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Surgical management of intestinal malrotation in adults: comparative results for open and laparoscopic Ladd procedures

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This study aimed to characterize the clinical; features of intestinal malrotation in adults, and to compare the results for the open and laparoscopic Ladd procedures.


Between 1984 and 2003, 21 adult patients with a mean age of 36 years (range, 14–89 years) were surgically treated for intestinal malrotation. The clinical data collected included age, gender, presenting symptoms, diagnostic tests, type of operation, operative time, narcotic requirement, time to oral intake, length of hospital stay, and outcome. The groups (open vs laparoscopic) were comparatively analyzed using two-sample t-tests and Wilcoxon rank sum tests.


The two groups were similar in terms of age, clinical presentation, and diagnostic tests performed. The most common presenting symptoms were chronic abdominal pain, nausea, and repeated vomiting. Upper gastrointestinal barium studies (UGI/SBFT) were diagnostic for all patients with malrotation as compared with computed tomography (CT) scanning, which was falsely negative in 25% of patients. A total of 21 patients underwent the Ladd procedure, either open (n = 10) or laparoscopic (n = 11). Three laparoscopic procedures were converted to open. Overall, the laparoscopic group resumed oral intake earlier than the open group (1.8 vs 2.7 days; p = 0.092), had a shorter hospital stay (4.0 vs. 6.1 days; p = 0.050), and required less intravenous narcotics on postoperative day 1 (4.9 vs 48.5 mg; p = 0.002). The laparoscopic group underwent a longer operation (194 vs 143 min; p = 0.053). Sixteen of eighteen patients available for follow-up reported complete resolution of symptoms, 2 felt greatly improved. No patient required a second operation related to volvulus or recurrent symptoms.


The laparoscopic Ladd procedure is feasible, safe, and as effective as the standard open Ladd procedure for the treatment of adults who have intestinal malrotation without midgut volvulus. Patients also benefit from this minimally invasive approach, as manifested by an earlier oral intake, a decreased need for intravenous narcotics, and an earlier discharge from the hospital.

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Correspondence to E. J. Dozois.

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Matzke, G.M., Dozois, E.J., Larson, D.W. et al. Surgical management of intestinal malrotation in adults: comparative results for open and laparoscopic Ladd procedures. Surg Endosc 19, 1416–1419 (2005).

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