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Authors Thoolen SJ, van der Vliet WJ, Kent TS, Callery MP, Dib MJ, Hamdan A, Schermerhorn ML, Moser AJ
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Journal J. Vasc. Surg. Volume: 61 Issue: 5 Pages: 1278-84
Publish Date 2015 May
PubMed ID 25600337

Celiac artery compression by the median arcuate ligament (MAL) is a potential cause of postprandial abdominal pain and weight loss that overlaps with other common syndromes. Robotic technology may alter the current paradigm for surgical intervention. Open MAL release is often performed with concurrent bypass for celiac stenosis due to the morbidity of reintervention, whereas the laparoscopic approach is associated with high rates of conversion to open due to bleeding. We hypothesized that a robot-assisted technique might minimize conversion events to open, decrease perioperative morbidity, and defer consideration of vascular bypass at the initial operative setting.We retrospectively analyzed patients treated for MAL syndrome by a multidisciplinary team at a tertiary medical center between September 2012 and December 2013. Diagnosis was based on symptom profile and peak systolic velocity (PSV) >200 cm/s during celiac artery duplex ultrasound imaging. All patients underwent robot-assisted MAL release with simultaneous circumferential neurolysis of the celiac plexus. Postoperative celiac duplex and symptom profiles were reassessed longitudinally to monitor outcomes.Nine patients (67% women) were evaluated for postprandial pain (100%) and weight loss (100%). All patients had celiac stenosis by mesenteric duplex ultrasound imaging (median PSV, 342; range, 238-637 cm/s), and cross-sectional imaging indicated a fishhook deformity in five (56%). Robot-assisted MAL release was completed successfully in all nine patients (100%) using a standardized surgical technique. Estimated blood loss was <50 mL, with a median hospital stay of 2 days (range, 2-3 days). No postoperative complications of grade ≥3, readmissions or reoperations were observed. All patients (100%) improved symptomatically at the 25-week median follow-up. Three patients experienced complete resolution on postoperative celiac duplex ultrasound imaging, and six patients showed an improved but persistent stenosis (PSV >200 cm/s) compared with preoperative velocities (P < .05 by Wilcoxon signed rank). No patients required additional treatment.Robot-assisted MAL release can be performed safely and effectively with avoidance of conversion events and minimal morbidity. Potential factors contributing to success are patient selection by a multidisciplinary team and replication of the open surgical technique by means of robot-assisted dexterity and visualization. The need for delayed reintervention for persistently symptomatic celiac stenosis is uncertain. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System