other patients that have been diagnosed with Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome. Although it is caused by compression of the celiac artery many people experience abdominal pain after eating, diarrhea, food avoidance. Usually the first doctors they see are GI doctors. It is a diagnosis that is made after everything else is ruled out. I am curious if anyone else has had surgery?

@lasirvent

Have you been to a Vascular Surgeon? He’s the one who ordered my CT and Doppler Ultrasound of Abdomen and pelvic.

Jump to this post

No yet because she does have part of her bowel that is not working. She had major bowel surgery at birth. And recently had a partial bowel obstruction in feb and our peds surgeon said there was part of her bowel that is not peristalsing. SO we are having surgery this friday for that and if that doesn't fix it MALS is our next thing. We have been very adamant about looking back at her other CTs and MRI with contrast she had in the mean time. Such a waiting game

REPLY
@lasirvent

I don’t know where you live, but we traveled from Arizona to Connecticut to have surgery with Dr. Hsu bc no other surgeon has the knowledge and experience that he has. Check his education, it’s impressive! I got so tired of going to different doctors and they all told me it’s IBS or abdominal migrane. I’m almost 4 months out and feeling better every day and no horrible mals pain.

Jump to this post

I am bringing my son to Dr. Hsu for surgery, and would love some feedback on recovery time after surgery. How long were you down/home and how mobile/active are you now, 4 months out?

REPLY

I had surgery with Dr. Hsu in Jan. 15, 2020. I was in the hospital for 4 days. We were there for 14 days. It’s been 4 months. It’s a roller coaster ride but I have no mals pain. I’m just dealing with ibs and healing. Have you checked the Facebook Mals Awareness group? They’re wonderful!

REPLY

What is the difference between celiac disease and MALS?

REPLY

When a celiac person ingests gluten, his or her immune system will attack against its own body's tissue. Whereas, if a person is gluten intolerant, the consumption of gluten will cause short-term bloating and belly pain. Unlike celiac disease, gluten intolerance doesn't usually cause long-term harm to the body.

MALS is Nerve irritation and or damage can cause disturbances with myoenteric electrical activity to the stomach resulting in the symptoms. MALS symptoms manifest as numerous gastrointestinal complaints and can range from intermittent mild to chronic debilitating that are triggered after eating or exercise.

I copied these definitions. Hope this helps.

REPLY

@helenfrances – I just want to add to the MALS description. MALS stands for Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome. The ligament originated from the diaphragm. It can happen that the ligament presses on the celiac artery ( supplies blood to many organs and intestines). This causes diminished blood flow in the celiac artery. This becomes a problem after meals when intestines need to digest- can cause severe pain, like the coronary arteries with exercise.
I had surgery for this- ligament cut and later needed a stent to keep it open. 5 years later- I’m fine. I think of MALS as an anatomical problem. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks itself in the intestinal lining- leading to malabsorption.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.